Incidences of livestock theft are on the increase and another large-scale theft was reported. Twenty-three head of cattle were stolen from a ranch near Watonga, Okla., the Oklahoma Department Agriculture says.
When rancher Jerry Pierce went to look for the cattle, “I went to my pen over here about a half mile, and there was eight standing in the pen that they didn't take." Pierce told Oklahoma City News Channel KFOR all his cattle have ear tags with different numbers on them and they are 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.”
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture chief agent Jerry Flower said, “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.”
Flowers urges if people see something unusual, say something to authorities.
“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.” He also suggests livestock owners use game cameras to catch the thieves.
Last week more than 100 cattle were stolen from a ranch near Pryor, Okla., in the northeast part of the state.