Dateline: 20 June 2005
In the green Owasco Valley, ‘neath the sky so blue, stands, beloved, the little rural village of Moravia, New York. I happen to live in the hills six miles outside the village, but this is not a story about me.
If you turn off North Main Street in Moravia and go a half mile up Oak Hill Road, you will find Owasco Meat Company on the left. It is a white concrete-block building. It is the place where country folks from these parts take their animals to be “processed,” which is a polite word for “butchered” or (gasp!) “slaughtered.”
Last Month, on a sunny Sunday morning, two men were attempting to unload a one-ton bull from a truck at the Meat Company. None too cooperative, the bull managed to break free of its handlers. It hoofed right on down into the village.
Moravia was unusually busy that morning. The last of 100 bicycle racers had made their way south on Main Street mere seconds before the bull appeared on the scene. Mr. Bull was moving along “at a full trot,” according to one eye witness.
With the bike race going through, there was more law enforcement on hand than would normally be the case. Sheriff’s deputies responded. Now here’s where the story gets a little sketchy. But I’m confident that my facts are, for the most part, accurate.....
Mr. Bull made his way into the parking lot behind the bank, and was intercepted by The Law. My understanding is that an officer pulled his patrol car up alongside the bull and fired several shots into the animal’s neck with his sidearm.
This action did not have the desired effect, at all. Fact is, it made matters considerably worse because now Mr. Bull was really upset. The chase was on. Out came the M16 rifles.
Deputies again intercepted the fugitive across town on Central Avenue. They attempted to corral Mr. Bull with their patrol cars. After inflicting considerable damage to the vehicles (and absorbing several more rounds of ammo), the creature took off back for the other side of town, where he had already been.
It was there, in his back yard, on East Cayuga Street, that assistant fire chief, Greg Genson, met the beast with a 12-gauge shotgun. Mr. Genson slew the creature with a single shot to its head. The terrorist animal would no longer wreak carnage on the peaceful village; Moravia was safe again. I’m told it made the national news.
One farmer I know, related to me (with a big guffaw) that they could probably have saved all those bullets (depending on who you ask, 12 to 17 shots were fired into the animal) if they had just used a bucket of grain to catch the bull.
I’m not so sure. I’ve seen an angry bull. An angry bull is a very dangerous thing. So I don’t fault The Law for attempting to euthanize (which is a polite word for “kill”) the bull. I am, however, amazed that none of the officers who confronted the beast knew how to properly put it down. Obviously, these men were not agrarians. City cops probably.
In case you ever find yourself in a situation where you must shoot a bull (or some other large farm mammal), let me tell you the right way to do the job. It is the Agrarian way; simple, deliberate, intelligent, effective, and humane. Do this.....
Visualize the X formed by an imaginary line going from the animal’s right ear to its left eye, and from its left ear to its right eye. Got the picture? Good. Now, the center of the X will be in the center of the forehead, just above the eyes. Shoot at the center of the X. One shot.
The giant’s knees will buckle and it will drop dead in a heap right where it stood. I have seen this done, with a 22 caliber rifle (at close range). A 12-gauge shotgun slug will surely do it. I understand a sledge hammer to the same spot will work too.