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'It’s been crazy': Meet the I-75 cowboy who roped a steer in now-viral video

Posted at 10:56 PM, May 22, 2023

ADAMS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — It's not Texas but rather a pasture just south of Jackson in North Adams, a village with less than 500 residents.

That's where you’ll find a true cowboy named Ricky Littlejohn, one of a just a few professional cow catchers in Michigan.

"I think I roped my first cow when I was 15,” Littlejohn said. "There’s a lot of cowboys, more cowboys out west and stuff but not a lot capable of what we do here.”

Littlejohn and his fiance Trina Resendez are professional cowcatchers, not only roping cows at rodeos but catching loose cows in real life.

“We do this almost every day," Littlejohn said. "(But) Not on a highway.”

But that’s where their most recent job took them. A steer who was missing in Oakland County for six weeks was found just north of Holly wandering near I-75.

“They called me and were like, 'Hey, is there any way you can help?'" Littlejohn said. "I was a little nervous about going because it’s super dangerous to be on the highway and whatnot.”

Littlejohn still called his team and brought in horses, dogs and rope out to the area on Sunday. Eventually, the animal ran into the road with Littlejohn chasing behind. His practice and experience paid off, roping the animal before it was hit by a car.

“As he was fighting, I put another rope on it and kind of worked as a team after that,” Resendez said. "It's kind of scary seeing something like that run out on the highway because it’s a 1,200 pound animal running out into people that don’t know what’s going on.”

“I’ve never seen anything like this happen before and it was just really cool to be a part of,” said Austin Collier, who was part of the team Sunday. "It was a dangerous situation and could've been a lot worse.”

The entire chase was caught on dashcam by a Michigan State Police trooper. The video was posted to social media and is now a viral hit. The local cowboy — now local hero — is enjoying the ride, just happy he could help out and no one was seriously hurt.

“Oh yeah, it’s been crazy. My phone has been nonstop," Littlejohn said. "All the 'Yellowstone' comments and all sorts of stuff, they put music behind the video and everything. It’s been pretty entertaining.”

If you find yourself in need of Littlejohn's services, you can find info on his business RJL Cow Catching by searching for Ricky Littlejohn on Facebook.

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