How do you deal with cattle?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How do you deal with cattle?

    Iím fairly new to northern Utah and Iíve noticed that there will be cattle grazing in Logan Canyon (actually I think they are already present in some parts of the canyon). Anybody have experience dealing with cattle on the trail? Are they aggressive? Do you need to keep a certain distance? Any tips on getting by them?
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  2. #2
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    5 minutes a side, tent for 5 minutes, serve with a hearty Red!

  3. #3
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    It's not the cattle that are the hazard, it's the poop! That stuff splatters all over ya when you hit a mine field. I try to make eye contact with the bulls and watch them, along with telling them I'm not after their women,but the cows and calves usually run out of the way if you holler a bit.

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    A cow can be aggressive if you get between her and her calf. A bull can be aggressive if they are mean...some are pretty calm. Otherwise, cows are generally just cows. Pretty easy to spook off if you need to. Otherwise just watch for the bulls and try not to get between mama and her babies if it's that time of year.
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  5. #5
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    Just holler at them while approaching. They'll move.
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    I ring my bell so they know I'm around. But I always remember, the bigger guy always has the right of way

  7. #7
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    Honestly I would try to avoid trails with lots of cattle activity. The cows really tear up the trails. Just holler loud and be agressive, they will move.

    What you really need to watch out for in Logan canyon are the sheep becuase they have a few of these guys with them.


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    Medium well.

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    Just ask them to mooove. If they ignore you, they are probably wearing headphones.
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    Like said above the crap is the worst. Nothing like bombing down a trail straight into a bunch of cow pies, and being covered in it for the remainder of the day.

    And get if off your bike right away, stuff dries like cement.

    Cattle usually moves, the few that don't are the ones to watch out for.

  11. #11
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    You wanna see cows and crap? Red Canyon Rim Trail in Flaming Gorge. Cattle crapitol of Utah.
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  12. #12
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    IMO cows are the worst part of mt biking in Logan. They not only get in the way, but they ruin the aesthetics of the environment. They turn beautiful green hollows into dusty, dried out, bug infested stink holes. I personally have major issues with these "ranchers" who make money off of feeding their animals on public lands while ruining the mountains for everyone else. Some of the cattlemen have attitude problems as well--they think they own the land.

    As for dealing with the cows themselves, there's really not much to worry about other than literally crashing into one. They aren't aggressive--just big and lazy. I would give a bull a bit more space, but the cows are harmless. Dodging all the guacamole is the really challenge. As pointed out by others, it's the sheep dogs that you need to worry about. Luckily they move around quite a bit and aren't typically in the trail locations. I've had 4 of those giant dogs barking and nipping at my heals all at the same time...quite intimidating.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the all the tips on dealing with the beasts. I have to admit Iíve never actually been around cattle up close and given the large size differences between them and me I really didnít know what to expect. I certainly assumed the bulls could be an issue and they gave me the most concern. Iíll definitely have to give them some extra space. At the end of the day itís about using common sense and reading the animalís attitude. They call the shots, if they donít care about me then itís cool. If they seem grumpy then Iíll respond accordingly.

    Crap, there's sheep in Logan Canyon as well? I'll to keep an eye out for those guard dogs as well. What are they operating up there, some sort of seasonal farm? Can I pick up a dozen fresh eggs while I'm there?

    I'm tellin' ya, if I get bit or gorged by a domesticated animal on public property I'm calling my legal counsel!
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    5 minutes a side, tent for 5 minutes, serve with a hearty Red!
    Quote Originally Posted by turnsfast View Post
    Medium well.
    Nice, Iíll have to fire up the grill in the parking lot and pose for an hour or two after my ride.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jboy71 View Post
    IMO cows are the worst part of mt biking in Logan. They not only get in the way, but they ruin the aesthetics of the environment. They turn beautiful green hollows into dusty, dried out, bug infested stink holes. I personally have major issues with these "ranchers" who make money off of feeding their animals on public lands while ruining the mountains for everyone else. Some of the cattlemen have attitude problems as well--they think they own the land.

    As for dealing with the cows themselves, there's really not much to worry about other than literally crashing into one. They aren't aggressive--just big and lazy. I would give a bull a bit more space, but the cows are harmless. Dodging all the guacamole is the really challenge. As pointed out by others, it's the sheep dogs that you need to worry about. Luckily they move around quite a bit and aren't typically in the trail locations. I've had 4 of those giant dogs barking and nipping at my heals all at the same time...quite intimidating.
    Yeah, the presence of cattle in Logan Canyon has turned out to be a real downer for me. Iíve been doing quite a bit of scouting up there, both on foot and two wheels, and as near as I can tell they are in virtually every part of the canyon. I knew they were coming because many of the trails are absolutely pock marked, and it was clear that it wasnít just horses doing the damage. My fears of cattle moving in was confirmed two or three weeks ago when I saw two semis full of cattle backed into one of the trailhead parking lots. It looks as though they must have a summer season since Iíve only seen evidence of them until now.

    Itís too bad because Logan Canyon has some nice areas that could be a real gem. Iím also surprised at the lack of singletrack in the Canyon. Many of the trails, especially in the upper, nicer reaches are all ATV tracks. Between the rampant ATVs, horses and cattle itís a diminished recreational resource, at least for me. The aesthetics arenít quite what they could be up there thatís for sure.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mookie View Post
    Yeah, the presence of cattle in Logan Canyon Utah has turned out to be a real downer for me. Iíve been doing quite a bit of scouting up there in Utah, both on foot and two wheels, and as near as I can tell they are in virtually every part of the canyon state. I knew they were coming because many of the trails are absolutely pock marked, and it was clear that it wasnít just horses doing the damage. My fears of cattle moving in was confirmed two or three weeks ago when I saw two semis full of cattle backed into one of the trailhead parking lots. It looks as though they must have a summer season since Iíve only seen evidence of them until now.

    Itís too bad because Logan Canyon Utah has some nice areas that could be a real gem. Iím also surprised at the lack of singletrack in the Canyon state. Many of the trails, especially in the upper, nicer reaches are all ATV tracks. Between the rampant ATVs, horses and cattle itís a diminished recreational resource, at least for me. The aesthetics arenít quite what they could be up there in this state thatís for sure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgw2jr View Post
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    You have a bleak outlook on mountain biking here. Maybe you should find a new state, or a new hobby. Just sayin'.

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    The sheep seem to move around a lot more than the cattle, so typically they're only a short term problem. Willow Creek, Bunchgrass, and Richards Hollow are the main trails affected by the cattle. Richards is my absolute favorite trail, and I've learned to ride it as often as possible before July when the cows arrive. FWIW, there will be another opportunity to ride sans the cows in the fall. Jardine, Steel, Ricks and Stump are good trails that remain basically cow free all year.

    Some of the cattlemen can be real pricks--I've been harassed by them (while on my bike) on two different occasions in the past (once up Mud Flats, and once up by Tony Grove). What pisses me off even more is that most of them are from Idaho and Montana (they aren't even from Utah). I really wish the Forest Circus would put an end to the grazing permits. It benefits a tiny handful of people at the expense of everyone else who want to enjoy the mountains. The damage they do becomes abundantly clear when you ride a trail before and after the cows arrive. It sucks...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgw2jr View Post
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    What I have observed is that there are certainly land management priorities that don't necessarily prioritize hiking and biking. At least in the Logan Canyon area I have never seen so many ATV and horses out on the trails. Its not even close to the level that I've experienced in the other places I've lived, definitely eye opening. And given that there are very few trails to begin with this is a real problem for folks who prefer human powered activities (and maybe just a little quiet).

    Quote Originally Posted by PiousInquisitor View Post
    You have a bleak outlook on mountain biking here. Maybe you should find a new state, or a new hobby. Just sayin'.
    I wouldn't call dgw's outlook bleak, he was just pointing out observation. Land management decisions should be the concern of everybody who recreates outdoors.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jboy71 View Post
    The sheep seem to move around a lot more than the cattle, so typically they're only a short term problem. Willow Creek, Bunchgrass, and Richards Hollow are the main trails affected by the cattle. Richards is my absolute favorite trail, and I've learned to ride it as often as possible before July when the cows arrive. FWIW, there will be another opportunity to ride sans the cows in the fall. Jardine, Steel, Ricks and Stump are good trails that remain basically cow free all year.
    Thanks for the info, this should help me plan what I ride this summer. I haven't hit up Richards yet, do you shuttle that or do a loop?

    Looks like I'll be looking forward to fall. From what I've seen the cow damage is somewhat permanent given that I saw what seemed like significant damage earlier this spring, before the bovine masses had arrived. I thought the trails were in pretty bad shape then, I shudder to think what they'll be like after a summer of cattle abuse.

    Some of the cattlemen can be real pricks--I've been harassed by them (while on my bike) on two different occasions in the past (once up Mud Flats, and once up by Tony Grove). What pisses me off even more is that most of them are from Idaho and Montana (they aren't even from Utah). I really wish the Forest Circus would put an end to the grazing permits. It benefits a tiny handful of people at the expense of everyone else who want to enjoy the mountains. The damage they do becomes abundantly clear when you ride a trail before and after the cows arrive. It sucks...
    Yeah, I don't imagine cattle rancher types take too kindly to "fancy city slickers riding bicycle out in the woods for no reason". Wow, that's interesting that these guys are from out of state. Hmmm...

    You hit on part of the problem as I see it. There's this great resource for outdoor recreation that is being diminished by the presence of the cattle. Honestly a place like Logan Canyon could be developed into a really nice place to hike, bike and backpack. I'm really surprised at the lack of singletrack, its pretty limited. There are all kinds of prime terrain up there, especially farther up the canyon.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mookie View Post
    Thanks for the info, this should help me plan what I ride this summer. I haven't hit up Richards yet, do you shuttle that or do a loop?
    I like to earn my downhill, so I ride it as a loop. I highly suggest you do the longer version by starting from the Whites Bedground drop-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mookie View Post
    Looks like I'll be looking forward to fall. From what I've seen the cow damage is somewhat permanent given that I saw what seemed like significant damage earlier this spring, before the bovine masses had arrived. I thought the trails were in pretty bad shape then, I shudder to think what they'll be like after a summer of cattle abuse.
    To be fair, I think the damage you saw in the spring is from horse traffic. The equestrian crowd starts riding the trails too early when it's still a muddy/snowy mess. It takes a couple of months for the bikers and hikers to smooth out the horse damage. Some of the trails (Jardine especially) have become quite deeply entrenched in places because of the horses tearing things up in the spring.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mookie View Post
    You hit on part of the problem as I see it. There's this great resource for outdoor recreation that is being diminished by the presence of the cattle. Honestly a place like Logan Canyon could be developed into a really nice place to hike, bike and backpack. I'm really surprised at the lack of singletrack, its pretty limited. There are all kinds of prime terrain up there, especially farther up the canyon.
    While I wish we had more miles of bike worthy trail near Logan, there are quite a few trails in the area, and the rider per trail ratio is quite low here, so we can't complain too much. Richards, Jardine, Stump, Steel, Ricks, Willow Creek, Bunchgrass, Blind Hollow, Green Canyon, Spring Hollow and Providence are all good trails, and there are several more that are serviceable despite not being ideal. Keep exploring--there might just be more out there than you realize. For instance just last week I rode, for the first time, a lesser known route called Burnt Fork. It's only 2 miles long (and a great way to extend the Stump Hollow ride), but I was pleasantly surprised to find it's a buttery smooth, flowy fun piece of singletrack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jboy71 View Post
    While I wish we had more miles of bike worthy trail near Logan, there are quite a few trails in the area, and the rider per trail ratio is quite low here, so we can't complain too much. Richards, Jardine, Stump, Steel, Ricks, Willow Creek, Bunchgrass, Blind Hollow, Green Canyon, Spring Hollow and Providence are all good trails, and there are several more that are serviceable despite not being ideal. Keep exploring--there might just be more out there than you realize. For instance just last week I rode, for the first time, a lesser known route called Burnt Fork. It's only 2 miles long (and a great way to extend the Stump Hollow ride), but I was pleasantly surprised to find it's a buttery smooth, flowy fun piece of singletrack.
    I really like the style of trails you see in Logan Canyon. Love a steep technical climb followed by a thrilling descent.

    It is different than what you see in porpose build MTB trail systems which seem to bring a heavy dose of bermed machine cut trails that just flow for miles and miles.

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