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Hello. I'm a fairly new GeoCacher and this is my first posting on the forums. I really need some help!

 

Whenever I can, I enjoy walking to caches rather than driving as close as I can and then grabbing them. I had planned a route to a cache that took me along a lot of public footpaths. However one as being used by a herd of cattle. I initially decided that I would walk the perimeter of their field to get to the other side, yet they had other plans for me. They chased me and I lept over a barbed wire fence, loosing my map and ripping my trousers in the process. What could I do to prevent this happening again?

 

Thanks in advance,

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Hello. I'm a fairly new GeoCacher and this is my first posting on the forums. I really need some help!

 

Whenever I can, I enjoy walking to caches rather than driving as close as I can and then grabbing them. I had planned a route to a cache that took me along a lot of public footpaths. However one as being used by a herd of cattle. I initially decided that I would walk the perimeter of their field to get to the other side, yet they had other plans for me. They chased me and I lept over a barbed wire fence, loosing my map and ripping my trousers in the process. What could I do to prevent this happening again?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Hi Nick

 

Sadly very little you can do other than avoid footpaths going through fields with cattle ! After some nasty experiences myself I would very rarely use such paths. Depends where you are of course but generally cattle are not in remote areas where there may be no other route - I would try to take a diversion to rejoin the chosen path further up, or even alter my route entirely rather than mess with a few hundredweight of prime beef. Had such a GC trip today in Derbyshire - hundred-plus frisky cows across two fields I needed to cross; by the time I'd walked round an alternative route to approach the cache from a different angle, they'd all been taken away for milking ! Oh, and put the map in a plastic wallet with a neck strap - won't save your trousers though !

 

TAGANDY

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Turned up to one cache with a bull right on the footpath - and we had to pass him again on way back.

 

Day before - we had walked through a field of horses and we possibly had more an issue with them.

 

Do what you feel OK with, find another route or forget the cache. I guess as livestock is moved between fields, it's difficult for cache owners to know of any perils enroute.

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Whenever I can, I enjoy walking to caches rather than driving as close as I can and then grabbing them. I had planned a route to a cache that took me along a lot of public footpaths. However one as being used by a herd of cattle. I initially decided that I would walk the perimeter of their field to get to the other side, yet they had other plans for me. They chased me and I lept over a barbed wire fence, loosing my map and ripping my trousers in the process. What could I do to prevent this happening again?

Take a stick to wave at the approaching cattle. Should you not have one, don't run away as they'll think it's a great game of "chase".

Turn and face them confidently, hold your arms out to make yourself look bigger (or point the stick at them) and sternly tell them to back off. If they continue approaching, then step towards them, not away. There's usually just one or two that get a bit cheeky and you need to show them that you're not afraid (even if you are!). They'll stop, and you can continue. If they start following again, turn around and warn them off again.

 

I know it's not so easy when you're actually faced with the herd, but it'll work.

 

I've walked thousands of miles around the UK and rarely have a problem, despite many miles through fields of cows (plus steers and the odd bull). Normally the cattle are allowed to graze on the footpath because the farmer knows that they are pretty harmless.

However, I have a healthy respect for big animals and I assess them before entering the field. If they are crowding around the stile and look very frisky I might just take the long way round (via the next field). If they are grouped together right on the path I'll give them a bit of a wide berth. But I don't recall having to do this very often.

Edited by Happy Humphrey
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If cows or bullocks follow you run straight at them hollering and waving your coat. They'll soon turn tail (usually) and then treat you with a bit more respect. Bulls are more difficult, but dangerous breeds shouldn't be in fields with public footpaths.

 

The dog and I were being put upon in Devon a couple of months ago by a herd of cows, I chased them a few yards and they went to the bottom of the field after that. Just remember who's top predator on this planet and don't be put off by walking Bovril!

 

Edit - HH's advice above is better than mine, but seriously don't be frightened of cows.

Edited by The Patrician
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Hello Nick and welcome to the game.

Thehoomer have had more run-ins with our bovine friends than you can shake a stick at (yes, weve tried that too). We always have our dog with us and this doesnt help, cows are generally more interested in you if you have a canine companion. If you are desparate to get this cache and it is local to you, try going at a different time of day. Cattle often have a set pattern in how they move around the fields , I dont know if this is a grazing pattern or something to do with the sun moving round but it may be worth trying a different time. Diversion tactics sometimes work too. You could try taking someone with you and ask them to do some arm waving and calling, whilst you make the grab. Can you try approaching the cache from the other end of the footpath it is on? To be honest though, there are loads of caches everywhere now and personally, I would leave this one well alone, especially after your close call.

If you do a search on this forum, you will find lots of information and discussion on this topic.

Hope this helps but my advice would be.....go and find a safer one.

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Of the three of my team i am the only one who is scared of cattle. I have had a nasty run in with a horse once so now i won't go in a field with them but i have never had any incidents with cows. Despite that, they scare the hell out of me.

 

The majority of caches in my area seem to either be in a field full of cattle or sheep, or include a walk through said field in order to get to it. Not an ideal situation. I am constantly told that cows aren't dangerous, they won't charge and trample me and they are just interested because normally it would be the farmer in their field with goodies.

 

I have to say, the only thing that gets me through a field to a cache is by making my other two team members stand between me and them, so if the demon cows of doom decide to charge me down then they will die first! :D

 

After all, it's not about being faster than the cows, just faster than my teamies :)

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Advice regarding cattle around rights of way in Uk from Ramblers Association here: http://www.ramblers.org.uk/rights_of_way/knowledge_portal/advice_notes/animals.htm

 

Advice for crossing a barbed wire fence - ideally don't do it, but a map in a map case gives reasonable protection if you're careful!

 

Personally, having grown up in rural Worcestershire, I am delighted to have found myself at university in Newcastle upon Tyne, where there are friendly cattle on Town Moor & Castle Leazes, and now working in Cambridge, where many fens and commons have cattle and cycle paths / foot paths - usually, I stop to give them a pat or let them lick my hands. And I work at Wandlebury Country Park, which means I go into field with Highland cattle every shift :-)

Edited by Copepod
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in Newcastle upon Tyne, where there are friendly cattle on Town Moor & Castle Leazes

 

Ahhh....my old stamping ground...

 

As I grew up amongst the friendly cattle on Castle Leazes I've never had any problems with cows myself. If I'm out in the countryside and any cows get a bit too curious (and I'm sure that's what it is - curiosity, not agression) I just face them, clap loudly and wave my arms around a lot and that seems to discourage them.

Edited by Dave from Glanton
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One of my recent logs:-

 

This was an easy find with the large herd of young hiefers already showing interest. They took a lot of persuasion to stop following me, I'd get them to stop, only for me to look over my shoulder and there they were up close and personal again. At one stage having built up a bit of a safe distance (I thought) they decided it was a bit too much and raced towards me. A bit of loud shouting and lots of general arm waving seemed to do the trick. Mind you I kept the low barbed wire fence prety close by as my emergency escape route

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Hi Nick,

 

In my experience if you just walk at a steady pace and ignore the beasts they won't pay you any more attention than a curious stare. Having said that, one of my jogging routes goes through a field of cows and they have never bothered me either. Maybe cows are more docile in the southeast?!

 

It seems a shame to alter your planned walking route or caching plans due to inquisitive bovines. So steady walking, no showing any signs of fear and no running is my advice for what it's worth.

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Are these a new breed of cows or genetically modified? :unsure:

 

Seriously, as lost! says, they are usually very docile animals, especially if ignored. I live in an area with cows all round and they usually run if you even walk in their direction.

 

As someone said, bulls shouldn't be in publicly accessable fields.

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Personally I walk through a field which regularly has cows in it, when walking my 2 Poodles. The advice to let the dogs go if the cows curiosity brings them over to inquire about them. Being to let the dogs go, who will find their own way out of the field. Does not work as one cowers behind my legs :laughing: and the other goes nose to nose with them in a sniffing contest :laughing: which is funny when you consider her nose is the size of half my thumb . Yet a cows is bigger than my hand :laughing:

 

So despite my personal fears of them, (despite once chasing a Bull back into a farmers yard in my slippers :yikes:), I've learned to just shout at them telling them to go and find some grass elsewhere :anicute: (well as the advice is to shout, I might as well shout good advice :laughing:) and wave my hands in the air. They tend to stop in their tracks when they get near us (I wonder if they think there is a idiot shouting stupid advice at us :laughing:)

 

Now Horses on the other hand are something which I will not go in the same field as, after having one turn nasty at me, whilst quietly crossing a field.

 

Deci

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Hi Nick,

 

In my experience if you just walk at a steady pace and ignore the beasts they won't pay you any more attention than a curious stare. Having said that, one of my jogging routes goes through a field of cows and they have never bothered me either. Maybe cows are more docile in the southeast?!

 

It seems a shame to alter your planned walking route or caching plans due to inquisitive bovines. So steady walking, no showing any signs of fear and no running is my advice for what it's worth.

 

Having a dog with you is bad news; cows don't know about dogs, they think "wolf". If they attack or are aggressive, don't try to defend the dog, let the dog off its leash, it'll take care of itself by rapidly running away, and that'll make the cows happier. Then continue as below

 

If it's cows with calves, remember their maternal instincts; don't get between the cow and her calf. I try to walk around the herd, rather than through it. But recently, the herd was blocking the exit stile, so I just had to walk through them. I walked fairly slowly, making plenty of shooing noises.

 

If it's a herd of bullocks, that makes me a bit nervous; if they gather in a group and start chanting "You're going home in an ambuilance", I might avoid their field altogether.

 

Sometimes I use a whistle, blown hard at the herd. That usually shifts them.

 

I walk with a walking pole, which I've never had to use on an animal, but obviously if it was me or her, my instincts would be for self-preservation.

 

Remember - cows eat grass, not people, and they've been bred for docility for thousands of years. On the other hand, people do eat cows. Sometimes I say "Horseradish sauce" to them in a menacing tone of voice.

 

I've never had any trouble with cows, although once I wouldn't enter a field full of aggressive bullocks. Susan was bitten on the elbow by a very young horse once, and now she's *very* nervous of horses (bruise, but no blood, I think it just wanted to play) and I've been bitten by an Alsatian dog in the last few days, drawing blood. I don't know what effect that's going to have on my attitude to dogs.

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I usually just walk a wide circle around them if on my own and they rarely take much notice.

 

I'll avoid cattle if I'm with the dog though as they often get really curious about her and come over. I don't like that, and neither does she - the more she leaps around on the end of the lead trying to get away, the closer they come ;-(

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I bet the Bull did wish it had my slippers on and could have put its feet up :laughing:, after the Farmer came and chased it back out of the yard :yikes: because it wasn't his Bull, but his Heifers were in the cattle sheds in the yard :yikes:. As to why I chased the Bull in the first place? Well I was used to chasing the cows back into the yard after they had escaped, I just forgot to check the underneath of the animal first :anicute: to make sure it had a milk machine there :laughing:. A lesson I've never forgotten :laughing:

 

Girls are friendly :laughing:

Boys are frisky (if your another Bovine) :laughing:

Boys and Girls together, Avoid! :yikes:

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I always take care around cattle, as they can be unpredictable especially if not used to people (those on lesser trod paths always seem more curious than those on well traveled routes in my experience), but they have not yet put me off walking through fields.

 

Horses, having volunteered at the local horse santuary I'm quite comfortable around horses, they are stronged willed though so I do have a respect for them. Have walked through lots of fields of horses with no problems.

 

Dogs, I find with cattle the calmer the dog the less likely they are to react. I regually take my non-working sheepdog to fields of cows for socialisation so she's usually pretty calm around cattle.

 

Of course, maybe I've been lucky so far!

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Are these a new breed of cows or genetically modified? :unsure:

 

Seriously, as lost! says, they are usually very docile animals, especially if ignored. I live in an area with cows all round and they usually run if you even walk in their direction.

 

As someone said, bulls shouldn't be in publicly accessable fields.

 

Bulls cannot be legally let loose in a field that has a public RoW through it IF THEY ARE ON THEIR OWN but they can be in a field with a public RoW through it if they are accompanied by a minimum of (I think) 6 cows.

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Thanks for all the advice. I went again the next day, sticks and whistle at the ready to make loud noises. The cows were there ready for me again and came rushing over to the fence as I arrived so just clearing them from the gate was fun and games. Much shouting and running at the cows (from behind the gate) cleared the herd but the curious one still wanted to play so I moved out, sticks up and ready. I'm surprised a farmer didn't come out and shoot me the amount of noise I had to to make to get them to move! Thanks for all the advice and hopefully I'll be alright in the future. Interestingly the horses in the previous fields bolted at the sight of me this time round which is also a bit scary and they can run a bit faster.

 

Happy caching!

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I'm not scared of cattle and 99% of the time walk through their fields with no trouble. But I do have a healthy respect for them and their size. Sometimes a cache just isn't worth it - if they look particularly frisky or are crowding a stile I usually walk away. Once smiley isn't always worth the risk.

Through my job I've seen first hand the damage a stampeeding herd can do. I was involved in a case where a farmer was crushed to death by his own cattle. It wasn't pretty.

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The wife and I were once quietly crossing a field when we heard a sound like thunder, looked round and a herd of young bullocks were charging towards us :o This resulted in us jumping a barbed wire fence.(hint: I threw my jacket over the top of the fence where we climbed over to save losing any valubles! Its an old jacket I wear so dont mind the odd hole too much) Once over the fence we were trapped by the hedge behind and ended up scurrying underneath to the next field! Much shouting and waving arms did not budge them from their curiosity! ( not even shouting `big mac` at them)

 

We also had trouble where a horse would not let us through a gate, he came over to say hello but was pushing agaisnt the gate and it would not budge. I had to distract it with grass further down the field so the wife could make it past. ( I`m braver and had no problem walking across the field with a friendly horse following on my heels.

 

From experiance, when i see livestock, espcially cows, I always stick to the edge of a field so I have a quick escape route, and always grab a stick, not so much a big clobbering one but more a long swishy one like a whip.

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I always remember a time I was driving in the New Forest when I was stuck because of cows in the road. A tractor pulled up behind me, the driver got out, walked past my car to the cows and waved his arms at them while shouting something that sounded like "hooah". With that the cows cleared off, leaving the road clear. As he went back to his tractor I heard him muttering something about townies...

 

So now any time I need to clear cows I just do much the same thing, and it's never let me down yet.

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