Trespasser Shoots, Guts Rancher’s Sheep

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JACKSONVILLE, AR – Ranch owner James Birtcher says someone killed one of his best sheep at his Shabby Sheep Ranch.

Birtcher’s pasture in Pulaski County is stained red where he found it Wednesday (11/13) morning.

“Someone shot it in the woods, waited, no one was here and they came and cleaned it,” Birtcher guessed. “Very sad thing.”

His barbed wire fence had been cut and pulled back.

“I suspect that that’s how they came in,” Birtcher added.

It seems to him it wasn’t by mistake.

If whoever did this initially mistook the animal for a deer, they still trespassed on the property, shot the animal and would have eventually realized it was a sheep.

Birtcher called the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO).

According to their report the cuts were clean and straight. The back-strap, chops, loins, and rear quarters had been removed.

“Violated I guess would be the term,” Birtcher remarked. “Very upset. Quite angry at them.”

Birtcher says the sheep was valued at $400. It was pregnant, likely with twins, and whoever killed it probably got away with forty pounds of meat.

“This was an intentional act,” said Lt. Carl Minden, PSCO Public Information Officer. “This was something somebody planned on doing is what it appears to be.”

According to the PCSO report the charge would be criminal mischief.

“They trespassed on this gentleman’s land,” Lt. Minden explained. “They butchered his livestock, took it and basically left it a mess.”

What’s just as frustrating for Birtcher, as a retired criminal justice educator he knows justice will likely never be served for the cruel act committed.

He said, “Hopefully it just won’t happen again or if it does hopefully I can catch them on the camera.”

Birtcher happened to be out of town and his installed security cameras were down when this happened.

Birtcher says he’s locked up his other sheep and does have the security cameras back up and running.

They still hope, however unlikely, that if someone does know anything about this, they let the authorities know.

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