[Cdt-l] unilateral bovine concessions

Jonathan Ley jonathan at phlumf.com
Fri Jul 20 21:15:35 CDT 2012

I know what you mean... but I figure most of us hikers are interlopers 
on the local ranches, and despite whatever common sense we might have, 
most of us haven't worked a ranch, so who knows. Try telling a cowboy 
that you know more about anything having to do with their job/life and 
see how that goes.  Personally, I think a lot of these things are 
exceptions that become the rule - i.e. one time a mother abandoned its 
calf because it got spooked, so therefore, never spook a cow or else... 
(similarly, one time a hiker bathed in a stock pond, therefore all 
hikers apparently bathe in stock ponds). It's just human nature for 
these kinds of things to take hold, and fighting it will just keep one 

I figure it's a pretty small inconvenience to at least try one's best to 
conform to the local customs. And that's kind of how I see these things 
- as customs... there are all kinds of seemingly odd customs throughout 
the world - based on who knows what, but as a traveler, you just have to 
suck it up and play nice to avoid offending the locals.

Anyway, the comment was mostly intended for a stretch of route where 
you're headed on a quasi-public road (aka a public road) through private 
land. I have another note on another map in that area with some 
information from the BLM about what your rights are on BLM land... 
basically, that the people grazing cattle on public lands don't own the 
land even if they act like they do.


On 7/19/2012 1:28 PM, Brett wrote:
> I realize this on a tangent, but I've never found a way to remediate 
> cows with a propensity to "spook." Not all of them do, of course, and 
> bless their bovine hearts, but certain groups with that tendency are 
> generally incorrigible. And frankly I don't feel remediation is my job 
> out there, as an individual quietly recreating on my public lands. 
> Give us hikers a fair break, dear rancher. The idea of a mother 
> permanently abandoning its calf because a hiker came along and failed 
> to leave the trail and walk a wide, stealthy circle sounds like a red 
> herring to me, based on a certain bias that probably needs no 
> introduction. And yes, that bias can run both ways. But of course it 
> shouldn't, because we've both camps have had a history of coexisting 
> for years, flourishing finely, and hikers - at least those who avoid 
> bathing in stock ponds, trespassing on private ranches, and so forth - 
> are, I think, demonstrably easy for the livestock industry to live with.
> At the end of the day, hiker-rancher conflicts are generally nothing 
> that a campfire and a little cowboy coffee can't mend. Any fence that 
> can't be mended sounds like a design flaw to me. Possibly a fence laid 
> out by a bogeyman.
> - blisterfree
> ------------------------
> The big concern is that hikers may spook
> cattle. One rancher has this advice/comment: Hikers on foot can spook
> cattle simply by their presence. Heifers will sometimes leave their
> calves causing additional labor for the rancher in getting them to
> "mother back up". I try to educate the hikers and recreationalists to
> walk a wide circle around cattle so as not to spook them. Cattle see
> ranchers on horseback and when something out of the norm comes along
> they will flee. Sometimes if a hiker will stop when they spook cattle,
> the cattle will turn around and look, and then be allright with their
> presence, at which time the hiker may continue without any disruption.
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