A cattle rancher who discovered his pregnant cow dead and partially butchered believes it was shot and suffered before it died.
One rancher believes whoever shot the cow did it from the road then jumped the fence and tried to butcher the cow while it was still alive.
The farm is where Micah Cooper was raised and learned that being a cattle rancher is not for the faint of heart.
“You gotta come out here when it's freezing cold or when it's this blistering heat we're blessed with,” he said.
The hard work is part of what Cooper loves about raising cattle with his dad - there's also the extra cash flow.
Cooper said, “It's a good source of income. We have the land to be able to grow the cows and let them live their lives here. It's a good place for them, too.”
In the ten or so years that he's been helping on the farm there's never been a problem, until very early Sunday morning, when he believes outlaws killed one of his expecting momma cows.
“She was on track to have her calf very soon,” Cooper said.
When he first saw her lying in the pasture, Cooper thought the cow was having trouble delivering the calf.
“We're walking around the cow, we get to the other side and it's like, 'Oh my God, it doesn't have two legs.’ It's like, what went on here,” Cooper asked. “This is not only a wrong thing to do to any kind of animal anywhere, it's robbing from somebody, it's taking from somebody else's pocket.”
Together, the momma and calf would have sold for $3,000 to $3,500.
Tulsa County Deputies have increased patrols in the area, and rangers with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association are helping with the investigation.
Rangers said the outlaws probably planned to butcher the entire cow but got scared and left with just the hind legs and a front shoulder.
"They knew what they were doing. It was a very clean cut, they didn't get in any intestines or anything," Cooper said. "I mean it was done by who's most likely done this before. You can't just walk out there and do something like that unless you have prior experience."
The whole thing has left Cooper to worry and wonder how anyone could do something so cruel.
“I can't wish anything bad on them, but I do very much hope they get for this before something like this happens again,” he said.
Cooper said it's likely the thieves only got away with 50 to 100 pounds of meat that was actually useable.
Rangers said they investigate several cases like this each year.
Whoever is responsible faces animal cruelty and theft of livestock charges; crimes that could lead to up to 10 years in prison.