Mules are strange creatures. They are hybrid offspring from a male donkey(jack) bred to a female horse(mare). They are sterile, almost homely animals but are known for their endurance, surefootedness, and the ability to with-stand hard work in hot weather. Most mules are easily kept and handled in places where horses cannot be. Most mules are steady and not nervous. Many mules Ive encountered were easily handled by inexperienced riders without any incidents.
When I first moved to Oklahoma in ’89, I had the opportunity for an entire coon season to hunt off the back of a mule named Jasper behind our hounds. He was fearless and smart. As sure footed as any goat or cat Ive ever seen. I doubted many times some of the terrain I rode across. Terrain I wouldnt cross on my own 2 feet. Jasper’s owner, Tom, who hunted off his snow-white mule just taught me from his saddle, that mules are totally different than horses in a lot of ways. One thing about ‘ole Jasper that made me a huge fan, when we had to cross barb-wire fencing (which on cattleland, 6 strand tight wire is a bitch to get thru/across) Jasper would jump these fences with the ease of a housecat. I carried an extra saddle blanket in the front of my saddle, when it was time to get across the fence, I’d drape the blanket over the wire fence and Jasper (like the other mules) from a couple of steps back, he would spring over the fence with ease. Amazing, I had never encountered such amazing creatures growing up in N.Michigan-I encountered some beautiful and talented horses but never anything like those hunting mules. After that hunting season, I seriously considered buying a mule, but I got more involved in roping and sort of lost the ‘want‘. Occassionally, best friend L. and I talk about our first coon season in Oklahoma..the suprise rattlers we stumbled on, the suprise rare bobcat we’d scare up, and even the suprising rare panther (mt.lion) we encountered. We never talk about the good ‘ole days without mentioning Jasper and Leroy (she rode Leroy, a spotted mule). Yep, those were some good days indeed.
This was sent to me in an email and I thought it was too cool not to share. I am seriously doubting the actual story behind the pictures. I do not know how long these pictures have been around and I also may be totally wrong in my theory. But here are some thoughts:
1. It appears to be winter-time in the pictures which is mountain lion season.
2. The saddle seems to be outfitted for hunting and packing.
3. The 2 hounds in the background give me serious suspicion that this was an actual hunt and not the ‘stalking’ story that was sent behind the pictures. I do not doubt the mule was finishing off the big cat, mules can be excellent protectors(in the 1st pic, the lion is still alive).
Walker hounds are specifically bred for hunting/running bigger game. Ive covered many miles behind some very good Walker hounds on coon hunts, a few big cat hunts, and in N.MI before I moved to Oklahoma, a few black bear.
Anyhow, I wanted to share the pictures with you because,as a hunter, I thought they were neat…sorry if someone finds them offensive, all I can say is DONT LOOK.
Heres the story forwarded with the pictures….
A couple from Montana were out riding on the range, he with his rifle and she (fortunately) with her camera. Their dogs always followed them, but on this occasion a Mountain Lion decided that he wanted to stalk the dogs (you’ll see the dogs in the background watching). Very, very bad decision… The hunter got off the mule with his rifle and decided to shoot in the air to scare away the lion, but before he could get off a shot, the lion charged in and decided he wanted a piece of those dogs. With that, the mule took off and decided he wanted a piece of that lion. That’s when all hell broke loose… for the lion.As the lion approached the dogs the mule snatched him up by the tail and started whirling him around. Banging its head on the ground on every pass. Then he dropped it, stomped on it and held it to the ground by the throat. The mule then got down on his knees and bit the thing all over a couple of dozen times to make sure it was dead, then whipped it into the air again, walked back over to the couple (that were stunned in silence) and stood there ready to continue his ride… as if nothing had just happened. Fortunately even though the hunter didn’t get off a shot, his wife got off these 4. ”
This story below just so happened to be in the Oklahoma local news today:
Mountain Lion Killed In Panhandle KOTV.com
AP – 9/14/2006 8:52 AM
KENTON, Okla. (AP) — A state game warden has killed a mountain lion that was attacking livestock in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Wildlife officials believe this is the first confirmed case of a lion killing livestock in Oklahoma this year.
Wildlife Department spokesman Micah Holmes says a farmer near Kenton in far western Cimarron County has complained of a lion killing his goats. Holmes says the man called last week and said he was watching the lion kill a goat.
A game warden went to the farm Friday and killed the lion after seeing it return to the goat pen. There have been other reports of mountain lions attacking livestock in the state but Holmes says it usually turns out to be coyotes or dogs.
Son#1 attendeds our tiny town’s Assembly of God Youth Group activities. He really enjoys it but isint too sure about some of their beliefs. Anyhow, I am happy that he is interested in the Youth Group, they do all kinds of neat activities and he is able to take away some values that make his character stronger. So, I was not too upset with him when he volunteered me to bake some goodies for their bake-sale to help fund the Fall Festival. I figure it is the least I can do. The Church sends the van out to pick him up/drop him off if he wants a ride, and altho we are not members, he is treated just like anyone else in their congregation. It’s not the kind of ‘faith ‘ for me(y’all know my stance on that whole topic:Lost Faith). I am just glad son #1 is participating in any kind of Christian activities!
Today was a good day. The weather couldnt have been any better. I rode a short-legged bay gelding named “Joe” who was as weathered at cattle shipping as the oldest cowboy on board. That alone in itself means the Spirits were smiling down on me today-you see, most cowboys take along an extra horse. This horse is usually very green and has not been ridden alot. So, by the luck of the draw, Joe fell into my hands……
I am tired and sore in a good way. Very MUCH looking forward to tomorrow morning. Wee One wasnt all that happy at Auntie’s but I cannot imagine any kid that would be. Just one more morning, I promised him…hubby said maybe he can drop him off later in the morning tomorrow, like around 9:30 am instead of this morning, he dropped him off at 8am before he took son #1 to school. Hubby had a meeting with the Natural Gas people who buy his lease’s natural gas.
AOL has been messing up my emails the last 2 days. They are getting sent a day later than when I send them or not sending at all. If anyone was expecting an email from me and didnt get it or received something at the wrong time, let me know. AOL is supposed to be fixing it-grrrrrrr. While they are at it they should get rid of their stupid pop-ups! I do not pay $25 a month for their pop-ups~
On a happy note, when I drove by town, I saw gas is down to $2.19 a gallon and when I checked last, oil was $66 a barrel. Not too shabby….I hope our economy stays steady-if thats what ya want to call it. Also, this evening Scooters ‘pecker‘problem was looking the best it ever has…..I guess the meds have worked so far, its not completely healed but the swelling was nearly gone.