Yellowstone Hiking Maps

COWS AND BULLS

Always check before you cross a field of cows to make sure that it actually is a field of cows. If the ‘cow’ appears to have only one udder, take the alternative footpath, even if it involves using a frayed rope to cross a bottomless ravine. It will be safer.

If these one-uddered cows are quite small, the braver hiker may risk crossing the field. These are bullocks, or young bulls. They are not real men yet; just the equivalent of teenage hoodies. They may come running towards you because they’ve learned about safety in numbers and know that group action frightens most humans. You should have confidence, especially if you’re trying to convince your companions that you’re an experienced hiker. Walking tall and proud and straight ahead will unnerve them, and eventually they’ll let you through. What these hoodies fear most is an ASBO – A Supermarket Buying Order.

Of course, at this teenage stage, their parents just can’t control them, and have no desire to. When the bovine offspring are much younger, a parent will always protect them A field full of calves may look cute and picturesque, but it’s the mothers you have to watch out for. They will gang up and encircle the creature they believe to be most vulnerable.

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This is likely to be you.

Reach your destination by learning the language. ‘Shoo!’ is very rude in cattle circles, and many cows will take two steps back out of shock.

It is a myth that the colour red inflames a bull. Either that or outdoor gear manufacturers enjoy a good joke, seeing that most of their products come in shades of red. The important thing to remember is that you should always be nearer to the fence than the bull is. Should the beast decide to charge, you’re more likely to reach the fence before it reaches you.

Bulls from the following breeds that are more than 10 months old are banned from fields with rights of way passing through them: Ayrshire, British Friesian, British Holstein, Dairy Shorthorn, Guernsey, Jersey and Kerry. But if a bull is charging, you will be unlikely to want to hang around to make a positive identification of the breed in question.

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