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I spend a lot of time on southern California trails so I am quite comfortable around coyotes, mule deer, rattlesnakes, bobcats, feral parrots, etc. What got me a little unnerved was some wild cows last year. It wasn't just me, it started to make the LA news. My experience was with a stampede of about 20 cows across a path that dipped so I could only hear them as they approached the trail. They passed in front of me with no problems. In another case, two bulls stared me down on a trail I had to go down and at a point where I couldn't go around them. I made a point of having a burger after each encounter.

Here's the cow news.

 

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Did a rancher put them out there to graze then forgot to round them up?

reminds me of a time, I was doing dishes looking out the window, and here comes a herd of cattle from a farm up the road, dogs went crazy, then they decided they liked the back yard. I couldn't take the dogs out, it's pretty scary, so I understand what you went thru.
 

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In the article it calls them rogue cows. Cows that have broken out of fences and such. Cows are usually scared of loud noises and will typically walk away from you if you try to approach them. Cows watch people and it is creepy but they aren't sizing you up or anything just curious. If a bull or a steer are going to come after you (which is very rare) they will paw at the ground, hang their head, and/or swing their horns around to warn you first.
Honestly if you just ignore then and give them their space they will leave you alone.
 

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These cows are a *little* different. The herds I'm used to dealing with have been "on their own" for a long time now and been reproducing, and they've actually become quite feral. They're no longer docile farm cows. They can be very aggressive, which is necessary for survival as they now have to deal with coyotes, bobcats and mountain lions. They'll stand in the middle of the road and you can drive right up to them. They won't move. You can honk, they don't care. They've been known to kick cars before.

Here's a photo of a big bull that chased me and a friend down a trail once. My friend thought it would be a good idea to chase them off the property. I tried to tell her that they WILL charge, but she's done it plenty of times before with no issues. I was staying behind her. This bull got separated from the rest and he was PISSED. He came right towards us and we had to run. Ran off trail and hurled ourselves over a barbed wire fence. Luckily he decided not to pursue us further.

I'm really paranoid around cows now...Like, even just your typical farm cow that really won't do anything to you. I don't like being anywhere near them.

His hornspan was at least 3 feet across, if not more.

 

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Cows have chased me and my dogs out of pastures when we were training. Even farm cows will chase a dog and if they have calves they're very protective. I can only imagine how protective feral cows must be. If you've got your dog with you, be sure you've got him under control.
 

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These cows are a *little* different. The herds I'm used to dealing with have been "on their own" for a long time now and been reproducing, and they've actually become quite feral. They're no longer docile farm cows. They can be very aggressive, which is necessary for survival as they now have to deal with coyotes, bobcats and mountain lions. They'll stand in the middle of the road and you can drive right up to them. They won't move. You can honk, they don't care. They've been known to kick cars before.

Here's a photo of a big bull that chased me and a friend down a trail once. My friend thought it would be a good idea to chase them off the property. I tried to tell her that they WILL charge, but she's done it plenty of times before with no issues. I was staying behind her. This bull got separated from the rest and he was PISSED. He came right towards us and we had to run. Ran off trail and hurled ourselves over a barbed wire fence. Luckily he decided not to pursue us further.

I'm really paranoid around cows now...Like, even just your typical farm cow that really won't do anything to you. I don't like being anywhere near them.

His hornspan was at least 3 feet across, if not more.


The spread on those horns look more than 3 feet.

It is scary, and to think my Uncle had a dairy farm, and as kids we would jump on the backs and have a very uncomfortable short ride...all spine.
 

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I didn't mean to sound like cows can't be dangerous Of course a 2000lb animal with or without horns can be dangerous even deadly. They aren't predators and they typically won't just attack which is why I suggested giving them room and ignoring them. In both examples the humans were a threat in the eyes of the cattle.
 

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I didn't mean to sound like cows can't be dangerous Of course a 2000lb animal with or without horns can be dangerous even deadly. They aren't predators and they typically won't just attack which is why I suggested giving them room and ignoring them. In both examples the humans were a threat in the eyes of the cattle.
Of course. But these cows are far MORE likely to see you as a threat than farm cows no matter what you're doing. You don't have to be intentionally messing with them. You can mind your own business, give space and if they don't like you over there they will let you know. Usually you're fine if you ignore them and give them some space and intentionally avoid them. But you can never take your attention off them. They may not be predators, but don't put it past then not to kick a car driving by or charge you instead of just avoiding perceived danger. Some of those herds are several generations feral. They don't want to be prey.

They're like the African water buffalo of the Americas.
 

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I think our disagreement or misunderstanding is our concept of cattle. I grew up on a large ranch about 10,000 acres with thousands of cows. The cattle did not have daily or even monthly hands on contact with humans. Their behavior is more similar to the cattle in the article than a docile farm cow. Dairy cows who are worked twice a day during their lactation period are very "tame" or docile while a cow, steer, or bull worked twice a year are much more "feral"
 
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