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Where to shoot a cow (courtesy
“A cow escaped from a slaughterhouse and headed for the grounds of Munich’s Oktoberfest,” reports, “triggering a high-speed police pursuit. The bovine, which fled after a worker mistakenly left a gate open, ran through the southern German city. A 28-year old woman who was out jogging was injured by the cow. ‘The animal stabbed its horns into the woman’s back, who had to be brought to a hospital with massive injuries,’ police spokesman Carsten Neubert told NBC News.” Bovine attacks are not uncommon. Cows kill about 22 Americans a year. offers this advice . . .

If you detect an aggressive cow or a threatening group of cows, keep moving calmly and do not make direct eye contact. Keep your body facing the cow; do not turn your back to the animal or run.

How great is that?

As this is a gun blog, an obvious question arises: would your self-defense firearm be sufficient to take out a cow? Answer: shot placement! Plenty of people slaughter cows uses a .22-caliber firearm to send meat-on-the-hoof to the Great Pasture in the Sky. But then, those cows never saw it coming.

As a public service, for your personal protection, here’s‘s advice on the subject [illustration at the top of this post].

Aim carefully for the invisible X above the eyes, and then squeeze the trigger. If your shot is right on the mark, then the animal will die instantly or be rendered insensible.

In order to know where to place the bullet from your gun to render the animal insensible, an invisible X should be visualized: Start at the top of the base of the animal’s horn or ear, then trace it to the center of the opposite eye. Do the same with the other ear or eye. (Or think of it this way: left ear/horn to right eye, right ear/horn to left eye.) The center were the lines meet is where the bullet should be placed.

If the gun is placed in between the eyes, the shot will completely miss the brain and quite possibly fail to kill. Thus it is very important to know where to place the gun in order to let the animal meet a swift and painless end.

It seems the Germans have that information:

The 1,200-pound animal ran toward the Oktoberfest field where workers were setting up tents for the beer festival, which is due to begin in two weeks. “The cow then tried to attack another person and was luckily blocked by a police vehicle, which eventually got damaged by the impact,” Neubert said. Because the cow could not be subdued, officers eventually had to kill it with two shots from a rifle. Officials at the slaughterhouse confirmed that the meat would be disposed of and would not end up on Oktoberfest’s grills.

Germans don’t eat what they kill? Or is this an example of political correctness run amok in the Federal Republic? If so, the best course of action to avoid future bloodshed: ban cows!

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  1. as a one time farm boy I’ve had my fair share of run ins with bovine critters. They’re large, surprisely fast and nimble and many of them have pointy objects on their heads to go with those hooves.

    But I’d rather deal with cows than pigs. Those basterds are mean and they think.

    • I worked on a few pig farms as a teen. They are borderline evil. That may play a small part in why I now enjoy eating pork so much. And don’t get me started on goats ….

    • Yea, pigs are interesting. I had one hampshire that followed me like a puppy. Hated everyone else and would chase them. Hate to think what would have happened if she caught someone.

    • 357 magnum Black Talon HP knocked that sow down & she got up chased me came back out with 308 finished it to see that head shot between eyes inch high did not fully penetrate skull. Have a lot of respect for pigs.

  2. I grew up in California and was taught that gows go moo and generally docile. Then I moved to southwest Florida and learned cows say “MRAUGHHH!!!” and and aren’t afraid to chase you up trees. Tasty, they are, cute and docile, they are not. I carry a glock 19 and I don’t think id stick around to try for the perfect shot placement if I had any other options. Cows are also large. A lot larger than they appear on your milk carton.

  3. The meat got outside of a controlled environment and has a bit of lead inside it.
    Not that I would care, but you have to be really picky when selling or giving away food. Look away for one second and someone’s trying to sue for spoiled meat…

    • I’m thinking more like which internal organs were hit by the rifle rounds? Could be a bad bodily waste contamination problem, depending. AND I’m betting the carcass wasn’t gutted and cooled right away. They did right.

  4. “Officials at the slaughterhouse confirmed that the meat would be disposed of and would not end up on Oktoberfest’s grills.”
    That’s just stupid. Seriously, I don’t get it. Also, I’m willing to bet it was a bull, not a cow.

    I grew up on a dairy farm and later had my own herd. Once as a child, my dad was attempting to put a dying cow out if its misery by shooting it in the head with a .22, and the bullets just bounced off.

    Years later, when attempting the same euthanasia on one of my own cows, the vet advised me to shoot from behind the poll (the top part of the skull where the horns grow), and aim for the tip of the nose. Dead cow instantly on the fist shot, with a .22. The cow’s brain is only about the size of 1/2 pound of ground beef – it helps to know where it’s located inside that massive skull.

  5. I remember the Brahma buy were importing into Louisiana (to increase the heat tolerance of the cows or something). Most cows would run, but they would just stand there and give you the evil eye.

  6. There’s a “perfect” shot with a .22, when you can get everything lined up, and then there’s the “Oh, shit!” moment more like the moose vs. snowmobiler DGU. I wouldn’t want to stake my life on a KJW moment.

    While 13 rounds of .40 Smith 180 grain JHP against a running bull isn’t ideal, I’d take that over 11 rounds of .22 LR, 7 rounds of. .380, or 6 rounds of .38 Special any day. And I’d much rather have a .30 / 30, .308, or 300 BLK patrol rifle over a 5.56.

    Sometimes caliber matters a whole lot, especially if you don’t have enough. And if you’re stuck with no caliber whatsoever (probably combined with zero situational awareness) than you may be well and truly buggered.

    • There is one thing to use a lightweight round on 1200lb animal in controlled environment but out in the pasture or range when you can’t line up the perfect shot unless you are Jerry Miculek I would advise the use of at least a 308 if not a larger caliber.

    • My first thought was this song precisely. Seriously though, cow escapes, gores a pedestrian, is involved in a high-speed pursuit and goes out in a shootout with the cops. I thought England had the mad cows. That’s straight up gangsta. It’s Grand Theft Auto: Moonich.

  7. That story mooved me to go fix a burger! Seriously why wouldn’t Germans eat this cow? Never got chased by a cow(or a pig) but I spent a summer riding horses with a long ago girlfriend. Large animals can easily kill you.

  8. I live in Bavaria, trust me when I say that there was plenty of cow, pig, and chicken meat at Oktoberfest already.. “disposed of” in this case probably means that the slaughterhouse guys gave it away to their neighbors or family members.

  9. I’ve been around lots of cows, some aggressive, some placid. Dairy cattle are the worst, because you’re often in a confined space and the cattle know exactly who has the advantage. Range cattle are often more easily pressured away from you.

    If I have to deal with cattle in a tight spot? I’m going to use a hot shot or prod, not a gun. That cow is someone’s property and right now, with cattle prices at very high levels, I’m not going to try to incur a multi-$K liability that I don’t need.

    BTW – you folks back east who visit the rural west: You want to learn about open range states and who pays whom when you hit a cow on the road.

    • +1 on learning about free-range laws. A close encounter of the herd kind could be a very bad day indeed, especially if you only have only liability. If you have comp and collision, you’re still out your deductible. And that’s if you’re not hurt.


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