Sunday, March 06, 2016

Baxter Black - The tranquilizer gun

Unless you’re a tiger trimmer in Tanganyika, the tranquilizer gun has not lived up to its potential.  During its preliminary promotion, it was touted as the greatest invention since the rope.  But, in the livestock business, it has never quite fulfilled its expectations.  The biggest problem seems to be its predictable unpredictable results.

Most large-animal vets have tranquilizer guns.  Some of my colleagues learned the fine art of using one.  The rest of us have stuck away with our fleams and hog cholera vaccine.  I suspect “operator error” had a lot to do with our failures.

Dr. Green said he and Dr. Corley used it with success when they were gatherin’ wild cattle down in Mississippi.  It gave them an advantage over better ropers in the area. Even a good roper has to get within throwin’ distance.

The Outlaw family had eight cows and one uncatchable wanderin’ bull.  The bull was part Braymer…the uncatchable part. Mr. Outlaw kept ‘em in a scrubby pasture next to his neighbor.  This neighbor practiced rotational grazing and his pasture was lush. Mr. Outlaw’s bull spent most of his time at the neighbors.  Since the bull managed to crawl back through and breed the eight cows every spring, Mr. Outlaw saw no reason to be concerned.

When the threats became unbearable, Mr. Outlaw finally agreed to sell his wanderin’ bull.  He called on Drs. Green and Corley to expedite the matter.

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