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.
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.
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.
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!