Cattlemen offer $5,000 reward

By Pat Sunderland

The Colorado Cattlemen's Association and Delta County Livestock Association are joining forces in search of the individual or individuals who have shot calves to death in the Black Mesa grazing allotment.

Since late September, three dead calves have been discovered, two with small caliber bullet holes and one shot by a large caliber rifle. Placement of trail cams nearby led to the speculation that perhaps unscrupulous hunters were killing the calves and leaving their carcasses as bear bait, but that theory appears to be unfounded. Crawford area rancher Danny Todd says the owner of the trail cam has been identified and while he admits placing the camera near the carcasses, he denies any involvement in their deaths. It is not illegal to place a trail cam on public land near a carcass to capture images of game in the area.

Since the calves were located just off roadways, the cattlemen believe the perpetrator may be a malicious individual out to cause trouble. No meat has been taken, as was the case in an incident earlier this summer on Grand Mesa.

The $5,000 reward offered by the cattlemen is in addition to the $1,000 offered by CrimeStoppers for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators. Anyone with information is asked to call the Delta County Sheriff's Office at 874-2000 or CrimeStoppers at 874-8810, if you wish to remain anonymous.