Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Simmental Bull

     When I was 13 years old I bought a coming 2 year old Simmental bull at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. It must have been in January of 1980. I bought him private treaty for $1300 down in the yards but I can't remember from whom I bought him. Dad made me do my own negotiating to buy that bull. After I bought him dad and I had to go all the way home to Walden to get a vehicle to transport the bull. We didn't own a stock trailer at the time we just had a 1960 something F600 stock truck that dad didn't want to drive all the way to Denver to pick up 1 bull with.

      So we put a stock rack on our 1979 Chevrolet four door dually pickup and headed back to Denver the next day. We loaded the bull in the back of the pickup and tied his halter to the front of the stock rack and headed home. We must have tied him too long because when we got up on I-70 from the stock yards that bull jumped up over the front of the stock rack and he had both front feet on the roof of the pickup and his head pulled down between his front legs by the halter.

      I thought we were going to cause a pile up on I-70 with all those city folks gawking at us stupid hicks from the sticks. We pulled over on the side of the interstate and got the bull back down in the bed of the pickup & tied him up shorter. We made it home without any more mishaps but that poor old dually had two big dents in the roof for the rest of its days.

      That summer we turned that Simmental bull out with the cows and 2 weeks later he stifled himself and that was the end of his career. So I only ended up with a handful of calves out of him. It turned out that dad wasn't real crazy about me buying that bull but didn't want to discourage my enthusiasm. I also could tell that the foreman of our ranch was less than thrilled to see us unload that Simmental bull. I guess they knew back then what I came to know later and that is that bull would have taken my cattle in the wrong direction; Too big and too much milk. This experience taught me my first lesson about the financial risks of ranching. Losing that bull was a blessing in disguise.


  1. Hate to think of all the money I've spent on bulls that didn't work out. We're trying to knock some of the size out of our cow herd now, and have 35 crosbred (bwf's and some hereford x's) heifers bred to a pair of lowline angus bulls I bought last spring. We'll see what happens...

  2. I think you will be real pleased with the Lowline cross we have been building a 1/2 Lowline 1/2 Angus herd for the past 5 years.