Sometimes I think they call them “idioms” because when you discover their origin you often feel like an idiot.
For years, I thought “bum steer” must refer to a cow that’s lazy or no good or couldn’t procreate or something. (The latter doesn’t even make sense because a steer is a male cow that’s been castrated. A non-castrated male cow is a bull.)
“Bum steer” actually means a misdirection, “a piece of false information or guidance” (OED) or “an instance of false or misleading information or directions especially when purposely so.” (Merriam-Webster.)
So if somebody gives you a bum steer, they steered you wrong, either unintentionally or on purpose.
(I wonder how many people who read Texas Monthly actually know this meaning? The longhorn riding a scooter on the cover makes it even more confusing…)