Cow attacks…Geocaching safety tips.

Geocaching safety advice…

 

I was saddened to hear the news about a fellow Geocacher, Sarah Leonard, who was attacked by cows during a geohunt last week. Thankfully she is in a stable condition being looked after in Lincoln County Hospital but it provides a grim reminder of how powerful and dangerous cows can be.

grazing dairy cows

“Grazing Dairy Cows” © 2010 Dave Young.

MrBizkitz and I are only too aware of the repercussions of walking through a field of unhappy cows. Our worst incident happened on the Isle of Wight and involved us being chased by a herd of them to a nearby stile which thankfully we safely made it over before they could do any damage. Not a pleasant experience though I can assure you! We wouldn’t have minded but we had been wary of them giving them a very wide berth, as we usually do, but on that occasion the cows must have been feeling a bit territorial. Which is rare but can happen. So here are a few bits of advice for the next time you’re walking through a field of cows.

  • If you have a dog with you, consider taking an alternative route. If an alternative route isn’t possible make sure that your dog is on a short lead and you know which direction you need to be taking through the field before you start walking near the cows. Cows are often spooked by dogs and so finding a different route is sometimes the best option.
  • Assess the field you are walking through, look for where the exits are. Think, can I get over that fence quickly if I need to? If you have maps out or a GPS in hand this might be more difficult. Put things away into a bag if you can and make sure you’re wearing clothing that won’t get caught on fences etc.
  • Do not make any sudden movements, it sounds obvious but try your best to continue walking through the field at a steady pace. If there’s a path try and stick to it as cows will more likely be used to people walking on the path rather than a random route through the field.
  • Check any signs before you enter a field, if there are any warning signs. Heed them. Simples.
  • Be aware of the time of year you are walking through the field. Do the cows have calves? If yes then they will be on high alert. I don’t recommend walking through a field with calves in but if you have to give them the widest possible berth so that they know that you don’t mean any harm.
  • If a cow is getting too close, slowly turning to face them with your arms outstretched is considered the best approach.
  • If however a cow is running towards you remember that they find it easier to run in a straight line and so your best option might be to start running at a 90° angle to its trajectory. It may buy you a few extra seconds which could be all you need to make it to the nearest fence. Think matador!
  • If a cow is running towards you and you have a dog, let go of the lead. This will provide a distraction to the cows and you’re more likely to escape. Your dog will also stand a better chance of getting away too.
  • Turn your phone onto silent before entering the field but make sure you know where it is so you can access it easily should you get into trouble.

Remember, cow attacks are very rare but a few minutes preparation before you enter the field can make a big difference.

Wishing Sarah a speedy recovery. Stay safe out there people and if you have anymore tips please feel free to leave a comment.

Happy caching 🙂

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