STEPHENS COUNTY, Okla. (TNN) -Several ranchers in Stephens County are reporting someone is shooting and killing their cattle.
Though there's only one cow that was confirmed shot, according to Sheriff Wayne McKinney. He's encouraging people to be on the lookout for anything suspicious.
Over the last month, the Stephens County Sheriff’s Department received at least seven reports of cattle that were believed to have been shot. One of which came from Kevin Lindesmith.
“I came home from work one afternoon to feed the cows and I had a dead mama cow, dead at the feeder,” said Lindesmith. “And that’s odd, usually when you have a sick cow, they die away from the herd. This cow was dead at the feeder.”
The next day, Lindesmith learned that multiple ranchers had reported their cattle had been shot... which made him believe his cow may have also.
"For a small operation such as mine, it’s calving season right now, and so every mama cow is important to the ranch,” said Lindesmith. “And so with a money maker being killed senselessly, that’s a big loss for a farmer and rancher.”
Sheriff Wayne McKinney confirmed at least one animal had been shot, but wasn’t able to confirm the other reports, based on the decomposition of the cattle in question.
“We take it very seriously, because you put a lot of money in feeding the animals, and that’s your livelihood,” said McKinney. “And for a lot of people that is their livelihood. So we do take it very seriously. We reached out to the Department of Ag specialized unit, if both of us could confirm that someone was randomly shooting livestock, they would have been involved too.”
Mckinney says there should be no worries about a rampant shooter killing cattle.
He says they haven't had a problem like that in several years.
But he did say that it's always important to keep your eyes and ears open, and report anything suspicious.
“Report it to us and let us go check it out,” said McKinney. “It doesn’t take long to send a deputy to that area to check it out, and if we see or hear something then we can check it out.”
Lindesmith says if someone is out shooting cattle, he hopes they get caught.
If you believe you may have information regarding these cases, you’re asked to call the Stephens County Sheriff’s Department.