Feral livestock are not native to their habitats, but groups of certain species have adapted to their environment and thrive unchecked if not periodically gathered and removed. After a few gathers, only the wiliest, wildest, and most hard-to-catch of these animals remain on the range. These cattle, burros, and horses continue to live like wild deer, foraging on the range and hiding from humans.
Feral bulls often turn rogue and will attack people. Hikers near Los Angeles regularly encounter these menacing animals, as documented in this article by the LA Times. These dangerous animals need to be removed for public safety.
In other situations, cattle are left unbranded on the range, without the permanent sign of ownership bestowed by a rancher’s registered brand. These are called mavericks. If left on the range without vaccinations or other management, they can carry diseases that infect nearby herds. They compete with both managed cattle and wildlife species for valuable resources such as grass and water, while neither enhancing the natural ecosystem or adding value to a rancher’s business.
If you have feral, unwanted, or unmanageable livestock you would like gathered, please give Jim a call at (775) 385-9354. If he doesn’t answer (which often happens, as he usually works out of cell phone service), feel free to call his wife Jolyn at (775) 346-0241. She will be happy to answer any questions and relay messages to Jim.