By David Sparks
A recent article in the Idaho statesman reported that cattle rustling is on the rise in California and nationwide. “It’s a terrible crime when you steal someone’s livelihood,” said rancher Candace Owen, whose husband’s family has been ranching in and around Tehama County for generations. Last year, 1,317 head of cattle were reported stolen or missing in California which is a 22 percent increase from what was reported before the recession, said Greg Lawley, chief of the state’s Bureau of Livestock Identification. “We assume this is an outgrowth of cattle price rise,” Lawley said. and it’s NOT JUST IN CALIFORNIA. I had to follow up so I turned to executive director of the Idaho cattlemen’s Association Wyatt Prescott: “ I don’t know that I have heard about that much localized rustling. I’ve heard several stories coming out of Oklahoma, Texas and let me speak more of the historical context of it. We have gone through spells, it seems like it comes in cycles to certain areas and we have seen a slowdown in terms of the Idaho front but in not that very distant past, we saw an increase and luckily we have a very astute brand department that follows through on investigations and they seem to get who they are going after and protect us fairly well.” And what would motivate someone to steal the likelihood from a hard-working honest cowboy? “As we see the value of these cattle keep rising, it becomes more and more lucrative.” Audiofile.