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Vilas15  
#1 Posted : Friday, February 21, 2020 12:49:25 AM(UTC)
Vilas15
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How do you fish streams that run through pastures or areas where you can end up mixed in with cows? Basically what precautions should i take? You can avoid them completely i suppose, or maybe only fish on the other side of the stream if its deep enough. I know theyre generaly harmless but dont have any experience with them up close.
thanks 1 user thanked Vilas15 for this useful post.
William Schlafer on 2/21/2020(UTC)
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Zugbug  
#2 Posted : Friday, February 21, 2020 1:43:01 AM(UTC)
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One obvious precaution....before you get too close, be sure that there aren't any bulls in the herd.
William Schlafer  
#3 Posted : Friday, February 21, 2020 1:52:50 AM(UTC)
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Most dairy cows are generally pretty docile.

Sometimes they can be a pest following you around, thinking you're the farmer who's going to lead them to a meal or the barn. But Steers, beef cattle and especially bulls you should be wary of. If they lower or bob their heads up or down, it's a big warning to stay away. Any cattle with calves can be trouble too. Never put yourself between a heifer and her calves. Same thing with bulls, don't get between him and his harem. Never stare at any cow.

If a cow does charge, head for the water. Generally they will hesitate to follow you in, but it's no guarantee. A good move if you encounter aggressive cattle is to head into the bush, or a stand of trees. Their eyesight isn't all that great. If you stand still, they may not be able to tell you from a tree trunk or a bush and may just think you've gone away.

I've seen farmers bluff an aggressive cow by spreading the arms wide waving a jacket and yelling in low tones. But I've also witnessed a bull on my uncles farm charge straight though a 2x10 wooden fence, without warning or provocation.

Finally, it never hurts to knock on a farmers door and ask if it's OK to fish the pasture.

Good luck, be safe.

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-Bill
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JGF  
#4 Posted : Friday, February 21, 2020 1:53:48 AM(UTC)
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It's usually not the cows you need to worry about...

That said, I've meet a couple of cows with calves that were a royal pain in the butt.

The biggest thing is to keep an eye on your surroundings before things get to a place you'd rather not have them be. Cows, in my experience, will be vocal about their displeasure with you. Bulls won't always but the one pawing away at the ground on the hillside last year did. I slowly got the hell out of there.
big_river_bum  
#5 Posted : Friday, February 21, 2020 2:23:04 AM(UTC)
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just visited my grandparent's graves last week. they're buried in a family plot. noticed my great grandma and great uncle. both were killed by a bull in 1939.

typically i won't fish around unknown cows if the stream takes me far from the road/fence line/woods. had 30+ herds of steers surround me too many times. chances are nothing happens, but why risk it

last year i took my nephews and mom out. tried to pick a spot that was easily fishable/accessible. we walked 50 yards downstream of a bridge knowing there was a big herd of red angus a few hundred yards away. after 5 minutes of helping them fish i look up and the herd was right across the stream and a bull was in front of the cows and not happy. i told everyone to walk slowly to the access point without looking back. i took up the rear while keeping a sideways glance of the brute. hopped over the gate a 30 seconds later and went elsewhere.

don't have to completely avoid them, but always be aware, have a plan, and know what to do if there's a confrontation

big_river_bum  
#6 Posted : Friday, February 21, 2020 2:27:38 AM(UTC)
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that said, i've also sat on the banks of timber coulee and petted a curled up holstein while casting
NBrevitz  
#7 Posted : Friday, February 21, 2020 2:58:26 AM(UTC)
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Dairy cows are basically harmless if you don’t get between a mom and babies. I’ll literally pet them sometimes.

Steers can be a bit tricky but you’re generally ok as long as you keep a little space. I did have a steer bluff charge me while goose hunting a few years back, I did the same to him and he went running back into the herd like a bat outta hell.

Bulls... Just turn around. I’ve been chased once or twice and it’s not that fun.

Out of control dogs are frankly my biggest worry while fishing.

"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
Vilas15  
#8 Posted : Friday, February 21, 2020 4:09:00 AM(UTC)
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Sounds like ill be OK avoiding bulls and calves. I'll try to keep some distance or stay on the other side of the stream to make it even easier. Was looking around google maps and found a nice easement with some livestock visible along part of it.
Gurth  
#9 Posted : Friday, February 21, 2020 4:44:39 AM(UTC)
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This gal followed me along about 200 yards of stream.

This was a BIG girl - one of the lergest heifers I've seen.

She was not pleased with me and let me know it the entire time.

There was a fence between us and sometimes foliage to the point that she couldn't see me. She still knew I was there and grunted and stamped and carried on the whole time.

I didn't antagonize other than continuing to fish. Sorry girl... You're safe and I'm safe and I'm not done here yet.

Haha... but man did she want to curb stomp my ass.


Got a selfie with her for posterity...


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Could still hear her braying when I was back at my car.
“Harvest eaters... release trophies.” -Gurth
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Gurth  
#10 Posted : Friday, February 21, 2020 4:49:59 AM(UTC)
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99.9% of the cows I've been around have been fine and the worst thing they'll do is cross the stream above you in a spot you wanted to hit.

Of course this can actually get the trout eating as the cows kick up food.

I've had a couple of angry heifers like the one in the video above and I've had a couple of times where the herd is super curious and surround me. I don't enjoy it when they come in too close and usually try to cross the stream or leave if they do that.

They really are large animals when you are up close and personal with them.

I've never not fished a stretch due to cattle being present though. Most of the time they have a look at me and then go on with doing cow things.
“Harvest eaters... release trophies.” -Gurth
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
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