Friday, February 17, 2012

Homo sedentarius.

A couple of cows on the way to a Quebecois slaughterhouse got loose on a rural road and did what cows in confusing situations do, which is mill about aimlessly punctuated by the occasional random freakout.

Local cops did a bit of aimless milling about of their own, until deciding that the road could not be open with the cows roaming loose, as a quarter ton or more of beef on the hoof will mess up a car in a way Bambi can only dream of. Using the only available hammer they had for pounding this particular nail, they threw down with their Glocks and put paid to the bovine road hazards.

Unfortunately for the po-po, a tourist from Ontario captured it on video, which subsequently triggered a stampede of internet opprobrium.
Lucille Cloutier, who took the video while on vacation from Ontario, said that she would have expected the officers to have used tranquilizers rather than shooting the cows dead.
Sure! Or maybe they could have used those net guns like they had in Jurassic Park 2! No, no, wait! Maybe they could have shot the gun out of the cow's hoof! Because heaven knows we wouldn't want to cause the cow any harm on its way to the slaughterhouse, you cretin!

Ugh. How far we have come from our pastoral roots...


Duke said...

Thats pretty sad, Not even a humane kill. WTF, I think there's a 9mm slug in my hamburger.

karrde said...

For a creature the size of a cow, I would expect the officers to need something more than a pistol...

Then again, cows don't tend to spook like Bambi would.

Stuart the Viking said...

Those damn dirty cops! They were just too lazy to walk back to their car and get the tranquilizer dart rifle that every cop has in the trunk of their car. I know, I watch movies and stuff! After seeing that, I won't be able to eat bacon for a week!


Vinnie said...

As a recovering redneck I am shocked at the thinking process. Cows are not that hard to herd up and move. Shooting them was lazy, expensive, stupid and a waste of money.

Anonymous said...

Or they could just close the road and get a rancher to herd the cattle into a trailer.

Bison have gotten loose from a nearby packing plant twice in several years. The first time, the buffalo and the neighborhood were perforated with shots from police AR15s. The latest time, SWAT used a 308. Because the stock are not killed in a packing plant under USDA eyes, they can not be packed as meat for human consumption [so I have heard].

Erik in Colo.

oddball said...

Let's see... get someone on the scene that can heard farm animals to get the large amount of meat to move on its own, or shoot it several times for a very ugly, prolonged, and painful kill and then have to move all that dead weight on your own. I would have hoped they would have gone for the lazy way and hearded the damn thing.

Tam said...

Having the road open is priority one.

Ease of hauling the beef is a bonus, but if they can't get a rancher there with a quickness, a flatbed tow truck can drag a dead heifer onto the bed as easily as it can a dead Honda.

Sorry 'bout the cows, mister. Don't let 'em get loose next time.

Critter said...

our local town had a trailer full of beef-on-the-hoof get loose on the highway a couple of years ago. it was then, as i sat in traffic, wondering what the solution might be, that we all saw that the local po po had an on-call cowboy. no shite. horse, hat, lasso, the whole works. one of the best commutes i ever had. :)

Anonymous said...

Everybody wants to herd them up - until its you stuck in a 10 mile back up on your way to wherever it is that Canadians go

Matt G said...

Hey, Vinnie, let's not claim that they're that easy to wrangle. I've had my problems, before, myself. (Of course I didn't have as much help as those cops did.)

But I reckon that the fact that they were en route to the abattoir prol'ly figured into their decision to just drop hammer on the cows. They did a pretty piss-poor job of it though, neh?

Anonymous said...

Well, you would think the officers would know how to put down large animals cleanly. But the incident could have been solved with a can of grain and a couple of pieces of rope.

Incidents like that are why we(volunteer fire/EMS)have access to a 24-hour veterinarian, either through dispatch or our own phones. If they can't come out to help they know someone who can.

Speaking of pastoral roots, our protocol is that someone who hits a deer(and wasn't doing anything illegal)has first claim on the carcass. Our dispatch has a waiting list of people who will come get it if the driver declines.

Tam said...

Matt G,

That was not the finest display of marksmanship I have ever seen, no.

Boat Guy said...

S' true that if you don't get your bison (or cattle I presume) killed in a USDA-inspected facility you can't sell the meat to the public.
I had heard SWAT used a .45-70, I'll have to check with my sources.
When we ran buffler (in between the incidents referred to) we used that packer - and it's a very good one - but when working the animals we always made sure we had "recourse" to solve our own problem should that occur (which thankfully it never did).

Critter said...

we must remember that police are not typically armed with gun big enough to reliably take down 500 pound beefs. the usual equipment, medium powered handgun, shotguns loaded with 00 buck and .223 rifles are for homo sapiens, not bovinus horrendus. i suspect they were out of options at that point and used the only tools they had avialable.

OtherWhiteMatt said...

Randomly firing at a cow is a pretty stupid way to deal with it.

And I love the comment in the video "That's not really a gun, is it?"

Unknown said...

It happens here all the time, which is an unusual problem to have. I actually hit a black cow in the middle of the night one time in my truck when I was a teenager. You can usually shoo them back into the field without much difficulty, like I saw a deputy do a few months ago on my way to work.

With that said, don't cops carry a box of 1 oz. slugs in their cruisers for their shotgun? That will take a cow down with one well placed shot, but I doubt the cop in the video is capable of that.

K. Rihanek said...

Strange. When we visited Glacier park in Montana there were free range areas. You had to share the road with the bovine. Yes we did meet some on the road. Not a problem.

staghounds said...

Having been recently entrapped in a very sad similar incident hunting in France, I hate it for Elsie and Flora but this is the way it works. Tam is right, open safe roadway is the extremely #1 priority.

And once the 5-1 start trying to herd the cows, they stop being rogue cows and belong to the police when disaster happens.

rickn8or said...

Lucille probably has no clue how beef gets to the grocery store.

Blackwing1 said...

K. Rihanek:

Huge areas of the West are still open-range. I tour Wyoming, Idaho and Montana on a motorcycle, and regularly come across beef cattle just kind of wandering around the more rural roads. It's normal.

The only place I ever worried was in Roosevelt Park in NoDak...bison just kind of wander around the park, including the roads. I'm not too worried about cattle charging me, but buffalo haven't exactly been domesticated. Watching an animal that big give you a hard look when you're on a bike can be a little worrisome.

You definitely DON'T want to honk a horn at them...

tickmeister said...

A 22 LR between the eyes and a couple inces above center will drop a bovine like a rock, at least it always did when we used to butcher on the farm. Probably a little hard to do that with a slightly spooked loose cow, and a lot of cops couldn't hit the side, let alone the end.

tickmeister said...

inces = inches. A tall Inca could be 6 feet.

Frank W. James said...

I have been called in by the local sheriff's dept on 5 separate occasions to shoot (the last 2 out of a helicopter) wayward bovines; in each case it was WELL AFTER all other attempts to capture same HAD FAILED.

Once they get loose they often revert back to a 'wild' state and after having been chased for hours, if not days, by drovers on horseback or ATV, they are NOT amienable to simple 'herding'.

Additionally, they also become extremely durable bullet sponges, if the projectiles being fired can't reach the brainpan.

In my experience if you're going take 'body shots' YOU BETTER BRING SOMETHING (as in a LONG gun) MEANT FOR USE IN AFRICA because I know for a fact that my 7mm Rem Mag AIN'T enough gun for good thorax kills.

As for the .22 in the head, Yeah, that works when old Bossy is standing there calmly chewing her cud in the feedlot, but wait till after she's been chased a day or two through the cornfields, boonies and brushes. That's an entirely different story.

As for the human consumption thingie, because of Mad Cow disease no cow in the United States (beef or dairy) can be used for human consumption without first taking the animal's temperature prior to slaughter. And once it is dead, that stops the process, that cow is now good only for dog food or fertilizer...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Stuart the Viking said...


.223 rifles are for squirells, groundhogs, and other rodents. The fact that the military picked it up, renamed it 5.56, and use on humans not withstanding.


Anonymous said...

Sorry we disagree on this one.

I've herded my neighbors cows off I-65 along with the KSP and nobody saw the need to turn the operation into a free fire zone.

Farm Dad can explain the difference between herding and chasing, and I'm not blame the LEO's for not knowing the difference. Just them push off some place and let them settle down and things will be fine.

I had a friend that is an WCO who had to put a deer down in front of a school. He decided that shooting was not a good idea so he thought a baton strike to the back of the deers head would work. It didn't and things went down hill quickly.
The next day the video made it to the news and it ended up a training tape on what not to do.


I am human and like my steak rare.

leBolide said...

That stupid cow got what was coming to her for disobeying the boys in blue. She's just lucky she didn't get the nightstick and taser first!

tickmeister said...

I agree that trying to shoot a wild cow in the brush is not a valid .22 application. I would want the biggest rifle I could carry for that job. And it is usually true that they can be herded. I once had three yahoos on 4 wheelers trying to get a bunch of cows in a corral to move them. The cows were running laps around 40 acres. Once they parked the machinery I was able to go out on foot and get the whole bunch in the corral after 45 minutes of calm reasoning and psycological analysis. Nobody knows how to do that anymore, and I probably couldn't again.

In this case, the cops probably did the best they could.

NotClauswitz said...

Excellent use of the adjective "cretin"! At least they didn't shoot her dog, but that might have been excessive bonus-points.
We had a big old Blond Tyrolean cow get mad and skedaddle around in the rain on a narrow alpine road in Austria on our motorbike tour, and it makes you feel awful helpless to be astraddle a big-ass R-80R encumbered with saddle bags and passenger in the mud... Cow was about four-times bigger than a french farmers 2CV.

Trent said...

I would have expected them to use a rifle or shotgun, those things are thick!

Goober said...

I kill cows with a .22 rifle. YOu don't need a lot when you're 5 feet away and you can place the round exactly where you need it to be.

The crying shame in all of this is that because they were not slaughtered under supervision of a licensed, bonded slaughter-house guy, the meat will go to waste. As it would if they'd used traquilizers on them, for that matter.

Darrell said...

The local popo took down some errant bison a few years ago. They used ARs, and it took a LOT of ammo to kill them. Caused quite a stink.

Kristophr said...

Colt sold a lot of Thompson SMGs to slaughterhouses.

They needed to have on hand something that could put down a stampede quickly.

tanksoldier said...

Don't read the comments. Seriously.

mariner said...


"...the usual equipment, medium powered handgun, shotguns loaded with 00 buck and .223 rifles are for homo sapiens, not bovinus horrendus."

I've never done this so I'm not really sure, but I'll bet a .223 "behind the ears" would drop a cow right away.

John Peddie (Toronto) said...

Seems my French-speacking countrymen lack the necessary Gallic elan for this task.

I would have expected a cavalry charge, swords drawn and...OOPS!


Only REAL Mounties can do charges properly. City popo can't ride unless the steed has V8 power.

Farm.Dad said...

Well they tried, and I am sure it seemed like a good idea right up until it didn't stand the cold test of reality . That calf was scared and pissed off from the point the video started , and nothing much short of roping him could have been done to control him . Putting him down was likely the only option open to them considering the danger that sized calf can represent to not only traffic but any " helpful citizens " outside in the yard/bar ditch and their likely experience handling stock. Frank has it absolutely right on dealing with a scared/fighty bovine in that its real hard to bring enough gun for a body shot. after all you are going after the cape buffalos' cousin so to speak .
I have put down numerous head of cattle with everything from a .22 pistol to .223 under controlled conditions without any problem with any caliber doing the job. Folks ill tell ya right now that given the scenario that is shown here , if i didn't have a .30 cal + long gun i would set my happy butt in the car until one showed up . I am somewhat surprised that they didn't end up scraping up pizzacop myself .

Montie said...

You have to love the idiotic comments posted on that video. Yes, we have come that far from our pastoral roots.

Several years ago, in the suburban town that I was working for at the time, one of the car lots decided to have a "no bull sale" which led them to think of the brilliant idea of having a Longhorn bull penned up on the lot for the weekend. As luck would have it, said Longhorn decided that being penned up on an asphalt parking lot was not his cup of tea and so managed a quite daring escape about 0300.

We were notified by a motorist who narrowly avoided a collision with the errant bovine. Once we located him, we discovered how frustrating a large aggressive Longhorn bull can be to try to herd on foot and by police car on city streets.

At one point, one of the officers came up with a lasso, and I drove while he sat in the passenger window holding on with one hand and trying to throw the lasso with the other. We were probably lucky that we were unsuccessful in that endeavor, since it would surely have resulted in the officer being dragged from his precarious perch.

We finally urged out to the edge of town, opened a pasture gate and got him through it. I still to this day don't know who's pasture that was.

Gosh I wish somebody had taken video of some of that escapade!

Kristophr said...

We finally urged out to the edge of town, opened a pasture gate and got him through it. I still to this day don't know who's pasture that was.

Hey! Free bull!

staghounds said...

I always like to turn these things around. So while they are herding, roping, darting, or whatever...

Wham! Some texting fool runs into the last car of the tailback at 45 MPH, hospitalising six people, closing the road for five hours.

Shoot the %^&* cows.

Merl said...

Two comments

Spray and pray with a Glock is definitely the wrong way to deal with this. You know what's more dangerous than wandering harried cattle, wounded wandering pissed off cattle.

Also I am one hundred percent certain that USDA inspection is not required for these cattle to be sold as food.

Ed Foster said...

What Frank James said. Also, I've spent a fair amount of time in rural Quebec. Blocking a road around Ste. Prospere would probably tie up one pickup truck and possibly a single tractor an hour, plenty of time to have somebody run home and get the Lee-Enfield and 215 grain softpoints you'll find in every farmhouse in the province.

My hometown (one of them anyway, service brat) of Killingworth Connecticut used to have a place called Cowboy Valley.

You parked your car, walked a hundred yards through the woods, then got on a stagecoach that took you to the dude ranch, after passing through the buffalo herd and the odd Indian attack.

When the place went Tango Uniform, the new owner of the property tried to keep the buffalo herd as "pets". The fences were constantly going down, and confronting a full-blooded buffalo became a common occurance.

Finally, after a complete fence failure, he threw in the towel and had the state set up a two week buffalo season. You would think it would be easy to find a critter as big as a buf in second growth forest, but the buggers headed for the hardwood swamps, and it took all of the two weeks to turn the last one into steaks and chops.

Damndest thing, watching all those Swamp Yankees slipping around from bush to bush carrying Remington 8's in .35 Rem. "Ahh, Jawdge, doncha think ya need somthin' a mite bigguh fer a buffla?"

By damn they did it though. 4,5,6 rounds through the brisket at maybe 15 or 20 feet, in mud up to their knees, but they did it, then ran in a cable from the tractor to snatch it out. Still some good pictures on the babershop wall down on Route 79.

Firehand said...

Couple of years back about ten cows got loose in Cowtown(area of OKC around the stockyards); I remember the3 video of a few cops on motorcycles and cars, and a couple on foot, working them back where they were supposed to be.

Of course, they've dealt with that kind of thing before.

And yeah, if Bossy decides to get nasty, that is a serious critter trying to stomp you into mulch.

Stuart the Viking said...

Speaking of a pissed of bull. When I was a lad, my Grandfather (on my Dad's side) still owned a working ranch in South Dakota. We went out to see Grandfather every year or so and one of the things I remember most was the bull. Whenever we were going to visit, Grandfather would pen that thing up in the barn and we were warned that if we got anywhere close to it we would recieve the whipping of our lives. We were, however, allowed to feed the bull through a 1' x 1' opening in the outside barn wall. That bull was so big that the end of his nose wouldn't fit through the opening, and we fed him full ears of corn which he gobbled down whole as quickly as we could feed them, and if we weren't quick enough *WHAM* the bull would hit the barn wall with it's horn shaking nearly the whole barn to tell us to hurry up with his dinner.

Well, that's how I remember it. I was 8 or 9 at the time, so it's all probably a little bigger than life in my memory.


jimbob86 said...

"I kill cows with a .22 rifle. YOu don't need a lot when you're 5 feet away and you can place the round exactly where you need it to be."

Placement is everything when good results are a requirement .... the phrase "Close enough for govenrnment work." comes to mind in this case: Officer Schutzalott gets paid the same whether he drops Ol' Bossy in one shot or 17 ......

.... also, "If you can't shoot well, shoot a lot." occured to me....

Gnarly Sheen said...

Between skittish cattle and cops shooting, I'm still not sure which is more dangerous.

Stuart the Viking said...

Could be worse... Could be skittish cops and bovines shooting... WITHE FRICKEN LAZERS ON THEIR HEADS!


Buzz said...


I guess I was the only one that got a creepy sense of symbolism from that.

"Round 'em up, send 'em to slaughter for their constitution lovin' ways.
They don't want to go and a couple escaped.
Shoot 'em, 'cause we can't have anybody but sheep and dead people votin' in this election."

Rob K said...

I'll critique their marksmanship, but not the decision to shoot.

Having first hand experience, I can testify that the lazy way is NOT herding the damn thing. It's shooting it.

Two rounds of 230 grain .45 ACP Federal Hydro-shok from a Colt Commander to the vitals at about 7 yards will put an 800 pound dairy heifer right down, and that it is an ENORMOUS relief to have it done. I had an 8 month old heifer get away and lead us all a not-very-merry chase around someone else's bean and corn fields. After 3 days of it and us tromping through them and wandering around on country roads, I decided that was enough. I couldn't conscience the risk of somebody hitting her in the middle of the road at night. She ran no more than 5 yards before she laid down and gave it up.

If the ground had been clear, and I'd had a horse or four or five people with foot herding experience, and the fields were fenced, we'd have had her back in the barn in an hour. But we were all on foot, I didn't have anyone with any experience herding cattle afoot, it was August beans and corn, and nobody has fences anymore (`cause they don't pasture animals anymore).

Kristophr said...

This is almost as much fun as a forum thread argument about calibers suitable for killing bears.

global village idiot said...

"Well, you would think the officers would know how to put down large animals cleanly."

One of the Reservists in my Platoon is in the Police Academy and currently working for a department just outside of Indy. I asked him about this. No, skippy, cops don't get any training on "how to put down large animals cleanly."

George Orwell (the only pinko for whom I have any respect) tells a similar story, in the first person from the cop's point of view. He was a constable in Burma and had to shoot an elephant.

He botched it too.


Kristophr said...


Orwell got over it after one of Stalin's goons in Spain tried to execute him for political incorrectness.

Having an NKVD lout put a Nagant bullet in the back of your head will make you re-think communism.

And yes, Orwell's shooting the elephant was a classic short story.

Montie said...

Since I told my more humorous cow/cop story yesterday, I'll add another today. a couple of years after the "Longhorn Incident" My partner and I were dispatched to help the Highway Patrol out on the Interstate with a number of loose cattle because their nearest unit was "too far away". We knew this to be a common excuse for pawning off calls they didn't want to take, and were busy at the time with another situation, so we said it would be a few before we could respond.

A few minutes later, we got another request for help, as a van had now struck one of the errant cattle. The Highway Patrol was now enroute but needed assistance, so we started to that location. On arrival we found one cow DRT in the median, the van a considerable distance off the roadway to the right, the driver was out on foot, shaken up but unhurt.

There were a good dozen cattle milling about on and off the road, and we began trying to get them off the highway. A couple of citizen with experience in such matters stopped to help and we found an unlocked gate and put the cattle through it (Once again, who's land we didn't know but it was expedient at the time).

One steer with an injured hind leg (likely from the crash), was having none of it though and attempts to herd him in the direction of the gate were met with head down charges (he ran well with three legs), one of which ran one of our erstwhile helpers onto the highway with an oncoming vehicle dangerously close.

Following that, the steer turned to take some aggression out on me and I remember thinking while drawing my 4506 "Oh hell no, I don't HAVE to run" followed by "and I'm getting tired of this" Three quick shots and he was down and out in the bar ditch, end of problem.

The only issue with that cattle shooting was that my partner thought the guy helping had jumped me when he heard the shots (it was after dark), which caused him to draw down on the guy. I then yelled "whoa, whoa, whoa, it was just me shooting that steer" which thankfully put the brakes on my partner.

Firehand said...

A: No, most cops of all varieties come from cities, and have- and get- no bloody idea how to put an animal down. And have no idea how to shoo cows off the road, either.
B: Once heard a dispatcher say "He gives me any more trouble, I'll have him chasing cows all over the county next shift!"
C: Montie, you just gave me a flashback:
"What's wrong with you, sir?"
"Not a DAMN thing, officer!"

Robert said...

"Kristopher said...

Hey! Free bull!"

We get that everyday from most politicians. In mass quantities.

Anonymous said...

Every so often a cattle truck takes the I-27 and I-40 interchange in Amarillo a "wee bit" too fast and turns over. The local sheriff's posse and the guys from the stockyard promptly swarm the area, and I suspect there are impromptu tallies kept of who gets the most animals herded. My folks said that about 20 years ago one of the escaped cows made the news because she was recovered in - TINS - the drive-up line of a McDonalds near the interchange.


TimP said...

My big problem with it isn't that they shot the cow, or even that they shot it so poorly (if all you've got is a lightly trained cop with a Glock, that's just what's going to happen), but rather what they where using as a backstop. Starting from about 16s to about 20s one of the cops fires about half a dozen shots at the cow using the very road they are trying to make "safe" and what appears to be a suburban neighbourhood as a backstop.

The cow running onto what appears to be a relatively minor road is a whole lot safer than some cop firing half a dozen rounds into suburbia.

Anonymous said...

Funny, when my landlord's cattle get out (regularly; he ain't the greatest at fence repair) we just wave & clap at them & they go where we want 'em to. (I'd love to say, "I like smackin' em!" but that's usually not necessary). It ain't hard: I'm too crippled to run & I still do so.

Scott said...

And WTF with the sirens? Like that will calm things down. You're not pulling someone over after a chase.

Tam said...


Yup. While I understand why they did what they did, the execution left quite a bit to be desired.

I'm no cowgal myself, so I'm refraining from the whole "Well, what I would have done..." thing. What I likely would have done is try to shoo the cow like some city slicker, and if it didn't shoo, I'd've probably shot it myself. I just hope I would have looked cooler doing it. ;)

God, Gals, Guns, Grub said...

Where's a cow whisperer when you need one?

Dann in Ohoo