Bushwacker isn't expected to compete again for another two months.
However, when he arrives in Oklahoma City for the fourth Built Ford Tough Series event of the 2013 season, he will look noticeably different than he did when he was in Las Vegas for the World Finals.
The end of his left horn is hollowed out, so Kent Cox is going to take him down to Elgin, Texas, where Dr. Gary Warner will cut it two-to-three inches back (if not more) until they reach a point where the left horn is solid bone.
"His horns will probably look a little bit different when we crack him back out," said Cox, in a phone interview. "I haven't done it yet, but probably within the next week or so, we'll go down to Elgin."
Cox said the end of Bushwacker's left horn is hollowed deep enough he can slide his entire small finger inside, but isn't sure how much further in it could go beyond that point.
"His horns will probably look a little bit different when we crack him back out."
To this point, there have not been any issues with his horn.
The plan is to cut it shorter as a precautionary measure to keep the hollowed portion from filling up with debris, dirt, mud and running the risk of a future horn infection, which "could cause all kinds of problems," Cox noted.
Bushwacker has not been ridden since October of 2009, and has bucked off 48 consecutive riders, including 35 at BFTS events. His BFTS buckoff streak is tied with Silver Wings for the longest streak in PBR history.
According to www.probullstats.com, he's currently ranked No. 1 in the power ranking for bulls, and is statistically in the Top 10 of all-time. Thirty-six times he's been the high-marked bull of the round, and he averages a bull score of 46.118 points per outing on the BFTS.
The 2011 World Champion Bull is otherwise as healthy as he's been since debuting on the BFTS.
He was examined prior to the World Finals.
Dr. Warner had Bushwacker's hocks, elbows and knees all X-rayed and said, "Everything came back good." According to Cox, there were no concerns in October, and the examination was precautionary because of the hock injuries earlier this year, and because of the development of arthritis.
While this could be Bushwacker's last season, Cox said, "It's not likely."
Cox and Bushwacker's owners - Julio Moreno and Richard Oliveira - will consult with Dr. Warner on a year-by-year basis. In October, the doctor told them he's good for this year and, perhaps, the 2014 season, but the "less time he spends on the truck, the better."
The plan for 2013 is to avoid long drives, which means Bushwacker won't go to the west coast this year.
Though plans could change, Cox expects to buck Bushwacker 10-to-12 times this coming season.
He also explained that after looking at the BFTS schedule, he's trying to keep from having to make two- and three-day drives. In addition to Oklahoma City, he's looking at St. Louis and Kansas City in back-to-back weeks and, of course, Arlington for the Iron Cowboy as the first four events where Bushwacker would compete.
Cox would like to get a Touring Pro Division outing for Bushwacker in early January, which would be prior to the Oklahoma City event, but the schedule doesn't look right for that to happen.
There are two smaller TPDs in San Antonio, but Cox doesn't want to subject a young, freshly-turned-professional to having to face a bull the caliber of Bushwacker.
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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