Where they came from was still not clear early this week, but a group of nine cows wreaked havoc near Cabool for much of last week.
“We got a report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol on Friday that there had been cattle out just west of Cabool for the better part of last week,” Texas County Sheriff Carl Watson said.
The stray cattle were taking advantage of a large tract of land that was without fencing, darting in and out of wooded spaces and unabashedly running around. They weren’t about to start bunching or acting like tame pasture pets.
“They were about as wild as could be,” Watson said.
On Friday, a group of local farmers teamed up with Watson in an attempted roundup. But even though the posse included several highly experienced cattlemen armed with tranquilizer guns and other gear, not a single cow was captured.
A group of six cowboys returned to the location on Saturday, this time with the intention of doing some roping. The ploy worked, as three of the animals were lassoed and loaded into trailers, and five more were corralled in an adjacent property.
“We’ve got some guys in the county who are pretty good cowboys,” Watson said. “They can get the cattle caught when they need to. It was quite a deal to watch.”
The captured cattle were taken to an area sale barn, while the ninth member of the group remained on the loose.
“They were running all over the highways,” Watson said. “It’s a wonder we didn’t get a bunch of cattle hit and people hurt.
“I’ve been around cattle all my life, and I’ve never seen them act like this.”
Watson said Monday he was following up on a lead to find the animals’ owners, who might live in the St. Louis area.
“We have a name,” Watson said. “But we’re not sure whether it’s good or bad.”