by Paul King
not a fishing report, members not familiar with farm animals may
appreciate some help here and to those more au fait I apologise
(Grandmothers eggs and all that).
No bull is
"safe", even the one that the farmer rides or allows to
walk in with the cows but dairy breeds must be treated with
particular caution. They are so dangerous that they are not normally
allowed to roam free in fields - to have a Friesian bull roaming
loose is very unusual as this is a breed noted for agression. You
would be lucky to get away with scratches on the car - I once saw a
young Friesian bull flip a tractor over with little effort.
know your cattle breeds do not under any circumstances enter a field
with a Friesian, Guernsey or Jersey bull in it. Herefords, South
Devons, Simmental and Limousin (all common beef or GP breeds) are
usually not over aggressive and present few problems, especially when
running with cows, but do not take liberties. If you fish in a field
with a bull, plan your line of escape before fishing (climbing a tree
or crossing the river is usually enough to deter all but the most
aggressive) but do not rely on a barbed wire fence to deter a charge.
Avoid fishing in or near cattle drinks as the animals will eventually
want to get there. Its against our rules anyway but do not go into a
field with a bull with a dog as all cattle will attack a dog. Avoid
cows with very young calves as they are often more dangerous than bulls.
If you do
get caught by a bull with no line of escape, in the best Cpl Jones
sense, DON'T PANIC. Bulls are big and generally cumbersome (Jerseys
excepted). Look for your best (usually the nearest) exit to the field
or tree to climb and work your way SLOWLY towards it watching the
bull all the time, the further you get away from it the less likely a
charge. If it is in a field with cows, keep some cows between you and
it where possible. If it does charge, abandon anything you might be
carrying except a wading staff which might just help to deter an
attack. Wait until the bull is close and side step it and quickly
move away in roughly the opposite direction to the bull's charge,
stopping when the bull is facing you again. The bull will usually not
be agile enough to follow you without stopping and "taking
aim" again. Unlike a Spanish bullfight where the bull is aiming
at the matador's cloak, in this case it will be aiming at you! If
available, keep a tree or farm implement between you and the bull.
This game of hide and seek may go on for a bit but the bull will
often tire of the game and leave you. Bulls are not particularly fit
and will eventually become too physically tired to continue.
this process working your way nearer and nearer to your point of
escape and, when you see the chance immediately after a charge, go
for it, do not look back, just climb the tree, get over the fence,
hedge or whatever as fast as possible and keep going as a really
determined bull may try to follow. Avoid getting cornered with no
line of escape.
If you are
caught by the bull, the accepted advice is to lay completely still
and it may leave you alone. Fortunately many bulls are polled these
days so goring is unlikely but a bull can give you severe and
potentially fatal bruising.
Warning!!!! I have never had to test any of the above theories in
practice but was told them by an experienced farmer. I just don't go
into fields with bulls unless I absolutely have to. Paul King Return
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