Hookin' Cows

   Hookin’ Cows



   Mike Capron


I like good Cows.     And horns don’t have that much to do with a good cow.  Her ability to raise a good calf every year is the number one quality in a good cow.  I have heard the story of a rancher that shipped a cow in the fall because she didn’t have a calf even though she had been a consistent producer every year up till now. But the old rancher had a hard and fast rule, no calf in the fall, put the wheels under her. 

One of the hands there said,  “But Boss you ran over her calf coming from town the other evening.”  The Boss said, “Doesn’t matter she shouldn’t have had him on the road, Ship her .”


Horns are a big help when dealing with predators, but I have seen a video of some muley cows running a full grown bear off. Of course I would run off too. A herd of muley cows all bellering and slobbering on my tail as I was running ………


One of my favorite herds of cows were a cross bred herd……Black Angus cows bred to black spanish fighting bulls.  All Muley ……!!!!     I had no idea these cows would fight you when you were footback.  Never made a bad move when you were horse back, but don’t get footback .…..The boss wanted me to go pickup a cow and baby calf at a branding U on the west side of the ranch……I asked if I could take Anne with me and he said sure. It was Sunday .but he didn’t tell me she was going to be a big help. We got there with the open top little 6x14 Hale Trailer. I pulled into the branding U, (With the open end all fenced off. )  Positioned my trailer in the far corner with the gate open to the inside of the branding U, with just enough room for the cow to go by the gate and turn left into the trailer, looked like a piece of cake to me. Well plan A wasn’t any good, she went to fighting me the minute I got in sight, she did not give to any footback pressure .  I needed a training tool.   Found a stack of cedar posts and picked the stoutest one of them all. I thought maybe she would chase me into the trailer and Anne could shut the gate……wrong.  She didn’t like the trailer at all.    It took some doing but I finally got her head on the right end and showed her how nice it could be just giving to some of my slightest pressure. She didn’t mind the trailer so much now.  Next came the baby calf, which wasn’t too much except that Anne strained her back lifting the calf up the outside of the trailer. That took some doin for her  to get over.   I think the cow was healed before Anne was.



I went to work for an outfit that had over a thousand Saler Cows Crossed with Braham Bulls.  They had a horrible calf crop …percentage wise.    Lots of open cows, maverick bulls and big steers five years old and older.   Lots of cow work , but plenty good rains and grass conditions. These cows were bad to wander off to the neighbors, but the neighbors were understanding because their cows and horses did the same, lots of old fences.  I got a call from one of the neighbors that said he had one of our cows that he wanted to drop off on his way to town. He said I will leave her in one of those smaller pens at the shipping pens, maybe you can load her easier from a small pen, but you keep your eyes on her, she will sure hook.   Thanks I said ……!!!

We got to the pens and sure enough she was still on the hook.  I had to cross the pen she was in to get to the gate to the loading chute. I should have left her in the pen that she was in and spend the night thinking it over. But No I thought I could outrun her across that pen to the gate to the loading chute . I had a car load of hunters that were anxious to get to hunting …….So I lept the gate and hit my best lick to the opposite gate, Thinking I could outrun her easy…….but the closer I got to the gate the bigger her horns looked………Just I got to the gate and thought I had made it over, when one of her horns stuck me in the left rear pocket and gave me an extra boost over …….I hit scrambling …..!!!!!!!!!       I decided she would be just fine in the pen she was in and we would tend to her later.     I was dragging one leg a little when I got back to the car where the hunters were. Nobody had seen any of the action……but one wanted to know why I was dragging a leg.   I told them that she hooked me with one horn. luckily she had a wide set of horns and only caught me with one horn.  I had checked the wound the best I could as it was on my back side , but no large amounts of blood running down my leg,,,,,so she didn’t puncture any of the large veins on the inside of my leg.   I told them that I had some great medicine for puncture wounds , but the boss said you are going to town to the emergency room ……..We missed an afternoon of good hunting but I healed just fine and we got the cow moved the next day…..   

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