Last July I stashed my mule, Slim, under his favorite patch of aspens and headed into the thicket where I believed the main herd was just waking from there mid-morning naps. I walked under a rock bluff and could not shake the feeling of being watched. I looked behind me and up to see a gorgeous 4x4 whitetail buck watching me. Upon realizing he had went from the watcher to the watched, he turned and trotted out of sight. Of course, I had to follow. I quickly skirted around to a point where I could see the bowl he had went towards.
While I was doing my best impression of a rock, I felt a presence near me. April had quietly materialized at my vantage point and was standing abreast of me. Her head was up, ears forward and she was sniffing the light breeze. A few seconds later, Monday appeared and adopted the same posture. Nellie and RC arrived soon after. I asked them if they could see the buck, but all I got was a flick of an ear for a reply. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted the buck scooting through the sagebrush about 250 yards away. They all saw him too and everyone relaxed.
The cows broke their vigilance and turned their affections towards me. Truly they were only checking to see if I had brought along any apples to share. Finding none, they shrugged and headed into the bowl to forage.
I took a moment to fully appreciate what had just happened. The cows had read my body language. They could see I was intent on something and wanted to figure out what it was. Cows read me all the time, but usually it is reserved for times when I am fully aware of what I am projecting. Things like go here, stand there, no it is not a good idea to turn around in the chute. In this case, I was just being me.
The cows are always watching. What a bunch of creepsters! As for the buck, he is in my buddy's (I use that term loosely) freezer.