BLAINE COUNTY, Okla. – Ranchers across the state are worried. Thieves are targeting their livestock.
The latest cases are happening near Watonga. That’s where nearly two dozen cattle were taken.
The Department of Agriculture said, most of the time after cattle are stolen, the thieves try and re-sell them. They said it’s been happening way too often.
“Cattle theft actually goes up this time of the year because cattle are out on wheat and they are easily seen and easier to get to,” said Jerry Flowers, the chief agent for The Department of Agriculture.
Flowers said they’re fed up with cattle theft. They’re investigating many cases across the state.
“A loss like this can be devastating to a livestock owner,” he said.
The most recent case – southeast of Watonga.
Jerry Pierce said 23 head of cattle were taken off his land.
“I went to look for them,” Pierce said. “I went to my pen over here about a half mile, and there was eight standing in the pen that they didn’t take.”
All of Pierce’s cattle have ear tags with different numbers on them. They’re also branded, JP on the left hip.
“I love my cattle, and I hate to see it coming to this,” he said. “I’m trying to keep a smile on, but it’s tough.”
Pierce said it’s a tough job managing his 15 cattle farms. He feels like someone stole his livelihood.
“In farming, timing is money,” he said. “Getting the crop into the ground, you have to plan for all of this stuff and prepare and then you get all the way down to selling them and they’re gone.”
Flowers said the only way to get cattle theft to stop is for people to say something, if they see something.
“Get nosy,” he said. “Be nosy. See who is driving up and down the county roads and, if you see something out that doesn’t belong there, get on the phone, call 911.”
Pierce believes karma will catch up to the thieves.
“Go ahead, steal all you want,” he said. “You’re only cheating yourself. It’s only going to come back to you in the end. And, I firmly believe that.”
Flowers suggests livestock owners get game cameras to catch the thieves.
The Department of Agriculture has also let our surrounding states know about the theft in case the cattle are re-sold there.