Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One Cowboy, A Deaf Dog, & 723 Steers Moved with No Stress...........

Check out this video! The link was included in's newsletter today. Many of the steers in the video look like they are out of a British White bull; a very high number of them are white with black ears.

It was posted by Bob Kinford with the blurb: Taking 723 steers through the second gate of a three mile, six gate move with only one cowboy and a deaf dog with no stress. The Kinford's web site is

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A British White Bull Gets Himself in a bit of a Jam

Original Blog Posted Sunday, October 21, 2007:

This picture was Sunday a week ago today, and it was, as is often the case, a weekend just as busy as a week day. Mazarati, better known by the nickname Mo, had made his way along a puzzling course in the hay barn, until he'd reached a dead end -- much like a maze meant for humans that takes many attempts to find the right course out. Unlike a person, Mo couldn't figure out that if he just took those same steps backwards he would be able to find his way back to the beginning. It could have been a disaster, fortunately, he was not injured.

Amazingly, he was quite calm about the whole ordeal; though his new owner, Carol Diodene, would agree with me that he wasn't exactly happy -- his eyes were quite a bit rolled back as tried to look up at us. The first question a cattle rancher would be sure to be asking themself right now is how did he gain access to the hay barn. Well, that would be my fault; and, yes, I am generally a stickler about those gates always being secured even if you are quite sure you'll go right back through that gate within minutes. But, the day before I obviously failed to do just that.

Another herd bull, King Cole, was headed to his new home in the Canton area on Saturday morning, and I opened the hay barn to get a hefty handful of alfalfa droppings from the floor of the barn to use to coax him on into the pens -- and I didn't go back and close the gate, it was merely pushed together, and thus a perfect trap for an unsuspecting cow or bull with access to the corral that adjoins the hay barn. And of course Mo and the two bred heifers leaving for Ocala, Florida had access.

I can't tell you how happy I was to see Mo stroll out of that hay barn with no obvious injury from his ordeal. Two 12' high stacks of 3x4x8 alfalfa bales had to be removed to give him a way out. With all but the bottom row removed, Gentle Mo didn't lunge at the open space as I feared he might -- I could see how easy it would be for him to now try to climb over that remaining 4 foot high bale, but he didn't. Perhaps it was because Carol and I were patting him on the head and telling him to just wait a bit longer, or perhaps it's because he is a British White and his calm disposition saved his life from serious injury while trapped and during his release. 

Most amazing perhaps is that Mo didn't bolt out into the corral following his release. He merely strolled and inexplicably stopped to munch on one of the alfalfa bales that had been removed to give him passage out. Carol was great through the whole ordeal, and convinced that this was surely a sign that Mo was meant to join her farm in Ocala, and I think he was as well. He arrived safely at his new home the following day, along with a pot load of great females that Carol found at the British White and Lowline auction in Henderson that weekend.

See Carol's Southern Cross Ranch web site at this link, give her a call if you'd like to hear more about Mazarati and his calves.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas - The Original 12 Days


"The Twelve Days of The New England custom during those early years of the present century was to observe Christmas from December 25 to January 5, the twelve days being generally given up to receiving and returning family visits. Contemporary with this custom was the belief inculcated in the minds of the children that if they would visit the cow stables at midnight of Christmas eve, they would see the cattle kneel before the mangers.

". . . On the night or eve of Old Christmas, January 6th, perhaps better known as Twelfth Night, the cattle in the stable kneel down and pray. One informant positively asserted the truth of this belief, because in order to test the matter she had once gone down to the stable on this night, and sure enough she found the cows kneeling on the ground and making just the masterest moanin'."

A poem of the twelve days shows the gift for the first day of Christmas to be a parrot on a juniper tree, instead of a partridge on a pear tree. The verse for the twelfth day which embodied the entire list of days and gifts was as follows. The twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me twelve guns shooting, eleven bears chasing, ten men hunting, nine fiddlers playing, eight ladies dancing, seven swans swimming, six chests of linen, five gold rings, four coffee bowls, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a parrot on a juniper tree." JOHN RODEMEYER JR NYS

Monday, December 21, 2009

Parsnips and Potatoes.......Alternatives to Feeding Grain to your Cattle?

The Journal of agriculture, Volume 2, On the Culture of Parsnips, 1852
(......and comparison to feeding steers POTATOES!)

Comments on Robert Bakewell's Approach to Cattle Breeding - 1856

We find the following in Rural New Yorker extracted from the London Quarterly Review for April 1856

". . . The cattle of ancient days were chiefly valued for dairy qualities or for draft, and were only fatted when they would milk or draw no longer. The greater number of breeds were large boned and ill shaped, greedy eaters and slow at ripening, while as very little winter food was raised except hay, the meat laid on in summer was lost or barely maintained in winter. Fresh meat for six months of the year was a luxury only enjoyed by the wealthiest.
      First class farmers salted down an old cow in autumn, which with their flitches of bacon, supplied their families with meat until the spring.   Esquire Bedel Gunning, in his Memorials of Cambridge, relates that when Dr Makepeace Thackeray settled in Chester about the beginning of the present century, he presented one of his tenants with a bull calf of a superior breed. On his inquiry after it in the spring,the tenant replied, "Sir, he was a noble animal, we killed him at Christmas and have lived upon him ever since."
      The improvement of the breeds of live stock is one of the events which distinguish the progress of English Agriculture during the last century. Prominent among those who labored to this end was Robert Bakewell of Dishley, the founder of the Leicester sheep. He also had his favorite long horn cattle and black cart horses, and though he failed in establishing these he taught others how to succeed.

     Surrounded by the titled of Europe, he talked upon his favorite subject, breeding, with earnest yet playful enthusiasm, there utterly indifferent to vulgar traditional prejudices, he enumerated those axioms which must be the cardinal rules of the improvers of live stock. He chose the animals of the form and temperament which showed signs of producing the most fat and muscle, declaring that in an ox all was useless that was not beef, that he sought by pairing the best specimens, to make the shoulders comparatively little, the hind quarters large, to produce a body truly circular, with as short legs as possible, upon the plain principle that the value lies in the barrel and not in the legs, and to secure a small head small neck and small bones.
        As few things escaped his acute eye he remarked that quick fattening depended much upon amiability of disposition, and he brought his bulls by gentleness to be as docile as dogs.

. . .  But fine boned animals were not in fashion when Bakewell commenced his career, and to the majority of people it seemed a step backwards to prefer well made dwarfs to uncouth giants.
 . . . In 1798 the Little Smithfield Club was established for exhibiting fat stock at Christmas time in competition for prizes, with a specification of the food on which each animal had been kept. This Society has rendered essential service by making known the best kind of food, and by educating graziers and butchers in a knowledge of the best form of animal.
      In 1806, in defiance of Mr Coke's toast, "Small in size and great in value," a prize was given to the tallest ox.  In 1856 a little ox of the Devon breed of an egg like shape, which is the modern beau ideal, gained the Smithfield gold medal in competition with gigantic Short Horns, and Herefords of Elephantine proportions.   In 1855 a large animal of Sir Harry Verney's was passed over without even the compliment of a commendation -- because he carried on his carcass too much offal and more threepenny than nine penny beef."

Charles Dickens - An Unusual Christmas Essay on the Grandeurs of Roast Beef - 1853

Exceprt: "If we neither ate beef nor drank milk we should have little room for oxen in this country, all the herds that have grazed upon our pastures, oxen and cows that have reposed so tranquilly and looked so much at home upon our fields, all those creatures and the whole sum of happiness they have enjoyed would never have been called into existence. Compare the ox and fox community. Truly it is a good thing for the cattle that man was created with a taste for milk and beef. Nothing can be shallower than the appeal made to humanity by Vegetarians. It is a fine thing for the ox that man is glad to eat him."

Note:  If you have difficulty with the small type, click the image to go to the source document, it's clearer reading.


Mr. Dickens' essay continues on another two pages or so. Click the linked image above and it will take you to the source document on Google Books. It's worth continuing to read, as Mr. Dickens gives us his impression of the various breeds at the cattle show, as well as good commentary on how feeding methods had changed from a hundred years prior, and improvements in the quality of the beef.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Transactions of the Natural History Society of Glasgow - Chillingham Cattle


???Doesn't exactly look like the Chillingham Cattle of today, does it? Perhaps they evolved on their own? Doubtful.......

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The U.S. Beef Breeding Herds Numbers are the Lowest since 1971..........

Dairy, Meat Prices Will Spur Food Inflation, Wells Fargo Says

By Jeff Wilson

Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Rising milk, beef, pork and chicken prices will double the pace of U.S. food inflation next year as livestock supplies shrink and rebounding economies boost demand, said Michael Swanson, a senior economist at Wells Fargo & Co.

Food prices may jump as much as 6 percent in 2010, Swanson said. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Nov. 25 forecast 3 percent to 4 percent food inflation next year, up from an estimated 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent in 2009.

Producers of cattle, hogs, dairy cows and poultry cut output after a jump in feed costs last year, reducing supplies as demand for meat is rising at home and abroad, Swanson said. Corn, the main source of animal feed, will rally next year because of record demand for grain to make ethanol, he said.

Beef Herd
The U.S. beef-breeding herd on July 1 totaled 32.2 million head, down 1.4 percent from 32.65 million a year earlier, and was the smallest since the government started collecting data in 1971, the USDA said July 24.
“Protein inflation is going to be much higher than people are anticipating,” Swanson said Dec. 9 in an interview from Minneapolis. “Corn is a proxy for feed costs, and right now the value of all meat and dairy output is below the price of feed on a long-term relative basis.”

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a Dec. 3 report that cattle futures will increase over the next year by the most since 1978, and hogs will gain the most in six years. Cattle futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange will reach $1.10 a pound by December 2010, Goldman said. That would be up 32 percent from 83.275 cents on Dec. 11. Hog futures will reach 80 cents a pound, the bank said, which would mean a 22 percent rally from last week’s close at 65.425 cents.

Sustainable Rally
“As we start a new decade with the global economy emerging from the worst recession of the postwar era, we expect the commodity supply-side constraints of the past decade to once again re-emerge, reinforcing the sustainability of higher long- term commodity prices,” Goldman analysts including Jeffrey Currie wrote in a note to investors. “Economic recovery suggests rising meat demand amid tighter supplies.”

Follow the title link to read the rest of this article.......

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Old Superstitions of the Highlanders of Scotland

Here are a few of these old Scottish Superstitions regarding Cows, the Moon, and be sure and take a head count when you sit down to Christmas dinner, and be sure and serve left to right!

Among the unlucky things it is unfortunate for a stranger to count the number of one's sheep, cattle, or children.

. . .This spirit was an innocent supernatural visitor that frisked and gambled about the cattle pens. Armed with a pliable reed she would switch all who annoyed her by using obscene language or who neglected to leave her a portion of the dairy product.

It is unlucky for an odd number to sit at a table such as 7, 9, 11 and 13, and unless changed one of the party is sure to die within that year.

It is unwise to drink the health of a company or to serve them round a table except from left to right as the sun goes . . .

To catch the first sight of a new moon through a window will bring ill luck.

The turning up of the horn of the new moon indicates dry weather.  (Somebody have a look at the new moon tonight, we could use some dry weather, but not through a window!)

Cattle, sheep and pigs must not be slaughtered in the wane of the moon because the meat would shrink in cooking.

A more common form of the TAGHAIRM was that of selecting some person and wrapping him in the warm side of a newly slain ox or cow and then placing him at full length in the wildest recess of some lovely waterfall. Here he remained for some hours and whatever impression was made upon his mind that was supposed to be the solution of the question asked.

Tonight Gives Us a New Moon - This is an old Poem about the New Moon & and one about a Pretty Cow

Click on the embedded actual page images below to have a longer look at this grand old book of song and story from so long ago. You'll find Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, just lots of fun poems and tales in original form in this 1903 printing.

Excerpt from Intro. Page xii, The First Book of Song and Story,1903,Cynthia Westover Alden

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Head of the Chillingham Wild Bull - Engraving dated 1872

Head of the Chillingham Wild Bull, shot by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales

Genuine original antique engraving, 1872

Well, I find this interesting, where are the colored points of the ears, and the dipped in color nose?  Or the black tips to the horns? He does have a decidely hostile expression in his eyes.  But then that is to be expected!  He was after all chased and killed for sport.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New Reference to Wild White Cattle & Some Cool Old Prints of White Cows................

"Similarly the 'wild white' cattle of the English parks are not true whites, for small portions about the eyes, ears, legs are coloured either black or red.  It is an historical fact that these cattle have occasionally thrown black and red calves, and, within recent years, two which had black "points" and were confined in the London Zoological Gardens, actually threw black calves."   A Manual of Mendelism, 1916, James Wilson, P.53
"Chillingham . . . present park keeper destroyed them since which period there has not been one with black ears.   It is believed that Culley's celebrated Shorthorns at the beginning of this century were bred by a cross secretly obtained with a Chillingham wild bull, and Bewick in his work just mentioned remarks, "Tame cows in season are frequently turned out amongst the wild cattle at Chillingham.""  The Complete Grazier........, 1893, William Youatt, P. 9

"In 1876 Lord Tankerville, with the object of testing the theory enunciated by the Rev John Storer, author of The Wild White Cattle of Great Britain that Shorthorns probably had their origin in the wild herds of the country, tried to effect a cross between a wild bull and some well bred Shorthorn cows.  The finest produce of these were some very fine animals exhibited at the Royal Agricultural Society's Show at Kilburn in 1879, but as they did not come up to his Lordship's expectations the plan was abandoned until 1888.   In the latter year Lord Tankerville tried the alternative of a cross between a Shorthorn bull and a wild cow and magnificent specimens of the result may be seen in the paddocks at Chillingham.The Complete Grazier...., 1893, William Youatt, P. 10
"Since the beginning of the 19th century, Shorthorn breeders have disliked white. . . .Thus white has been much less frequently bred from, yet whites have not decidedly decreased, for the reason that they are still thrown when roans are mated with each other.  Reds are thrown from the same matings, but, being not unwelcome, there appearance occasions no remark.  Breeders have been aware that there were whites among the ancestry of their breed, but, by breeding from reds and roans only, have hoped to eliminate the "reversionary white" (quotes are Wilson's) taint and eventually have their roans breeding true.  In this, however, they have never succeeded."  A Manual of Mendelism, 1916, Wilson, P. 64.
Kleberg of the King Ranch, the Rev. Storer, the New York Zoological Society -- all were of the opinion that the ancient Park Cattle were the ancestor of the Shorthorn . . .  As well, check out the Hungarian White Cow, her horns are very reminescent of the English and Texas Longhorn.................

1856, LONDON/SOCIETY: No 1. Mr. Heath’s Hereford ox (Class 5), first prize £25. 2. Mr. Herbert’s Hereford cow (Class 8), first prize £20. 3. Mr. Stratton’s shorthorn cow (Class 12), first prize £20. 4. Mr. Naylor’s Hereford ox (Class 6), first prize £25. 5. Mr. Stratton’s white shorthorn ox (Class 10), first prize £25. 6. Mr. Heath’s Gold Medal Devon (Class 2), First prize £25. 7. Mr. Fouracre’s Devon (Class 1), first prize £25. 8. Duke of Beaufort’s shorthorn ox (Class 9), first prize £25. 9. Mr. Ford’s Devon cow (Class 4), first prize £20.

1856 Illustration, London News: Caption: Hungarian white cow and calf; Kerry cow; Bretonne cow; Ayrshire cow

1890 La Vache Blanche - The White Cow by Constant Troyon

1867  Short Horn Bull, "Monitor 5019" , 5 years old, owned by H G White, South Framingham, Mass.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Snow in Southeast Texas! Second Year in a Row!

This was taken after the snow had been falling for a while and getting thicker.  This group of British White girls had left the hay ring to perhaps find their way to somewhere where this wierd white stuff wasn't falling from the sky!  They continued to move as a group around their pasture as the snow swirled and and the air grew whiter with really fat and pretty flakes. 

This is Diamond C's Porsche, came all the way from drought-stricken Smithville for some Southeast Texas snow, she doesn't look real pleased!  But we are sure pleased with her.  She's a very well made, beautiful American Fullblood heifer.  Her sire is J.West's Mazarati, her grandsire DFTX "Doc'" Watson.  Her dam is J.West's Lucy Girl, sired by King Cole, and her granddam is J.West's Lucy Lelora, sired by Halliburton Colonel.

My heifer herd, and also a couple of cows, at the hay ring when the snow began to fall................

A photo from the week before of the same herd, at the same hay ring.........what a contrast! and I love the Fall color I see every year to the north on this tree line.

Bronx Zoo Art Exhibition- Reference to Park Cattle on January 15, 1942 in the NY Times

New York Times, Published: January 15, 1942, Found at this LINK




The article makes specific mention of drawings of "park cattle" of England.  At this point in time, both the polled and horned varieties of the cattle were, and had been for many years, referenced as Park Cattle and  breed records were maintained by the Park Cattle Society in England.

There are many anecdotal comments to be found in breed histories about a group of Park Cattle being transported to the USA and/or Canada prior to the outbreak of WWII.  This is believed to have been an effort to preserve the genetics of the breed, should acts of war destroy the few existing herds in the United Kingdom.

There are two artists referenced in the article:  Australian born, Miss Mary Cecil Allen (1893-1962) and Miss Rhys Caparn (1909-1997).  Both artists were highly respected and it is certanly possible that the drawings and sculptures shown in this exhibit still exist today.  The drawings, sculpture, and possibly photographs of this exhibit would be invaluable in establishing the breed type of the Park Cattle that were housed by the Bronx Zoo.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What is a Speckle Park?

The Speckle Park breed is growing in numbers and appreciation for the superior qualities they bring to seedstock breeders and commercial cattlemen in Canada, Australia, and the USA.  Today there are more than 70 members and 3000 registered cows in Canada alone. 
British White Cow, American Fullblood, Overmarked

When one reads the description of this breed and views photos of examples of the breed, you could just as easily be reading a description of the polled British White cattle breed, with the exception of color standards.  This breed embraces both the overmarked (linebacked), the roan (leopard) type, as well as the white Speckled Park.  In the British White breed we see all three types born in our herds, but focus on the white type, rather than breeding for a predominance of line-backed cattle.  The photos you see here are of British White cattle exhibiting the same color patterns of the Speckle Park breed.  With the exception of the example of the 'leopard' or 'roan' hair coat, all pictured are American Fullblood British Whites.  The roan example is a 2nd Gen purebred heifer named Bluebell.  She calved a snow white, perfectly marked heifer calf this spring, and I don't expect to see the roan pattern occur again in the offspring of this new 3rd Gen Purebred heifer.

The Speckle Park breed was formally recognized as a Purebreed by the Canadian Minister of Agriculture only as recent as 2006.  In the preceding many years, the breed's owners were hard at work "stabilizing, refining, and perfecting the breed", and thus establishing seedstock that will breed true to type for those qualities important to the survival of all cattle breeds - superior confirmation and carcass quality.  The docile nature and maternal excellence of the foundation seedstock was undoubtedly not difficult to perpetuate, as those traits are highly heritable in the polled British White, once known as the polled Park, or polled White Park. 

The following is excerpted from the very well written description of the traits of the Speckle Park cattle breed found at this link :

British White Heifer, Purebred,   Roan Markings
Overmarked  AF British White Cow w/Standard Marked Heifer
Speckle Park cattle come in a variety of color patterns. They are predominantly black with white top line and underline, with speckled hips and sometimes shoulders and with a black or black roan face. The second color pattern is the leopard pattern. It is similar to the speckled pattern but there are definite black spots on the animal instead of just speckles. The white animals with some black hair on the body are considered 'leopards'.
British White Bull, J.West's Big Mac
The third color pattern is the 'white' pattern. The white animals have white hair on the body and face but have black points. i.e. eyes, ears, nose, and hooves. The fourth is solid black. There is a very small percentage of blacks but they do crop up from time to time. The solid black heifers are registrable and can be used in the purebred herd, but the bulls can not.

FERTILE, Hardy, & Healthy

With their fine skin and hair in summer and a quick to 'slick off' hair coat, Speckle Parks adapt well to the Canadian summers as well as being able to 'coat up' when needed for their notoriously cold winters. They are tough, real tough, you can throw any harsh climatic situation at them and they survive, get back in calf, rear a good one, yet are so easy to feed and come back in condition quickly after hard times, traits that will stand them in good stead in Australian's harsh environment. 

High Quality Carcass

In Canada butchers and meat graders are very impressed with the consistently high quality of the Speckle Park carcass. It isn't uncommon to get an exceptionally good carcass from any breed, but what is IMPRESSIVE is when the carcass from a particular breed is consistently good. That is the case with the Speckle Park. Another IMPRESSIVE fact about the Speckle Park is their UNIQUE ability of being able to achieve a AAA carcass without excess outer fat cover. Most breeds are able at achieve AAA carcass but often at the expense of excess outer fat. Speckle Park can achieve a AAA carcass with minimal fat cover, thus grading YG1-AAA.

Docile Nature

The key to more weight gain and less stress on man and beast. Are you sick of being kicked from pillar to post and pushed around the yards when you should be doing the pushing?

Speckle Parks are very docile animals. Their gentle disposition makes them a pleasure to work with. Accidents while working with cattle are almost unheard of among Speckle Park breeders. A well known fact in Canada.

Speckle Park animals are becoming a popular choice of 4-H beef members (Junior Breeders) throughout Canada. Their moderate size and quiet disposition make them manageable by even the youngest 4-H members. It is unbelievable how easily some of them halter break. As one 4-H member put it, "They almost halter break themselves."

Calving Ease and Good Maternal Instinct

Speckle Park rarely experience difficulty calving. The small front shoulders of the newborn calf make for calving ease. The calves come into the world at approximately 35kg. and are very vigorous at birth. Most newborns are up and sucking in minutes.

Cattlemen world wide know that a great deal of time and expense is saved and the bottom line is greatly enhanced by breeding cattle that can calve unassisted. It isn't uncommon in today's society to see the wife caring for the cattle while the husband works off the farm to supplement farm income. Speckle Parks are a wise choice for farmers in this situation. The calves weigh a fraction of the weight of those of the exotic breeds and a lot less than most other British bred cattle. Almost all Speckle Park cows, even the heifers, calve unassisted.

Speckle Parks are a docile breed, the cows are very maternal when it comes to caring for their young. They have good udders, with many people commenting on their great udder, teat shape and length of teats. They turn off sappy well grown calves from a young age.

American Fullblood British White Bull
Commercial breeders are finding Speckle Park bulls a wise choice for breeding heifers. They not only decrease the size of the newborn calf and increase calving ease but also increase the quality of the resulting carcass.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Deer Season in East Texas - Hunting is Much Changed from its Origins - and Check out our East Texas BobCats

It's offcially hunting season in Texas, and the modern day deer hunters are stalking their seasonal prey. Hunting these days bears little reflection to the hunting methods of old.  The photos in this blog were taken by a motion activated camera set deep in the woods.  Either corn or a mineral lick were the attraction for the deer and they cooperated quite well, with numerous shots of them moving through the area.  Also of interest were the large numbers of coyote, and three different bobcats (see a Bobcat photo below).  While the intent of the camera is to determine when the deer can be found at a particular time of day and place for convenient shooting, the photos for the naturalist type are of great interest.  Seeing the East Texas woods alive with its native animals is well worth the effort, and one of the better benefits of modern hunting methods. 

The following excerpt makes reference to the style of the hunt for deer and other wildlife in medieval times when the success of the hunt was paramount to survival.  While today's hunters largely hunt for sport, there are definitely many hunters in East Texas who still hunt to fill their freezers with much needed meat for their families through the coming year.  It is those hunters who need it most for food that largely have the least opportunity to hunt.  In that respect today's costly deer leases serve to provide meat and sport to those who least need the meat.

Excerpts from Harting, "British Aninmals Extinct Within Historic Times...", c. 1880 :

". . .will here be content with quoting the following remarks of Mr. Earle in his edition of the Saxon Chronicle. " Now-a-days," he says, "men hunt for exercise and sport, but then they hunted for food, or for the luxury of fresh meat. Now the flight of the beast is the condition of a good hunt, but in those days it entailed disappointment. They had neither the means of giving chase or of killing them at a distance, so they used stratagem to bring the game within the reach of their missiles."

"A labyrinth of alleys was penned out at a convenient part of the wood, and here the archers lay under covert. The hunt began by sending men round to break and beat the wood, and drive the game with dogs and horns into the ambuscade. The pen is the haia (1) so frequently occurring amongst the silvae (2) of Domesday."

"Horns were used, not, as with us, to call the dogs, or, as in France, to signal the stray sportsman; but to scare the game. In fact it was the battue (3) which is now, under altered circumstances, discountenanced by the authorities of the chase, but which, in early times, was the only way for man to cope with the beasts of the field.""

These days the East Texas woods have entirely too many 'beasts' of the coyote type.  They are quite bold, and most old-timers will tell you they are much bigger in stature now and bolder than in their earlier memories. 

In England it was the wolf that was a threat to other wildlife.  "In the Forest Laws of Canute promulgated in 1016 the Wolf is thus expressly mentioned:  As for foxes and wolves they are neither reckoned as beasts of the forest or of venery and therefore whoever kills any of them is out of all danger of forfeiture or making any recompense or amends for the same. Nevertheless, the killing of them within the limits of the forest is a breach of the royal chase and therefore the offender shall yield a recompense for the same, though it be but easy and gentle." Harting, 1880.

The wolf was hunted to extinction in England by the time of Henry VII, sometime between 1485 - 1509.  "The old books on hunting state that the season for hunting the Wolf was between the 25th of December and the 25th of March.  This of course was only so long as Wolf hunting was an amusement and a royal sport.  As soon as it became a necessity and a price was set on the animal's head, it was killed whenever and wherever it could be found.  ". . .during the reign of Henry VII it is probable that the Wolf became finally extirpated in England.  Although for nearly two centuries later . . . it continued to hold out against its persecutors in Scotland and Ireland."  Harting, 1880.

(1) Hay Latin, haia. Haia, sometimes rendered as hay, is translated as both 'enclosure' and 'hedged enclosure' in the Phillimore edition. The term is first recorded in Domesday Book. The haia was an enclosure formed by a hedge of trees, designed to trap or corral wild animals, usually deer, during the hunt. A number of Domesday entries refer to the enclosures 'where wild animals were caught' (eg, WOR 18,4), others to enclosures where the animals were kept (HEF29,11).
(2) Silvae, the word means woods or thicket, and implies unpruned luxuriance of growth.
(3) Battue, an old term referring to using people or dogs to drive animals from the woods.