Hello everyone, since I am staying at my parents’ home tonight to be closer than usual to all of that delightful calving activity, I have a little extra time on my hands to relay a funny mishap that I had yesterday.
Aside from today the last week of calving has been accomplished with unseasonably warm temperatures, which has been more than appreciated because we have hit the hard runs that happen between a quarter and half. This has altered my usual calving attire that consists of shotgun chaps and muck boots to just my jeans and a pair of lace-up moccasins. I prefer my jeans a little longer than I need so that when I ride or sit they don't become "high-water" and thus I roll up the cuffs to keep the bottoms from wearing out.
I was rather fatigued and ready to end my shift at dusk but had just one more calf to tag as to make life easier for our night calver. It had just been born and was sopping wet so instead of straddling its slimy neck with my jeans, a swift nudge with my foot to knock it over and a light step on its neck provided the proper ear in an erect manner for easy tagging.
I feel this to be an excellent time to add that I was in haste with this procedure as its mother wasn't keen on my presence and had given me all of the telltale signs that I should be well on my way. With her bellering at my knee I figured this would just take a second and I would acquiesce. With my Z-tagger at the ready, I gave a swift pinch and as I recall it required considerable more effort than it should have to pierce the tender ear of the newborn. After further deliberation I realized that I was caught in a very unfortunate situation (one that I had never before encountered) as I had inadvertently snapped my pant leg to the ear of the baby calf.
Now I will take a moment to explain that anyone who has ever tagged a baby calf tries to take every precaution of safety as it can be a rather dangerous proposition. As a rule, I try to never stray more than five feet from my Polaris Ranger as to have some form of barrier from the sometimes concerned mothers. However, living on the wild side and with a naturally rebellious spirit I was a good 6 feet from my Ranger when this happened. The uh-oh factor had kicked in and it was time to make a split decision.
With self-preservation in mind, I quickly grabbed the well-lubricated victim and lugged it closer to the four-wheeled "port in the storm." Hunched as close to the floor boards (between the seat and steering wheel) as I could. I reached in my pocket for my handy yet complicated and slightly inaccessible multi-tool Leatherman. Finally I edged my blade closer to the ear with three options: one barbaric, one expensive, and one less expensive but more time consuming. In respective order, I could either cut off the ear, pant cuff, or ear tag. With time of the essence, I opted for the middle and more humane option. With the precision of a dime store surgeon my leg was freed from its captor and none too soon for all parties involved. From what I can tell all will be forgiven and forgotten except for the scar my pants shall bear for eternity.