Outdoors Column: Never a Dull Moment

As the average temperature steadily goes down, a person begins to think of the upcoming winter weather and what needs to be done before it sets in. During the summer, it seems it will never get cold again and there is plenty of time to do all those little jobs that are so easy to put off. One of those jobs is fixing fence.


I have about a half mile of fence that goes through the timber next to the long hayfield. If anyone is familiar with having a fence that is next to trees, they know, trees will fall on the fence. The number and size of the trees that squash the fence is closely related to how good the condition of the fence is. A really good fence will have enormous oak trees fall on it that will take two days of chain sawing to get it off. Fortunately, this particular section of fence has seen better days, so the trees or branches that fall on it can be sawn off fairly easily.


This fence separates my hayfield from my Father’s pasture. One day this summer, after my hay was out, I noticed several of his cattle in my field. There was plenty of grass to trim around the edges so I left them there. They could not go anywhere and would fertilize my field as they wandered about. This was the part I decided to repair on a Sunday afternoon. It was a nice day so my wife decided to come along and help. Loading the Ranger with fencing tools, supplies, and two dogs, we headed over the hill and through the woods. We found where a tree had fallen on the fence and the cattle had made a nice opening to accommodate their comings and goings. We drove around the herd and ran them through the fence before starting repairs. I cut the offending tree and removed it and turned to get a post. A half grown calf came strolling up to see what was going on. We backed off and let him go through before continuing our repair.


The dogs were having a great time running around, checking out all the sights and scents. We had not seen them for quite some time when it was getting time to go. I was standing back admiring the fine job I had done repairing the gaping hole in the fence when my wife yelled, “Look out!” I turned to see a large black bull charging down the hill with two dogs chasing him. He was making a bee-line to the opening in the fence to escape his tormenters. The only problem was, the hole in the fence was no longer there. He did not seem to notice. I stepped out of his way and a ton of bull went through my nice looking newly patched fence. It did not look quite as good the second time around but I felt fairly confident it would turn a bull, unless he was desperately searching for a way home with the encouragement of two dogs.


My wife and I had a pleasant ride home, enjoying the changing fall colors in the timber. The dogs ran along contentedly knowing they had saved the world from a marauding bull as well as having taught several rabbits and squirrels a good lesson. It seems there is never a dull moment in our lives, even when we undertake the simplest tasks.