So...I've learned a lot about bulls in the last 24 hours. If you are out on the trails this time of year, you probably already know it's calf season. There are cows everywhere, and occasionally you will probably come across a bull. If you are having an exceptionally exciting day, maybe two bulls...in one herd. If you know your cattle, you may know that last sentence isn't always a good idea.
So here's some interesting facts that could help save you some medical bills should you come across some frisky, or confrontational bulls, or just to help you recognize aggressive behavior when you have an encounter.
-If you come up on a herd w/babies, know that the bulls will also protect the babies, not just the mama cows, and both are more on edge when babies are around.
-If a bull shows you his broadside, he's trying to show you how large he is. Meaning if he comes towards you, even slowly, and then turns sideways so you can see him from the side. This is also an aggressive move, and means he thinks he's bigger than you and ready to prove it. Again, it may seem like they are just standing there sideways and mean nothing by it...but that's not always the case.
-If he turns to face your direction and lowers his head toward you....don't assume he's leaning down to eat some grass, or just looking down like the bull in the below picture. This is a picture of what they look like before they charge. Seems pretty innocent, but the lowered head, toward the thing he doesn't like...not a good thing.
-If you come upon a bull who is digging in the dirt, or throwing dirt, he is highly aggravated and wants to fight. There are pictures of this, but the most awesome example of it I've ever seen is in the video below.
-Bulls can run 25 miles an hour.
-If a bull is ready to confront you and you run, you trigger his instinct to chase you down, and he can.
-Bulls have a 20 foot ring around them of .....anger, danger, a fight zone...whatever you want to call it. If you observe aggressive behavior, face the bull and slowly back away. If you can get out of that 20 ft, you are most likely ok.
-Bulls are considered to be the most deadly domestic animal.
-Should you feel the urge to pet a bull, never pet or touch his forehead. This triggers his charging instinct and he'll want to head butt you.
As you watch this video from yesterday's trail outing, keep in mind I knew none of the above info at the time. There are no fences between me and them, and I don't run faster than 25 miles an hour. I was out of the 20 foot radius, but if there's two does that make it a 40 ft circle??Not sure. As I came up on this herd, there was a big commotion and dust flew up in the air, so I slowed and got out the camera. These two bulls were not happy with each other and head butting/pushing each other around. Once I realized what was happening, I found it too awesome to not just stand there and video it.
Pretty awesome, yes?? I don't remember, even at rodeos with super mean bulls, ever seeing one throw dirt like that.
After reading up, I don't imagine ever standing that close and videoing something like this again. I'll probably be slowly walking backward past herds for a while.