Authorities investigate cow shooting
FALLON – For Fallon rancher Roger Mills, it seems like history is repeating itself.
Mills found one of his cows shot to death Monday near Sheckler Reservoir, an act reminiscent of 1999 when he and another local rancher lost nine cattle to a random shooting by two sailors from the local Naval base.
The Churchill County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the crime and recovered a bullet from the animal Monday.
Mills said a Truckee-Carson Irrigation District ditchrider notified rancher Larry Kyte about the dead animal. Kyte and Mills both run cattle in the Sheckler area. They were both victims of cow shootings in the past.
Mills estimated the 3-year-old cow had been dead two to three days, based on its condition.
“I was out checking the cattle on Saturday and most were in a meadow area but I don’t count them,” Mills said.
The animal, which had a 5-month-old calf, was shot in the shoulder behind its left front leg.
Mills said the cow was worth about $1,200 based on what he received for 30 head of cattle he sold recently.
“She was one of my replacement cows. It makes me mad because she only had one calf,” he said.
Fallon veterinarian Raymond Cooper was called to the desert off Powerline Road to assist with finding the bullet that killed the cow. Cooper spent almost an hour cutting into the carcass before the slug was finally located. It was placed into an evidence bag by deputies.
The red, white-faced Simmental is one of the oldest breeds of cattle in the world and known as a multi-purpose breed, said Mills.
In 1999, two Navy men training at NAS Fallon shot and killed eight cows in an area near Sheckler Reservoir. One of the cows was in the process of giving birth.
Alan Scott Peters of Oregon and Joshua Ryan Osinski of Arizona each received 120 days in jail and 200 hours community service for killing the animals. They were also ordered to reimburse the U.S. Navy for checks the government gave the two ranchers.
Mills was paid $4,800 to cover the loss of his cattle. Kyte received $3,000 from the Navy.
Both sailors left the military with an other than honorable discharge.
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