At last the day came when Dad and I went to the big Taylor and Bowman Ranch to cut the cattle that were to be driven to the Ranch around the lake. All of the cows that were to be divided were in a big corral. Uncle Harvey Taylor gave instructions of how we were to do it. The cows were to be put through the Cutting Chute and divided. The cows that were to go the Lake Ranch were cut into the south corral while the cows to remain on the big ranch were cut into the lane. Our little son Keith LaRae was sitting on Chanate in the lane watching the proceedings. Uncle Harvey said to me with his little Mischievous smile, "put that little guy out there on the black horse to turn the cows down the lane". I went out proudly to tell little Kiko what to do.

Kiko was a little blonde boy of 5 years mounted on his Grandpa Haynie's pet horse Chanate. He was sitting straight in his little saddle that I had made him from a tanned hide of a big Buck Mule Deer. It was a flat piece of leather that went over the back of the horse and down the sides to end in stirrups and was cinched onto a saddle blanket. That little guy could really ride and Chanate knew exactly what he was about and he really took good care of  his little rider.

When the cows came into the lane many of them were pretty snuffy and would try to charge Chanate. The horse would jump out and with his ears back drive them down the lane. When the cows were angry and stubborn he would bite then or even turn and kick them with both hind feet. Kiko and Chanate were putting on a show for us out in the lane. I can still remember Uncle Harvey's and uncle Loren's Hearty laugh and yell of encouragement. "Atta boy Kiko turn 'em down the lane". It was really a sight to watch the little 5 year old boy on his pretty black horse turn those wild cows down the lane.

After a while a Sr. Morales decided that he wanted the job of turning the cows down the lane. He mounted his tall long legged Sorrel Horse and went out to take over Kiko's job. When the next cow came out he jumped his horse out and turned the cow down the lane losing his brand new felt hat in the process. He immediately got off his horse to retrieve his precious hat. The men from the corral yelled a warning which he did not heed. That cow turned and came back and hit Sr. Morales in the seat of the pants while he was trying to retrieve his new hat. He was a short man with a big round belly and the cow followed in and rolled him over and over. She didn't have any horns but was doing a good job of mauling him and slobbering all over him. Kiko and Chanate came to the rescue and drove the cow on down the lane. Sr. Morales got up slowly and found his dirty trampled hat, and tried in vain to brush the messy dirt from his new clothes, mounted his horse and silently road out of the ranch.

We finished cutting the cows and prepared to drive the cows from the south corral down to the ranch around the lake. Kiko was right in there with all of the cowboys to help drive the cows down to the Lake Ranch to their new home.    

The lake ranch had been overgrazed for many years by the herds of horses and cattle from the Ejido but had grown back some since we had fenced it. The cattle wintered well that winter and in the spring the Bermuda Grass came green all around the lake where the water had gone down as the water was used for the town. This supplied the needed green feed for the cattle when they needed it the most.

When we would ride around the lake looking at the cattle trying to glean some green feed from the short Bermuda Grass we noticed that the grass was interspersed every where with rabbit pellets. I had been reading that Jack Rabbits were a problem for ranchers and that 13 Jack Rabbits could eat as much as one cow. Judging by the amount of rabbit manure there must be a great number of rabbits in competition with our precious cows. We decided that something must be done.

We had raised two dogs from little puppies that had been fathered by a big beautiful dog that adopted us while we were living on the Rancho Verde out on the flat. They both had good heavy coats of fur and their hair was rather long. I don't know what breeds were crossed to make these beautiful big dogs and I guess that doesn't really matter. One was a light brown in color and seemed to dominate the other one in some ways so we called him Tuffy. The other was a darker color with black and grey hair mixed in a beautiful combination so we called him Smokey. They were very good with the little children and were well trained. All the family loved our dogs.

We decided to train our dogs to hunt rabbits to help lower the rabbit population on the ranch. We put them in the back of the pickup and went to the ranch. As we drove around the ranch there were many White Sides on the ranch at that time. The White Sides always ran in pairs and when chased they would cross back and forth to lure the dogs from one to the other giving each other a rest and the dogs very seldom could catch one in the day time. These rabbits were similar to Jack Rabbits but they had white fur on each side and they always ran in pairs. They seemed to be a cleaner rabbit than the regular Jack Rabbit and didn't have grubs or parasites on them.

One day we were hunting and jumped a Coyote. The dogs began to whine and bark so I let them jump out of the truck to chase the Coyote. Smokey ran in from the side and hit the Coyote with his chest and Tuffy went in for the kill. Between the two of them they killed the Coyote. After that we started hunting Coyotes instead of Rabbits. One day a big male Coyote grabbed Tuffy by the nose and hung on making him yelp with pain, I jumped out and shot the Coyote as soon a I could.

Early one morning, about three weeks later, I heard Smokey growling and went out to see what was going on. Tuffy was laying on the ground trembling in agony and frothing at the mouth. As I approached to see what was wrong with Tuffy Smokey moved in front of me holding me back, still growling and whining. I started to go around him but he would move with me and push me back. I then realized that Tuffy was in the last stages of Rabies and Smokey new the danger. Tuffy died a little later without regaining consciousness and we carefully disposed of the body. We Realized that the bite of the Coyote on Tuffy's nose had infected him with a very large dose of Rabies. That ended our using Smokey to hunt Coyotes.

We started hunting rabbits at night in the head lights of the truck. We would drive around the lake and pick a pair of rabbits in the headlights. We would stop and shoot one of the rabbits. Smokey would wait until the shot was fired then would leap out of the truck and run silently through the darkness to appear swiftly in the light. The surprised rabbit some times would jump high in the air and Smokey became very skilled at jumping up and catching the rabbit in mid air. I saw him at times jump into the air to catch the rabbit and go over a mesquite bush and come down on the other side with the rabbit securely caught in his powerful jaws. After crunching the rabbit a few times he would bring it back and jump into the back of the pick up with it and be ready for the next one. We would drive on and have him pick up the one we had shot and continue on around the lake.

I remember one night when Chato Bluth and I were hunting Old Smokey put 54 rabbits in the back of the pick up in about two hours of hunting. We took them over to the farm on the flat where we had our pigs in a big Adobe Corral. Chato counted the rabbits as we threw them into the corral and they were 54 big Jackrabbits.

Smokey was the kids pet and pal they would even have him pull them in their little coaster wagon. He was always patient, loving and faithful and took very good care of the children.      

After about ten years of faithful service I guess Old Smokey just wore out. One morning about 11:00 A.M. we heard a long mournful howl outside our door. We went out and found our beloved dog Smokey dead by the kids playhouse. I guess that long mournful howl was his goodbye to all of us.

The Rabbit hunts continued but with the kids in the back of the pickup leaning on the cab for a rest aim for their 22 Rifles. Since 22 bullets were hard to get and we didn't want to waste them. The kids would take turns shooting so as not to shoot more than one at a time. They all learned to shoot very well and the girls could shoot as well as the boys. In order to use only one bullet per rabbit when a rabbit was only wounded all of the kids would jump out of the truck and surround the rabbit and see who could kick the rabbit as it tried to escape the ring. As I remember they all got good at kicking but Sam had the fastest foot work and missed less than the others.  You need to have the experience of trying to kick a dodging rabbit to realize how quickly they can dodge and jump.

When groups of scouts or explorers would come down the kids would always suggest a rabbit hunt. I have seen some of those big boys kick so hard that their feet would go out from under them and they would land flat on their back. I think many of our Dublan boys will remember those rabbit hunts.

The Coyotes continued to be a plague and kill some of the little new born calves or leave one or two without a tail. I began to hunt them horseback with my 3006 rifle in the scabbard on the saddle. We would ride around the ranch and when we would spot a Coyote  I would run my horse to within shooting distance of the Coyote, take out my rifle, slide to a stop, hop off my horse and shoot the Coyote on the run. I had a little heavyset Grey horse that was fast and could stop very easily. He was a big help in shooting Coyotes. One day he took off so fast that the rifle slipped out of the scabbard and fell into the dirt. I got off, dusted off the rifle and took a long shot at the Coyote. I later found that that shot had bulged the barrel of my beautiful 3006 hunting rifle and ruined it. I didn't realize that the barrel had gotten dust in it when it fell into the dirt.

One day were driving around in the east side of the ranch in our Volkswagen Van and we saw a cow that had just had her calf. Near by in a clump of mesquites two big Coyotes waited to try to get a meal. We drove toward them and they immediately split and ran on each side of us toward the east fence. I whirled the van around and raced to head one of them off. It ran flat out parallel with the van trying to go around in front of me. I glanced at the  speedometer and it was hovering between 50 and 60 Kilometers per hour. Soon the  Coyote stopped suddenly and cut around behind the van and started for the fence again. I turned the van in a big arc and headed him off again. Back and forth we went until his pace slowed and his steps began to lag. Seeing this I turned the Van into him and ran over him. I got out and finished him off with my lug wrench.

After that we usually carried a 22 rifle and my pistol to run the Coyotes. Many times we would go on special Coyote hunts with one of the family or a visitor sitting in the back seat of the Van. When the Coyote was jumped and the chase was on, the shooter in the back seat would open the side door and shoot the Coyote with the Shot Gun or rifle or whatever he  or she had. At that speed the Coyote would really roll when hit.

I remember one year early in the year when the cows were calving, we got word from the neighbors that they were losing little calves from the Coyotes. This was after I had retired from school teaching. I would get up very early in the morning and go to the ranch and pick up Yagui, our Cowboy, and go to patrol the ranch. We would go around the ranch searching out the cows that had calved. I remember one morning we came on to a cow who was just giving birth to twin calves. There not too far away was a pair of Coyotes waiting. As soon as the second calf dropped the cow nervously went of with the first born calf following along with her. The second little calf just lay there with big pieces of afterbirth still on him. What a meal he would have made for that pair of Coyotes. They were reluctant to leave so I shot the big male. Then quickly shot the female as she ran away. She jumped a little like she was hit but didn't slow her pace any. We were in a rough Toboso Grass draw so we could not give chase. We put the little calf in the van and took him to the ranch corral to be raised on the milk cow.

The next day over on the east side of the ranch we jumped a Coyote and boy did she run. I had a hard time getting enough speed in the rough terrain to finally come abreast of her. Yagui shot her out the window of the van and she jumped and rolled over and over and lay still. When we examined her we found the she was the one we had shot the day before and that she had been running that fast on three legs.

That month we patrolled the ranch every day except Sunday and we piled up in a big pile 29 Coyotes as a warning to the Coyotes to stay away from our little calves.

The Coyotes and the rabbits were not the only pests we had to deal with. We found a little calf that had dried blood on his neck and ears. On examination we concluded, because of the claw marks. that it could only have been scratched by a big Bob Cat. A few days later we found a partially eaten new born calf that had been buried under grass and leaves in a Mesquite bush.

Soon after that we were riding out on the east side of the ranch toward the hills when I heard our little son Tracy yell. I looked around and saw him running his horse, as fast as he could go. after a big Bob Cat. The Bob Cat holed up in a big Mesquite Bush. As I galloped up little Tracy called excitedly, "Rope him Daddy I want his leathers". Well, we did rope the Bob Cat and Tracy got his "leathers".  

Another  time we were riding and came upon a pair of big Golden Eagles eating a new born calf. We thought that they probably had found it dead and were taking advantage of the good meat. A few days later we found a little calf with big talon marks on each side of it's rib cage. We could only conclude that one of the Eagles had tried to kill that calf by burying it's talons through the rib cage into the little calf's lungs and heart. This little calf had managed to get away but would always bear the scars of those big Talons.

A few days after that I was hunting Deer out in the Malpais east of the Ranch. I looked cautiously over the rim of a high ridge and there not 50 feet from me was a big Golden Eagle perched on a big rock. I shot him and cut off his feet to take home to show the feet and talons. They measured 8 inches from the back talon to the longest front talon.

If anyone should try to fine me for killing that eagle or the Coyotes etc. I guess I could use Elmer Thaynes escape route.

Elmer Thayne was one of the older colonists here in Dublan. He was a hunter and miner and anything else you wanted to talk about. In his later years he developed palsy and his hands shook and so did his voice but he still loved to talk and tell his tales of Adventure. One day in a restaurant in Casas Grandes he sat down by a man and in his shaky voice began to tell of his exploits. He said he had killed five Deer Two Turkey and one Bear all in one day. After the man listened a while he asked Elmer, "Do you know who I am". Elmer answered, "No who are you"? The man said importantly, I am the Forestal officer (the game warden). Elmer then said without missing a beat, "Do you know who I am"? The officer answered, "No who are you"? Elmer answered in his shaky voice, " I am the biggest liar in Casas Grandes".  NO PROOF NO PENALTY.