Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 11-28-11 |

Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 11-28-11

Gathering and selling cattle will usually lead to some kind of good story. Most of the time the story is based upon some critter that nobody can catch or load, some critter going through the fence or gate, somebody getting hurt a bit, someone getting splashed with manure, or at least some trouble with horses, ATVs, trucks or trailers.

But there are still other, more unusual, kinds of cattle handling stories, and my good friend from Gridley, Kan., ol’ Hawlin Backe, experienced one of these unusual stories last week.

Hawlin and his good wife Bea decided, with the cattle market high, that it would be a good time to sell a load of freshly-weaned calves. So, they gathered up a trailer-load of calves and got them separated and loaded without incident.

Hawlin recalls thinking to himself as he drove to the auction market, “Maybe this is going to be one of those rare times when everything goes right.” That turned out to be wishful thinking.

They got their cattle hauled to the auction just fine. They got them unloaded just fine. Then, they watched a few drafts of cattle sell and decided not to wait to see their cattle sell because they didn’t want to waste the time. 

So, they headed home. Again, the trip wuz without incident. When Hawlin and Bea got home, Hawlin backed the trailer into it’s accustomed parking spot, jacked it up to unhook it from the ball hitch and then he heard something from within the trailer. It sounded just like a critter.

Alas, when ol’ Hawlin peeked through the sides of the trailer what met his surprised gaze were two frightened eyes of a four-weight heifer. Sure enuf, somehow that heifer had not unloaded at the auction barn with the rest of her trailer-mates.

Now that’s funny. I’ve known folks who took cattle to the sale barn and brought back more head than they took, but Hawlin’s the first feller I’ve known who brought back home a critter he intended to sell.

That’s a good cattle story to add to your repertoire of cattle stories.


Last Saturday wuz the opening day of the Kansas quail and pheasant hunting season. Usually, a group of friends and I go to Pratt, Kan., to hunt pheasants with one of my old college buddies at Bea Wilder U.

But, this year, thanks to the drought and heat, my buddy said the pheasant population around Pratt is nil this year and it wuzn’t worth the trip. So, we reversed roles this year and he came up to Damphewmore Acres to hunt some of the pen-raised quail that my buddy Rollin Birdz and me raised this summer. Sadly, I’ve reached the point in life when pen-raised quail best suit my reflexes and my endurance. Plus, I always know I’ll have yummy quail to eat with the hunt’s over.

Saturday morning the three of us had a successful hunt in windy conditions. Then Sunday afternoon, we drove to a pasture with enuf grass for good bird cover. For our opening hunt, we decided to try a different approach. The plan wuz to toss two quail into the air, let them fly off into the cover, then we’d loose the bird dogs and go hunt the birds.

But, that plan immediately went awry. The first quail we tossed into the wind flew a couple hundred yards but, before it even lit, from out of nowhere a pair of prairie falcons were on it like a duck on a june bug. I don’t know where those predators came from, but they feasted upon our first quail.

Thankfully, while those falcons were busy eating, we hunted the rest of our quail without sharing them with those feathered felons.


While I’m on the subject of guns and wildlife, I want to share with you an e-mail I received from Nebraska about why California is broke and Texas ain’t.

The Governor of California is jogging with his dog along a nature trail. A coyote jumps out and kills the Governor’s dog, then bites the Governor. 

The Governor starts to intervene, but reflects upon the movie “Bambi” and then realizes he should stop because the coyote is only doing what is natural. 

So, he calls Animal Control. Animal Control captures the coyote and bills the state $200 for testing it for rabies and other possible diseases and $500 for relocating it. The Governor also calls a veterinarian. The vet collects the dead dog and bills the State $200 testing it for diseases.

The Governor then goes to hospital and spends $3,500 getting checked for rabies from the coyote and on getting his bite wound bandaged.

The running trail gets shut down for six months while Fish and Game conducts a $100,000 survey to make sure the area is now free of dangerous animals. The Governor is encouraged by Friends of Wildlife to spend $50,000 in state funds implementing a coyote awareness program for residents of the area. Then the state legislature spends $2 million to study how to better treat rabies and how to permanently eradicate the disease throughout the world. 

But, that’s not all. The Governor’s security agent is fired for not stopping the attack. The state spends $150,000 to hire and train a new agent with additional special training on the nature of coyotes.

And, finally, PETA protests the coyote’s relocation and files a $5 million suit against the state. 

Now contrast that story with a similar one from Texas. The Governor of Texas is jogging with his dog along a nature trail. A coyote jumps out and attacks his dog.

The Governor shoots the coyote with his state-issued pistol and keeps jogging. The Governor has spent 50-cents on a .45 cartridge. 

And, the buzzards eat the dead coyote.

And that, my friends, is why California is broke and Texas is not. 


I’ve gone too long. So, I’ll close with these words of wisdom about hunting from the late, great racing legend Dale Earnhardt, “When he was young, I told Dale Jr. that hunting and racing are a lot alike. Holding that steering wheel and holding that rifle both mean you better be responsible.”

Have a good ‘un.

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