Mercy am I ever glad to be home. I can’t wait to crawl in my bed tonight. I’ve been sleeping on a shuck mattress down on the border ranch. If you don’ t know what a shuck mattress is, this is where you put corn shucks in a cotton sack and sleep on it. Not complaining, jus’ tellin’ how it went.
As most of you know I have been down on the Texas/Mexican border trying to help a cousin of my twins with his illegal alien problems. I love a challenge, but this is one time I stepped in over my head. I knew it was bad on the border, but I had no idea how bad. I have a new respect for those who ranch on the border. The US Government has tied their hands. If they were to shoot a trespasser and that invader happened to be an illegal alien then they would spend the rest of their life in jail. If a regular cattle thief was caught, you could shoot him for trespassing and get a thank you note from the local sheriff. It’s a sad double standard. If they arrest and hold these invaders for the Border Patrol, the ACLU will sue them for breaking the civil rights of the illegal aliens. Especially if they speak harshly or treat any of the illegals rough.
You have never seen trash until you visit a border ranch. I got down there Wednesday before dark, so the owner took me for a ride in his old rusty blue pickup truck. It had no shocks, I swear we were riding on the axles. He ranches just over 15,000 acres, which stretches along the Rio Grande River. There are only about a dozen good places for the illegals to cross over. A lot of the river bank is so very steep it would be difficult for anyone to scale down and then get back up on the other side. He had done one smart thing. He had cleared the brush and cactus away from the bank in a swath about a hundred yards wide. That was part of my plan. I was going to ask him to do the clearing, but he was ahead of me. This allows a horse and rider to ride the fence line. Illegals cut a lot of fences and there is a constant need to repair them, otherwise the cattle would swim over to Mexico and it’s hard to get them back because of all the Mexican disease on the other side.
I felt we had to make the Illegals FEAR coming onto his property. FEAR can be a big deterrent, but it had to be done with much skill. The Illegals know the law. They know the rancher can’t shoot them and not get in trouble. Now if they attacked him he could then shoot them, but only those carrying drugs would risk a gun fight with a rancher. ALL border ranchers are heavily armed.
Before I left my place I made a call to an old boy from Snyder, Texas. I call him General G. He’s no general, but acts like one, because he is free with giving orders. We go a long way back. We go back to Tom Green County. I didn’t have General G.’s phone number, so I called his 94 year old grandmother in Snyder. What a delight. I have a couple of great stories to tell you about her. Stories General G shared with me. Anyway, back to the General. He trains bloodhounds for police work. Not only trains, but raises them. General G. has his compound hidden in the heart of west Texas. I won’t give up his location. He knows the Mexican Drug cartels would love to slip in and kill all of his dogs. Bloodhounds have the best noses of any dog. They are not all that tall, but weigh between 110 and 150 lbs. They have the most blood curdling bark of any dog. Fear rattles in the heart of one hearing their constant barking. Or I guess I should say howling. Once they pick up a scent they start off with their constant howling and trust me their voices carry for miles.
General G. was waiting at the ranch when I arrived. He brought 8 dogs for my rancher buddy to lease. If the dogs work then the rancher will have the opportunity to buy them. At a lot of ball games they play the song, “Who Let the Dogs Out!!!” I am hoping letting the dogs out will send fear into the hearts of those who were thinking of cutting through this ranch. I know we can’t stop them, but we can “invite” them to move to another ranch to make their crossing. My only concern is with the twins’ cousin.
The three of us crammed in the old man’s antique pick up truck and traveled on the roughest roads in America. I cannot remember even a bronc bouncing me around like his pickup truck. In the back of the pickup truck were 100 silk screened signs with metal holders. Much like those used by real estate companies. Before I left my ranch I called the old rancher and had him pick up the signs in Laredo. The sign company put on a rush order. General G., the old man and I put out signs until it was too dark to see. The silk screen company in Laredo out did themselves. I have just got to stop and tell you about my signs. My idea was to put up enough signs along the river so any place some one came across they would see these signs. A lot depended on General G. being willing to provide the bloodhounds. I didn’t think just any dog would do. I felt it had to be a blood hound. Two reasons. First, their name is frightening and second, their voice. WOW, if you hear them at night it makes you want to find a cave to hide in.
Once the company making the signs learned what I was trying to do they suggested they add some art work. He had a drawing of a dog with fangs dripping blood. He placed the dog in the top middle of the sign with blood running from its mouth. The wording is excellent.
BEWARE Killer Bloodhound
Enter at your own Risk
Not responsible when the bloodhounds maul you to death.
I will not be responsible for your death if you step on my property.
I’m letting the dogs out…I suggest you find another ranch to cross if you want to live.
This is all in Spanish. We wanted to give them enough information to cause their imaginations to work overtime. I tried to word it so when they stopped to read the sign and heard the dogs howling at the same time their hearts would grow weak. They would go back across the river to find another place to cross.
What has brought on the extra large number of Mexicans crossing through ranches is overnight the Mexican Government changed out all of their custom agents and replaced them with new people. For a few weeks there will be no one bribing their way into the United States. Thus the next best places to cross the border is through ranches.
On the second day the old man got General G. and me up about 4:30 am. We had a great breakfast, saddled our horses and off we went with the dogs. Eight of the old man’s men came with us. After General G. goes home it will be up to teams of two to take the dogs out. Perhaps that’s not clear. Four dogs work the daylight hours and four dogs work at night. We want a constant howling from the bloodhounds day and night. General G. taught the men how to set the dogs on a scent and then follow them. We stopped at noon for some jerky and coffee. Their jerky was like shoe leather, but when you are hungry it tasted pretty good. By mid afternoon the men were getting the hang of working the dogs. We made a point to ride two men and two dogs along the clearings. We wanted the Illegals to see what the sign said was true.
That afternoon a family of ten tried to brave the dogs. They got about a half mile into the ranch before the dogs “treed” them. There are no trees, just scrub brush, but a pair of dogs had them at bay when we arrived. The old rancher told them he was going to spare their lives so they could tell their friends the next time the dogs would be ordered to kill. I know enough Spanish to realize he told the mothers the first things his dogs would kill are the babies. He’d let them eat the babies after the adults were dead. He said he’d bury the bones so no one would ever know what happened to them. The old man probably would have done that. He sure made a believer out of me.
I have never seen such fear in anyone’s face as those young people. Out of the ten, three were small children, a couple were teens and the oldest about 35. I think the word will spread like wildfire that the old man is crazy. He will turn the bloodhounds loose on any who venture onto his ranch. Bloodhounds are not killers, but 99.999% of those south of the Rio Grand don’t know that.
I called the old rancher this evening when I got home. He said the word was spreading that he had gone crazy and was KILLING illegals by siccing his bloodhounds on them. He was laughing so hard I could hardly understand what he was saying. So far so good. Sometimes it’s not the poker player with the best hand, but the one with the best bluff.
I’ll tell you more tomorrow. I’m ready for a shower, some cold buttermilk and hot cornbread. The wife of one of the twins sent me some cornbread. Good night, Will Cooper <><