Cowboy Bob's Campfire ConversationsCowboy Campfire


Table of Contents

Cowboy Bob and the Bouncin' Bovine
The Philmont Mountain Lion
The Dyin' Gunfighter
The Truth About Wild Horses
Bunc Bradshaw and the Mexican Captain
Cowboy Bob: Movie Star
The Cowboy's Wardrobe
Some Other Cowboy Paraphernalia
God's Bit and Bridle
The Adventures of Cheyenne Dawson
Louis Remme's Wild Ride
Cowboy Bob and the Bunny Buckle

The First Bulldogger

Bill Pickett Ever wonder how bulldogs got their name?

Well, it don't hardly seem possible, but them critters -- what weigh maybe half as much as a sack of oats -- were first raised to fight ornery bulls weighin' nigh onto a ton.

The sport, if you can call it that, was called bull baitin' and was mostly a test of courage. The bull and the dog were put in a big ring, and the first one to turn tail and run was the loser.

The bull had size, weight, hooves, and horns on his side. The bulldog had speed, agility, savvy - and teeth.

The dog would often sink his teeth into the bull's lower lip and hang on for dear life while the bull whipped his head around wildly.

With most dogs, bein' snapped around like that would break the dog's neck. A bulldog, however, has a very short, thick, and sturdy neck.

If the dog hung on long enough, the pain could bring the bull to his knees.

Bull baitin' became illegal in England in 1835 - I was just a youngster then, but my pappy told me about it.

Bull baitin' was sorta put on the back burner for fifty or sixty years, until Willie M. "Bill" Pickett came along.

Born in 1870, Bill Pickett was a handsome, rugged Black cowboy. Pickett was described by 101 Ranch owner Zack Miller as "the greatest sweat and dirt cowhand that ever lived - bar none."

Possibly the most important rodeo figure of all time, Pickett invented "bull doggin'" - the now lost art of throwin' a steer while grippin' its lips or nostrils with the teeth. Pickett first performed this feat while workin' with the Millers' 101 Ranch Show.

That sort of bull doggin' was mighty rough on the dental work, so it wasn't long before the game settled down to just wrestlin' the steer to the ground.

Durin' his rodeo career, Pickett was sometimes assisted by a couple of unknown cowhands: Tom Mix and Will Rogers. Mix and Rogers later became world-famous entertainers.

Bill Pickett Postage Stamp Pickett died on April 2, 1932. While he was ropin' a stallion, the horse turned on sixty-one-year-old Pickett and smashed his head.

In 1972, Pickett became the first Black to be inducted into the National Rodeo Hall of Fame. He was also one of only sixteen individuals honored on the 1993 "Legends of the West" commemorative U.S. postage stamps.

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   COPYRIGHT © 1999 BOB LEMEN, GRAND RAPIDS, MINNESOTA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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