RCMP continue to investigate an incident that saw three cows and a calf shot dead in the Stauffer area northeast of Caroline earlier this month.
The shooting, which also resulted in three cows being injured from gunshot wounds, was reported to Rocky Mountain House RCMP on Aug. 6.
A rifle recovered at the scene had been stolen from a nearby residence, with indications suggesting the firearm was used in the shooting.
RCMP are waiting for ballistic and forensic evidence to come back from the lab before completing their investigation.
“We haven’t proven that it was a rifle that shot the cows yet,” said Const. Tom Meloche of the Rocky RCMP.
Assisting in the investigation is one of the force’s two livestock investigators in the province, Cpl. Dave Heaslip.
Heaslip said cartridges and expended shells were found at the scene, along with the recovered rifle.
“The malicious shooting of livestock is not common, but it does happen every once in a while,” said Heaslip.
He said investigators spoke with area residents and spent a lot of time with the landowner and his cattle following the incident.
“The owner of the livestock is very passionate about his cattle. He was visibly upset with regards to what we saw. The cattle are in nice shape. He’s got a really nice herd of longhorns.
“What a stupid, stupid waste.”
Heaslip said the injured cattle were given veterinary treatment and were likely to recover.
During hunting season, compensation is available through the Wildlife Act to Alberta livestock owners who have had their animals accidentally shot by hunters, but Heaslip said the producer in this case will likely have to go through the courts to get restitution for his loss.
Anyone with information related to the incident should contact their local RCMP detachment or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.