February 13, 2013 - This is a true story, no bull . . . well, at least not anymore.
Tyrone Sally, 52, of Addison Township, was forced to shoot a raging brown bull who was chasing him on Monday, Feb. 11.
"It was unusual and it was very sad," he said. "It's not the outcome that I wanted."
The incident occurred on Sally's 4.6-acre farm in the 700 block of Lake George Rd.
"I was outside letting my horses out of the barn and I turned around to see this bull charging across my front lawn," Sally said. "He was coming at me."
The bull had managed to get loose from his home at Upland Hills Farm, which is located at 481 Lake George Rd.
All that was separating Sally from this two-year-old bull, which he estimated to be between 800 and 1,000 pounds, was a wire fence.
"His horns got hooked up into the fence and tangled up," he said. "I told my contractor to go get my gun."
The gun was a just-in-case measure. Sally's "initial goal" was to corral the beast into a secure area.
"I tried to get him into my pen, but he wanted nothing to do with that," he said.
After that, Sally saw the bull heading down his property line toward Lake George Rd. He realized he couldn't let that happen.
"I thought I've got to keep him on my property because if that bull gets out in the road and causes an accident – I can't let that happen," he said.
When asked to describe the bull's behavior, Sally replied, "It was just going nuts. It was just completely enraged – head down, bucking and coming at you. It was just like a cartoon. You've seen those cartoons (where the bull is) blowing steam out its nose? Basically, that's what it was doing."
Sally got about halfway down his property line, when the bull turned around, looked at him and began chasing him across his property.
"He chased me around a couple of trees," he said. "He had me in an open field area between my house and the neighbor's house. He put his head down and kicked his (hooves) back (in preparation) to charge me again. He was about 8-10 feet away at that point. He starting coming at me – that's when I had to put him down."
It took Sally a total of six shots, all to the head, to stop the bull, bring him down and finally, end its life. He was firing target slugs from a 12-gauge shotgun.
Sally noted the bull was still standing after the first three shots. It was the fourth shot that finally forced the animal to the ground. The last two shots were to "put him out of his misery."
Sally made it very clear he simply did what he had to do and took no pleasure whatsoever in having to kill this animal.
"I have a very good relationship with my neighbor (Steve Webster, owner of Upland Hills Farm) and I was very upset about having to put his bull down," he said. "It was a gruesome, unfortunate end, but it had to happen."
Sally noted he would have much rather safely secured the bull and later had a good laugh with Webster about the whole incident.
According to the Oakland County Sheriff's Department, Webster told deputies his bull had been getting aggressive lately and he was okay with it being put down.
"He was completely understanding," Sally said. "He had no problem with what had to be done."
Webster took possession of the carcass and transported it back to his property via tractor.
Sally is more used to saving animals than killing them. He operates a rescue farm on his property called "Second Chance Ranch." It takes in horses, pigs, goats, sheep and cows.
In this case, Sally indicated he had to do what was necessary to protect himself and others.
"My goal was first to protect myself because he wanted me (for) lunch," he said. "My second priority was keeping that bull from causing anybody else any harm or damage.
"If that bull had gotten on (Lake George Rd.) . . . well, you know how fast people drive on that road – that bull running out in front of a car could have caused significant damage or potential injury."
Sally shudders to think what could have happened if any of his kids had been outside when the angry bull showed up. He and his wife have 10 children, ranging in age from 6 to 22. Nine of them still live at home.
Sally doesn't view himself as any kind of hero. "I wouldn't say I was brave, it just all clicked together," he said. "This is what had to happen. I wanted to hopefully contain the bull, but it didn't work out that way."
No criminal charges are being filed or citations issued against Sally because his actions were determined to be justified and he discharged his firearm in a safe manner.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.