Run amok bull no more

Published 9:19 pm Tuesday, October 27, 2009

No bull.

So based upon those orders, wranglers Clay Harrell of Decatur County, Ray Scott of Iron City and others spent their Saturday trying to round up a bull that has been on the loose since the semi-tractor trailer it was on crashed on the U.S. 27/84 bypass in early February.

The truck was carrying 125 young cows when it rolled on its side. Eleven calves escaped.

Officials believe Saturday’s captured bull is the last of the absconded bovine.

The bull—excuse me, steer because there is a delicate difference—has been roaming the woods around the Earle May Boat Basin since February.

There had been times that walkers on the city’s nature trail reported to E-911 that there was a bull—excuse me, steer—on the nature trail and wouldn’t let them pass.

Then on Saturday, there was a E-911 call from campers that there was a bull startling campers.

As in the case of Stephanie Bush of Mitchell County, who was camping with her family and her cousin’s family Saturday morning.

The approximately 800-pound steer was just grazing on a patch of grass next to their camp site. They even got some pictures of the posing bovine.

But as Bush said, “You don’t expect to see a cow here.”

An E-911 call of the bovine sighting set the wheels in motion.

So enough!

Sheriff Wiley Griffin said he wasn’t going to take no more of that bull, and ordered Decatur County Animal Control Officer Red Harrell and some deputy sheriffs to spearhead the steer round-up.

Clay Harrell was called in shortly after 11 a.m. Then Scott, with his tracking dogs, was called in to assist.

Through the woods and into the river, that bull bedeviled his captors for more than six hours.

The wranglers were going to steer—using their dogs—the bull to the city’s tennis complex. Then it ran into the river where Red Harrell had to commandeer a fishing boat from marina manager Billy Birdsong to put ropes around the cow’s head. Once the steer stood on solid ground again near the campgrounds, the cowboys had to wrestle with thick woods to try to guide the bull to an awaiting trailer.

Finally at 6:20 p.m., the bull was just too pooped. He was dragged out of the woods pretty much where this steer saga began—at the patch of grass he was grazing on.