$500 reward offered in shooting of pregnant cow
September 30, 2004
A pregnant black Angus cow was shot three times and killed Monday evening along Highway 88 just about a mile south of the Kimmerling Road intersection.
Douglas County Secret Witness is offering $500 for information leading to an arrest or conviction in the case. Callers to 78-CRIME can remain anonymous.
Nathan Leising is the ranch owner at Flying Eagle Ranch, where the cow was found. He said the dead cow comes from a herd belonging to a California man, who is angered by the shooting.
“He’s fully aware of it, we let him know right away,” Leising said. “He’s real upset about it, it’s a random shooting.
The cow is worth about $2,000. Leising believes the cow was shot from the road with a high-powered weapon, and that someone likely shot the cattle in the hoof first, the shoulder next, and then took a final shot in the ribs.
“The third time it was hit in the ribs, and that’s what brought it down,” he said.
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The cow is believed to have been shot between 7:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. in a pasture in the 600 block of Highway 88. Leising found the dead cow about 20 feet away from a pool of blood.
“When we found it, it was obvious the cow didn’t die right there,” he said. “We looked around evidence-wise, and found there was blood, and (the cow) had been walking around.”
Leising said that ranchers sometimes shoot at coyotes that are killing calves, but that this shooting was not a coyote-shooting gone bad.
“This was an intentional killing, absolutely,” he said. “There is no question it was … criminal.”
Leising has been at Flying Eagle for 17 years. He said he believes cattle shootings are common in the Sierra Nevada mountains, where free-ranging cattle can irritate others, but not in the Valley.
“Its just one of those things in Carson Valley right now. People, they say they want agriculture to stay, but if this got to be more a norm than an exception, it’s just concerning.”
Although hundreds of cows are in the herd that he watches, the loss of one animal can mean decreases in future production.
“If this happens regularly, it puts a real damper on your production,” he said. “It’s a monetary loss. The thing is they lose not only the calf, but a good-producing cow that could have had calves for years to come.”
He said the cow was just about ready to deliver, and in December would have been taken south to California for winter pasture.
“At least if someone kills it and takes the meat, it’s used,” he said. “But this is just wanton waste of the life of an animal.”
— Maggie O’Neill can be reached at mo’email@example.com or 782-5121, ext. 214.