Cattlemen in western North Dakota are urged to watch for suspicious activity in the region after at least three cattle were shot and butchered in pastures. The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association is offering a $14,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of culprits.
Blaine Northrop, chief brand inspector for the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association, said ranchers in Dunn and McKenzie counties found evidence in their pastures of butchered animals earlier this month. Brand inspectors spent two days in mid-May in the area looking for information.
Northrup said two cases were in Dunn County, about 15 miles apart, and the “evidence was similar,” leading investigators to believe those cases may be connected. One case in northern McKenzie County had a “completely different scene” than the Dunn County cases. One animal in Dunn County was a bull; the other in Dunn County and the one in McKenzie County were cows.
“The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association works hard to protect the state’s livestock industry,” Northrup said. “We are committed to bringing to justice the person or persons who are responsible for these crimes.”
Northrop suggests producers keep an up-to-date head count, be on the watch for any unusual activity and/or strange vehicles in the area and notify the NDSA or their local law enforcement agency about anything out of the ordinary.
Anyone with information about these or other livestock crimes is asked to call the NDSA at (701) 223-2522. All information is kept confidential, and tips may be provided anonymously.
Northrop said if people see anyone suspicious, they should not approach possible suspects.
“If they’re going to kill cattle, they’re armed,” he said. “Sometimes, the bad guys do win.”
Instead, he asks that descriptions of vehicles and people be passed along to local law enforcement and the Stockmen’s Association as soon as possible.