Dad Do They Bite?
Written by: Len Harris
Len & Anna Harris leaving the stream. Anna asked her dad:
Do Cows Bite?
Photo by: Barb Harris
The cows in the photo above are very tame and are almost like family pets. The farmer makes sure he has
no aggressive cows or bulls in pasture. You could probably pet these cows and if i asked the farmer...
I bet he has names for each of his cows.
Just because these cows are passive and won't harm you....doesn't mean all cows are passive. Many anglers
each year are chased from pastures by once passive cows. In the spring cows have calves and the maternal
instincts take over. That bossy you scratched the ears of last summer might want a serious piece of you this spring
if you get between her calf and her.
Many anglers assume that because there is Public Fishing sign at the bridge that there are NO dangerous animals in the pasture.
WRONG. In one pasture in southern Wisconsin I routinely ask the farmer what side of the road he has his bulls on. (both sides have public signs on it}.
I have contacted quite a few sources from the Department Of Natural Resources , Wisconsin Ag Department and Trout Unlimited. None of the sources have cow/bull attack statistics. I would guess each individual emergency room might have statistics. Also there are lots of near hits that you hear about. The ones that make it under the fence in time.
Photo by: Len Harris
Most Holstein bulls will let you know their intentions from quite a distance. I say when in doubt don't risk life and limb over a couple trout. Careful of your back cast. You could see your backing quite quickly.
Remember, the cows/bulls are not the only thing you need to look out for while going trout fishing. The farmer's dogs are quite territorial of their barn yards when you stop for permission. It may seem quite impersonal to roll your window down to ask permission...But the normal farmer understands why you are doing it and he is NOT offended.. Don't assume there is NO dog in the area. Sit and listen a little while prior to getting out. I believe you WON'T get permission if the farmer's dog chased you back to the car.
There are many friendly animals stream side. These 2 horses were pests for quite some time on the waterway. I petted both for a long time and they continued to want more. My fishing friend Brian ignored the horses. They kept pulling at his fishing vest and became quite an annoyance. Just after this photo Trigger got a little too close and pinched Brian's arm with his playfulness.
Photo by: Len Harris
There are other creatures stream side that deserve respect and maybe even a little fear. This reptile was meandering up the bank just yesterday. She was all of 30 pounds with a mean disposition.This passive creature will take off fingers if messed with it.
Yes Anna....some animals do bite.