Okmulgee County Rescue: From a Bad-Luck Fall, to a Best-of-Luck Find

Jody fastened straps to Gomer’s two front feet and I helped to guide the tractor and front spears over close enough to hook the straps to the machine without going on over the edge of the creek.

The recent rain and flooding in south-central Oklahoma have meant collateral damage for farmers and ranchers; including downed fences, breached pond dykes and dams, excessive creek erosion, overturned trees, and stranded animals.

On the weekend of April 29th, 2017, Okmulgee County’s JZS Ranch experienced all of the above. For their 2-year-old Hereford bull “Gomer”, it was a case of a bad-luck fall and a lucky find by owner Jody Stamper.

Following 18 hours of rain, straight-line winds and accumulating over 3 inches of water, Jody saddled up his red dun horse for a ranch inspection of ponds and fences, followed by a head count of cows, calves and bulls.

Gomer had enough strength in him to help and held his back feet up has the tractor brought him up out of the dead tree and up and over the bank’s edge.

At first, the ride revealed some positive storm results; such as full-to-the-brim ponds, and previously dry, cracked pastures now green and lush.  At the end of the ride, there was only one bull that was unaccounted for, “Gomer”.  There was no sign of the young bull, even after two passes over the pasture.  It was decided that we’d ride over to the farthest north corner and give it a closer look. As we rode through a low point in the creek, Jody caught a glimpse of white from the opposite side of the creek, to his right.  At first, we thought it to be the carcass of a calf washed down the creek bed; caught in a hollowed out, dead tree that had broke during the storm, stretching top to bottom of the 10-ft bank.

As the tractor pulled Gomer a safe distance from the creek’s edge, he started to struggle to his feet. Now, we had to free the tight-wound straps from his front feet. The bull seemed to sense that we were there to help; and let Jody get the straps without hardly any trouble at all.

However, upon closer inspection, we could see that it was Gomer! He had somehow gotten himself crammed down into the dead, hollow tree; lying ass-first down the steep bank, and just his two front feet and head sticking out the top! Jody cussed up a storm, as he rode his horse across the creek and over to the scene of the accident.

“He’s still breathing!”, Jody yelled in disbelief. I rode over to where I could get a better look and sure enough, Gomer was breathing, slow and steady. We both bailed back on our horses and ran the 3/4 mile back home, where we got the tractor and straps that we could hoist the poor buggar up out of the tree.

He laid back down to catch his breath, and the swelling started to set in. Gomer had a swelled hip and scraped up legs. A
He laid back down to catch his breath, and the swelling started to set in. Gomer had a swelled hip and scraped up legs. C
He was shaking like a leaf. We encouraged him to stand; as it is better to get them moving as soon as possible.
He was shaking like a leaf. We encouraged him to stand; as it is better to get them moving as soon as possible.
Note: Gomer is approximately 1700 lbs, and Jody, standing behind him, is 6'1".
Note: Gomer is approximately 1700 lbs, and Jody, standing behind him, is 6'1".

Gomer’s a big feller!

This is a day in the life on a ranch – and that day was the one that Gomer started out with a bad luck fall and ended up with the best-of-luck find!

It was the day that Gomer was very nearly a goner!

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