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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Talking about wild meat in another thread made me think about this time in my career. Some of you might like to hear about it so I will put it down and let you read it.

I spent 1980 thru 1982 rounding up Wild Cattle and Horses off Military training ranges. This livestock was animals that had been missed when the government took the land during WWII. The numbers had been steadily growing during the years and had become a real problem. My job was to round them up and remove them.

There was a large heard of Horses that was led by a big ugly strawberry roan. He had about 30 head of mares and fouls in the heard. There was an old site that had been closed for years that still had a water well with a windmill. I repaired the windmill and got it to pumping.

Once water started flowing the cattle found it first. I went out and started putting up a fence around the well and tank. I added fencing slowly so the animals could get used to it and not be spooked. Once I had the entire area fenced with two big sliding gates to close it off, I started removing cattle. Once I had a heard fenced I would call in the trucks with portable loading chuts. The truckers had several Pit Bulls, that once turned loose in the pens no cow or bull would face them more than once. Those dogs were vicious but they sure loaded those wild cattle into the trucks. I removed three loads of cattle and had pretty much cleared out that area of cattle.

During the time I was working the cattle I had seen a band of Horses. This band did not come close to the water during the day, but I did find horse tracks outside the fence in the morning. The Stud was checking out the area. Once I had removed the cattle I left the gates open and moved on. After a few weeks I went back and found the Horses had been using the water tank, along with Mule Deer and Antalope. I put an electric eye and a transmitter on the gates so I could monitor when animals were going into the fence. Deer and Antalope made small blips on the monitor, but horses in a group left a big long blip. I then knew it was four to five days between visits to the tank by the Horses. They always came in during the night also, they never came during the day. I waited to a time when the moon was approching full and there would be light out there on the dessert floor at night. I dug a pit and made a blind near the gates. I hooked a rope to the gates where I could close them from the blind. I started spending the night out there waiting. I had a reciever with a small light on it that would alert me if something broke the eye. Second night while I was out glassing the area from the top of a nearby dune, a Coyote got into my food box and tore open most of my MREs, ruining them.

Third night a little after 2AM the herd came in. I looked out and saw the stud stopping the heard, he was uneasy about something. Over half the heard was inside the gate. Suddenly the Stud squeeled and started running the mares outside the fence off. I closed the gate. Only about four or five mares got out before I was able to completely close the gates. The mares inside the fence start3ed throwing themselves against the gates. I ran out and started shooting my pistol to chase them away from the gates, the weak point in the fence.


As I circled the fence looking for any damage the Stud came back. I had left my carbine in the blind, but I tried to get a good shot at him before he attacked the fence. He did rear up and damage one of the gates. Then when I came running around the corner he took off into the night. I found a little burro inside the fence. Apparently it had been there when the horses came in. Once the Horses stampeded around the enclosure poor little guy got trampled. I put a rope on him and dragged him to the gate. Once outside I saw he was not going to make it, he was too tore up. I dragged him off downwind a ways and shot him. I then cut off a big chunk to cook over the campfire. Burro was tough and stringy, don't want to eat it again. I had not eaten anything for about 26 hours and was pretty hungry.

Since the Stud kept coming back looking for his mares I had to spend the night out there guarding the fence. It was like he knew how far my .44 Carbine would shoot and he stayed just out of range. Everytime he would start squealing the mares in the fence would try and run the gates. A few times I thought they were going to get through. By morning the gates were pretty heavily damaged, and unusable as gates.

I called my contract haulers who brought out the trucks and chuts. When they got there we had to cut the gates apart to open them. We managed to load 23 mares and yearling's. To prevent any adverse public reaction, I hauled them to the stock yards in San Angelo Texas for auction. My orders were to not make a profit, but just to cover expenses. After this load I was able to hire two Civilian Wranglers to help me.

Over the next year our biggest problem became Illegal Aliens, sneaking across the border. They found out about the water tank, and that became one of their reguler routes. When they saw us out there on horse back they sometimes tried to steal our horses. The border Patrol did not want me to shut down the windmill, since it made a good spot to intercept those willing to walk across that dessert.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yea, I also have read Ben Green's book. Seems he wrote two books, something like "Horse Trading" and "More Horse Trading".

A year later some guys ran that Stallion down with a Jeep. They managed to get a rope on him, and he went on the attack. I ended up having to shoot him after he injured one pretty badly. If I had not came along and shot him, I have no doubt he would have killed them both. I had steadily taken so many of his mares, he had developed a dislike for humans.
 

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Great story. Enjoyed reading it.

Just so everyone will know, Ben Green wrote five books. Horse Trading, Some More Horse Trading, Wild Cow Tales, The Village Horse Doctor, and A Thousand Miles Of Mustanging. Each one is a great read.
 

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Another great read, Sourdough. I love your stories. Please keep them coming.
 

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Sourdough,

I've enjoyed your stories since we signed on here back in 2004 and I know I have said this before but I will say it again...You really need to write all your stories down and get them published. The pre-orders from folks on this site alone would put it on the best seller list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Brett: I have thought of doing that. Looking into it.
 

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Sourdough said:
Brett: I have thought of doing that. Looking into it.
Could I please get an autographed copy when the first volume is published?
 

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Brett said:
Sourdough,

I've enjoyed your stories since we signed on here back in 2004 and I know I have said this before but I will say it again...You really need to write all your stories down and get them published. The pre-orders from folks on this site alone would put it on the best seller list.
I would buy one! ;D
 

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great story. i've read ben green too. i think he has about 5 books i've read. very nice stories and some horse health type stuff
 
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