BUTLER COUNTY — Four cattle that escaped their Morris Road home in Fairfield Twp. and were loose for two days throughout the area have returned.
On Monday night, Fairfield Twp. Police updated the public on its Texas Longhorn wrangling operation, saying one wayward steer was “lassoed and in custody.”
As of 9:25 p.m., that evening, the other two that had jumped the fence at a Morris Road farm Sunday night were still missing, according to police.
At about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in the cul-de-sac of the 6900 block of Forest Hill Lane, a second was captured, and the last one was captured Tuesday evening in the 3800 block of Princeton Road, according to Fairfield Twp. Capt. Doug Lanier.
Tuesday afternoon, Fairfield Twp. police said the wayward bovine were still roaming in an area of heavy brush. Lanier said citizens with skills in tracking and catching Longhorns had come forward to help.
Among the private citizens’ posse was local cattle and horse rancher Lawrence Bishop II and two of his ranch hands — all on horses — riding miles Monday and Tuesday through the community’s neighborhoods, farms and woods.
Bishop, who also is co-pastor of Monroe’s Solid Rock Church, told the Journal-News Wednesday that tracking down the scattered longhorns was difficult and dangerous.
“I lassoed and caught two of them and a guy who works for me caught the other one,” said Bishop.
“They can put a hole in you with those horns for sure,” he said. “They know how to use those horns and they can kill a dog or a horse or a person if they hit you in the right place.”
Using his cattle dogs to help find and corner the longhorns, they forced one into a Fairfield Twp.’s suburban home garage where it damaged two cars. Spooked out of the garage, Bishop said he lassoed the agitated animal and used a brick mailbox in the front yard to wrap his rope around and secure the animal.
“The hard part is getting eyes on them. If the dogs can see them or smell them, they are bay dogs and they will circle and bark and keep them contained in an area so it’s easier to go up and rope them. Then you use your horse to drag them up to the trailer and drag them onto the trailer.”
The steers traveled more than seven miles through the night, he said of Monday evening into Tuesday.
On Monday morning, Fairfield Twp. Police had issued a cautionary warning to residents about the loose steer in the area of Morris, Hamilton-Mason and Tylersville Roads and the Ohio 4 Bypass, “as three Texas Longhorns have escaped from their pasture in the 7800 block of Morris Road.”
They were seen by residents and officers grazing in yards and running down the middle of roadways.
Police urged people not to approach the cattle and motorists were told to “exercise extreme caution and keep a safe distance from the animals.”
The bovine trio escaped Sunday evening prompting the owner to report that “newly purchased cattle, jumped over the fence and were now running through the woods behind (the owner’s) property,” according to the police.
Officers walked the wooded area and were able to spot the loose cattle before they darted east of Cincinnati Christian School. That’s when an ATV from the fire department was brought out, but the engine noise appeared to scare them, the report says.
“The cattle refused to come to their owner and appeared extremely skittish,” said officer Matt Miller in the report. “After that, I reached out to several nearby livestock farms in the area to gain expert assistance.”
Robert Campbell, who raises cattle on Hamilton-Middletown Road, volunteered his time and found of the longhorns in the woods south of Keeneland Drive, but it ran. There was an attempt to track it, but it unsuccessful.
The three steer showed up in the backyard of a residence in the 7400 block of Keeneland at one point, according to the report.
Campbell also was in on the successful capture of a loose bull in Liberty Twp. He and Gavin Maxwell, Jayne Tafe and Andrew Montgomery assisted Butler County Sheriff’s deputy John Schott in wrangling that animal when the owner could not be reached.