Thieves Leave 3 Starving Calves, Steal 9 ‘Mama’ Cows


Joe Stuart is seen feeding his cattle Wednesday morning after delivering a new ‘mama’ cow to feed three calves left orphaned when rustlers stole nine of his cattle last week.

Rustlers left three hungry calves behind as they stole nine Angus mother cows from a pasture off US 71 north of Wilton last week. Joe Stuart reported the loss valued at $18,000 to the Little River County Sheriff ’s Department Oct. 8.

“They got nine of 22,” Stuart said Tuesday. “They penned the cows with feed. It was one trailer load.” Stuart hoped to solve the hungry calf problem by Wednesday. He purchased another “wet” cow in Texas to bring to his lease.

The official LRC Sheriff Office report shows Stuart noticed his gate and his corral panels did not appear as he had left them when he went to the property near the intersection of US 71 and LRC road 40.

“Mr. Stuart counted his cattle and there were nine momma cows missing,” the report stated. “Mr. Stuart described the cattle as registered black Angus. The cattle weighed approximately 1,300 pounds.”

The report noted the cattle will have a freeze brand (EX) on the left shoulder because they were purchased from the Express Ranch. The cows also had ear tags and tattoos inside the ear. Six of the nine cattle were described as “wet,” and the other three were expected to calve soon.

“It’s one of those things,” Stuart said. “I hope someone noticed something that will help the deputies.”

Stuart has offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the rustlers or the return of the cattle.

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