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Ag in Action 2017

39

All the supplies you need

for the newborns this spring.

Milk suppliments

& supplies, bedding,

waterers, feeders,

animal blankets, heat

lamps, feed, feed, feed

& more feed!

538-5114 • 320 East Main • Lewistown, MT

Rustlers

(continued)

Cases of suspected livestock theft are investigated by

the Brands Enforcement Division.

“Other law enforcement agencies don’t like livestock

crime because they don’t have the training to understand

it,” Doely said. Her staff works with county attorneys to

bring rustlers to court when there is enough evidence.

Much more common than theft are civil cases of disputed

ownership, Doely said.

“Often it is the ranch owner versus the hired hand, where

cattle were part of the hired man’s payment,” she explained.

Local case of rustling

A local cattle grower who did not want to be identified

told a tale of finding strangers in his cattle pasture some

years ago. He and his daughter rode their horses over to see

what the trespassers were up to, but before they could reach

them, the two strangers ran for it – taking with them the

best parts of a butchered carcass. And yes, it was the brand

that verified the theft.

“A few years ago, when calves were going for $500, it was

more common for us to get reports of rustling,” Doely said.

But, she added, it is still an issue, even if on a reduced

scale. For those with missing cattle, the Brands Enforcement

office is the place to call.

“We’re usually where they call about missing cattle, right

after they call their neighbors,” Doely said.

Besides being useful, many brands

are appreciated for their graphic

design, such as these adding to the

ambiance at the Waterhole Saloon

in Stanford.

Photo by Jennie Gessaman