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Reader Richard Ashcraft writes:

On Friday our town was terrorized by Betsy the barbaric bovine before being put down by one of Pocatello’s finest. However she managed to ram a few cars, “nearly” caused a few accidents and put many lives in danger before the police could arrive. Sunday, four more crazy cows made a break for it. I think these incidents raise some good questions in relation to concealed carry and gun rights . . .

Fortunately an Anderson Custom Pack employee took care of business in a brightly lit alley when he dispatched one of the deranged cows with some type of firearm. While the Journal story doesn’t state whether he opened carried or carried concealed, it doesn’t matter really. His quick thinking and his handy dandy firearm prevented potential serious injury to people and property.

This incident should also make a person question which caliber to carry. Do you carry 17 rounds of 115 grain 9mm and hope more is better? Or do you pick 8-13 rounds of 230 grain .45ACP knowing you have God — via John Moses Browning — on your side?

Anyway, chalk up another win for a good guy with a gun…even if the perp was only a four-legged strip steak on the go.

121 Responses to What Caliber for Escaped Cow?

  1. Since a .22 to the head has been used by farmers for a long time to slaughter cows for dinner, I’m willing to bet that almost any modern defensive load would work if you aim carefully.

  2. For cow…

    Handgun caliber either 10mm or .45acp +p

    What I would PREFER to have is either a 12 gauge slug or .308 WIN. Just to be sure I’m having steak later

  3. She-it. ‘Round here, if a cow or three gets out we know enough to drive slow and not spook ’em.

    Usually it’s pretty plain where they belong, and they’ll let you lead ’em home; if their origin is in doubt, the local deputies are good with cows.

    Shoot ’em? Gods and Thunders, why?

  4. Oh, FFS.

    If you think you have to kill a cow or horse, draw a line connecting the left ear to the right eye, and vice-versa. Put the bullet in at a normal angle where the lines cross. .22LR will do it. I’ve done it, and the animal doesn’t suffer. They go down in their own tracks like you dropped a stone on them.

    On the other hand, people could learn a little bit about handling animals and herd them back to where they belong. That’s even less trouble than moving 900 to 1200 pounds of dead animal after playing Quick Draw McGraw. But I suppose learning how to handle animals, whether dogs or cows, it just too much trouble for law enforcement.

    • No kidding. it’s a frakkin’ cow. Not a bull. If you can’t make it do anything you want for some food and a little finesse, god help ya.

      If Temple Grandin can figure this out, what’s with the coppers? It’s Idaho, they should really have a clue.

    • My first thought was that I would have to start CCing an Australian shepherd, my second thought was how will I keep the police from shooting the dog. I had one growing up and she was a great cattle dog.

    • Unless the cow needs to be put down, there’s no reason they can’t be herded back home. If the cow needs to be put down find someone that knows that they are doing! Had an officer find a hurt beaver. His bullet bounced off the animals skull.

  5. Personally, I would have liked to see a Taser used. Either way, 8-10 rounds of .45 or 17 rounds of 9mm sounds like overkill for a cow.

  6. Given the weight, whatever you’d use on mule deer or elk.
    .
    Getting close up and in front of an agitated cow for a pistol head shot is probably not a good idea.
    .
    But then again, this is the East Coast.
    .

  7. Is this Bovine Scatology? Really?

    The po-po must be utilizing dog slaying tactics against Ol’ Betsy. Or the armed citizen decided it’s time for a fresh rump roast. Either way, as in the famous Running Of The Bulls, or the matador that gets sloppy and gored, I pull for the cow/bull.
    I like my filet mignon medium rare please. Little salt & pepper, garlic and butter.

  8. How about before we all fall over ourselves to whip out a firearm and cap bessie, someone just tries gently herding it back to where it came from?

    Oh and fyi, a well aimed hammer blow or a 22 between the eyes will do it, but by all means use some wrist-breakingly uncomfortable caliber.

  9. Either my barbeque gun, or a 1911A1(steaksauce)
    Though, if you could tazer it long enough, you may get the steaks to cook from the inside.
    Sizzzzzzzzllle

  10. Just goes to show how far we as a nation have drifted from our roots. City dwellers that have never seen a cow outside of a meat aisle in the local big box have no concept how to react too or deal with anything that ain’t a pretend dog.

    Further and further we have come from our self sufficient ancestry. We’re all specialists nowadays. Take us away from our keyboards, our sterile offices and we haven’t a clue.

    A week on a farm would kill or cripple most Americans today.

    • The rhetorical “we,” you mean. Certainly not everyone HERE is thus described.

      It’s funny in a sad, sad way. NC (for example) has subsistence hunting and fishing licenses…licenses that can be obtained for zero cost if certain means tests are met. This seems like a WINNER PLAN to me for those that find themselves unable to afford to feed themselves AND pay other necessary bills.

      Instead, we get politicians crying for handouts and groups like AARP seeking to exploit the “fixed income” meme (like the rest of us have “unfixed income”).

      I believe no one should go hungry, and do put both money and time behind that statement. But I’ve got to say, I sure would not mind seeing some of those beneficiaries of various programs out with a fishing pole from time to time (I do see SOME, don’t get me wrong, but it’s nowhere near the number that receive benefits).

      It’s my understanding that’s how C. Hatchcock learned to shoot…helping to feed his family when he was a boy.

  11. Better idea. Lasso, feed bucket, and trailer as suggested previously, then truck the cow to the butcher. Easier to transport, and it can feed a few families too. Let the butcher decide what caliber.

  12. Well TTAG had that story and vid of the guy on the snow mobile that killed the female moose is a charge with a few rounds of 9 mm. I imagine a moose tougher than a bovine.

    Remember the story, the guy could have turned around and not killed it. He pulled a South Park ” it comin’ right for us…”.

  13. Bulls can be dangerous but there aren’t many of them around. The vast majority of the bovine population is harmless. In general, shooting a loose cow is just stupid.

    I’ve seen .22LR bounce off a cow’s skull. I have also euthanized dying bovines with the same caliber. If you don’t know exactly where that little half-pound brain is located within that massive head, you best step back and call someone who does.

  14. I bet this is how it went down.
    Cop: Don’t mooooove. Hoofs up where I can see em.
    Cow: You pig
    Cop: bang bang
    Cow: I can’t breathe. Eat mooooore chick……

  15. The Department of Labor says approximately 22 people are killed by cows in the US every year. It’s for the children!

  16. What caliber for the seven hunters and two game wardens? Technique I’ve got down, I just stand there lookin’ cute, and…well you know.

    • Many years ago while fishing I surprised one with a calf in a box canyon. It was decidedly unhappy at my presence. It’s hard to outrun an angry cow, especially in waders. My only recourse was up the canyon wall a ways and hole up until it wandered off. I only had a .38 snubbie with snake shot-which wouldn’t have done much other than piss it off.

  17. Don’t try to understand ’em
    Just rope and throw and brand ’em
    Or shoot them in the head with your nine.

    Rawhide!

  18. My solution would EASILY be to grab my m16 and start chopping at that tender succulent Filet. But in all reality I would just have a mouthful of brass… and lead.

  19. Is it just me or is the “Betsy” pictured actually a “Bob”? Also, as the cattle in question were destined to be burger in a few days anyway, a bullet and a winch is probably cheaper at dealing with the agitated steer in the long run than having a rodeo in the middle of the street, albeit a bit less entertaining.

    • She looks like a heifer (young female) to me. There’s no sheath on her underside (where the penis would be located on a steer or bull).

      She is also not a cow. She has no udder indicating motherhood.

  20. My in-laws cows, bulls have gotten out. We directed them back in. If I shot one I wouldn’t want to think about the outcomes. If I had a stubborn one I might use a switch, at most a plastic pipe piece. Best smacked on there nose area. Then there are cattle prods (a battery shock stick)..
    Only time I know of is a donkey nipped cattle, chased the calves around, was acting up and forced a bull to knock down a fence a get out. An we couldn’t get this donkey. So it was hit by a large “bee sting” that help the behavior come to an end.
    Someone should have thought of how to round up those “cows”. As mentioned above a dead “cow” is harder to move. Most I known of have been moved by tractor

  21. Why did they shoot the cows? A bucket of feed and maybe a switch or sorting stick is all you need to get them to go into the trailer.

  22. These are memories I should not share, but with all of the people here calling for small caliber rounds to the head, because that’s how they do it on the farm, I would kindly remind you that we aren’t talking about happy cows in the pen.
    Cows are big, and surprisingly fast, and can seriously take some punishment.
    For instance, many, many years ago I was hog hunting at night. We were just using a 7mm-08 and flashlights. The property owner kept talking about this one giant black hog he kept seeing every night. So no one was surprised when we walked down in a field and saw a giant black pig looking back at us in the light of the flashlight. But man, that pig was HUGE. The land owner told me “SHOOT IT SHOOT IT NOW”. I was really unsure, cause, damn that pig is big. Too big. I told the owner that I didn’t think that was a pig, I thought it was a cow. He assured me that no cows were in the area, and it was his property, so I shot the pig dead in the center of the chest from about 80 yards away.
    Not a pig. Not a cow.
    A bull. A very angry bull. Which had crashed through a fence on his property at some point previous and was visiting his dewberry patches each evening.
    A very, very angry bull.
    He shrugged off the round. As in, he limped for a couple of weeks but no medical attention was provided or required. He was fine. 145grain Speet Hot Cor round. And it didn’t even slow him down. That bull made that field off limits to anyone for about a month.

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