I have found the bull hitch really great for tying my paracord to secure to an object, like a stick, branch or other long object. The reason I like it is that compared to other hitches like the girth hitch, it will not come lose. (for instance, the girth hitch will be tight and snug while tension is applied, but if you push up toward the hitch, it will become loose)

To my surprise, the bull hitch isn't that common; or at least the online literature on it is rather scarce. Using a search engine query will bring up mostly "cow hitch" content -- which is not the same. So for reference I have painstakingly used paint to show how to tie the bull hitch assuming a closed loop. Numbered steps accompany the picture.

  1. Start by finding a portion of the closed loop to serve as your bight
  2. Fold the bight down over itself to form two circles
  3. Pull cord so that the left-hand circle is bigger than the right-hand circle
  4. Turn the big circle about 90° and push it over so that it encloses the small circle
  5. Bring the big circle back around to the front so that it matches the picture
  6. Begin to fold the two circles in on each other, back to back
  7. The result should be as this picture, both circles folded forwards 90° (view from the side to make sure the loops are correctly aligned)
  8. With loops formed, slide object into loops. Then pull down on the rest of the cord to tighten the hitch
  9. To increase the snugness of the hitch, bring the bottom horizontal part up and form and "X" shape like shown. (this is what keeps the hitch from loosening or sliding around) enter image description here

Question: With the steps of the closed loop case as articulated above in mind, how can I achieve the same hitch but using the ends of a cord? I would appreciate it if someone could also doodle the steps or some other visual representation.

  • First, i'd never seen or heard of the bull hitch before, so thank you. Second, i could not follow your instructions (stuck on step 4). Third, i figured it out based on examining you finished knot, which is apparent from your diagrams 6 and 9.
    – Martin F
    Jul 29, 2018 at 22:21
  • @MartinF I think the left loop goes around the right loop, then step 5 is seen from the other side
    – njzk2
    Jan 20, 2022 at 22:01

1 Answer 1


The bull hitch is just a cow hitch (aka girth hitch) with an extra round turn.

  1. Bring the working end over and around the bar then over itself.

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  1. Make a turn around itself.

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  1. Bring it behind the bar.

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  1. Bring it over the front of the bar...

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  1. ...and down through the round turn.

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  1. Pull tight and dress.

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  • 2
    Thanks for the picture guide, you rock! It's a cool knot, glad we figured it out. Jul 30, 2018 at 14:20

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