Double Standard: Cattle Rustlers and Wolves

January 4, 2010

It seems cattle rustling is a problem in the Great Basin, where three states converge (Oregon, Nevada and Idaho)  Cattle are being stolen but ranchers have been reluctant to point fingers.  Hmmmm. That seems odd.  When wolves are accused of killing livestock, Wildlife Services is called in to remove so called “depredating wolves” quicker then you can say holy cow…BUT when ranchers lose cows to theft…mums the word?

“Out of pride and a reluctance to point a finger at neighbors, ranchers in the vast Great Basin outback where Oregon, Idaho and Nevada come together have been slow to admit that someone in their midst, perhaps even someone they know from barbecues and brandings, has been stealing cattle. Just who is doing it, and how they have gotten away with it for at least three years, remains a mystery.”

It wasn’t until last summer that ranchers overcame their reluctance to talk to the law and each other about the problem.  It was discovered that 1200 cattle have disappeared, who can’t be accounted for from natural mortality.  

Ranchers don’t seem to have a problem reporting wolves for cattle losses.  I guess there’s a double standard going on here.

“Ranchers are keeping closer watch on their cattle, even with hidden cameras, and taking counts every time a herd moves through a gate, so they can report a theft sooner.”

So ranchers will take steps to keep a closer eye on their cattle when rustlers are involved and spend the money needed to protect their investment.  Interesting isn’t it?

And they admit turning their cows loose on the wide open range, unsupervised.  What a surprise.

“Bred cows are turned loose on rangeland far from home and left on their own for months at a time. The only good count of what the weather, predators, disease, poisonous weeds and now rustlers have left comes at the fall gather.”

“Jordan Valley ranchers Rand and Jane Collins swim their cows across the Owyhee River to get them to their federal allotment in February, and don’t see them again until June or July, when they brand the new calves.”

So let me get this straight.  Rustlers are stealing cattle on large open ranges, where cattle are left unsupervised but it wasn’t until recently that ranchers were willing to admit to the problem?  Yet there is no reluctance to report suspected wolf predation?

“It’s not the kind of thing you like to admit,” Rand Collins said. “There’s always the chance as the season goes along that the cattle will turn up, and then you look like a fool for crying wolf.”

Crying wolf seems to be what many ranchers can’t stop doing.


Updated: Fri 6:43 PM, Jun 03, 2011

Cattle Rustlers Causing Big Problems for Ranchers


Rustlers ride wideopen range of Great BasinRustlers ride wideopen range of Great Basin

Rustlers take advantage of vast empty Great Basin country to plague cattle ranchers,0,3642978.story

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: gray wolf/canis lupus, public land degredation by livestock

Tags: cattle rustling, wolves or livestock

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17 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Double standard all the way! It’s easier to blame an animal with no voice and who will not burn down your barn when you give him trouble!

    Just watched a Nat Geo program last night about the Dire Wolf, BUT the program also talked about and demonstrated the hunting skills of the grey wolf and they were emphatic that wolves have only a 1-10 chance for a successful hunt and they “run the herds of elk until the sick, injured, weak, or too old elk fall behind” – thus keeping the healthy elk to breed, I was hoping against hope that the anti-wolf members were watching. As they keep trying to spread the malicious rumor that wolves hunt for fun, like the two-legged hunters do! They want to malign and discredit wolves at every turn! grrr. Sorry to have gone off topic here :/


    • You ARE on topic; killing of wolves for no reason, the barbaric disgustingness of it all, and then to actually find out there is a double standard for those that can retaliate… It is all sickening!!!
      Wolves are family/pack creatures, not the malicious animals they are portrayed to be by ranchers and killers … oops, I meant hunters.


  2. Unfortunately, many of these guys know the truth about wolves that many of us know. They just like killing wolves. It’s an ingrained culture of killing and irrational, vicious hatred. That’s why wolves must be put back on the Endangered Species List permanently.


  3. Big surprise–hypocrisy! The ranchers haven’t got the guts to go after the rustlers, just the wolves. Well, the wolves can’t fight back.

    By the way, what does anyone think of this: Defenders of Wildlife (yes, getting my suspicions about some of the things they do!) have wolf tracking collars you can donate for. According to the information from the DOW site a collar: “Helps ranchers know when wolves are near livestock to keep them apart…and keep both wolves and livestock alive.” I’m concerneed that all the collars do is tell hunters/ranchers where the wolves are and make humans the real predators and wolves the victims. If so, maybe people should be warned not to donate for those collars.


    • Amen Marcia – DOW is a very wealthy ORG. I do NOT donate to them anymore. Where have they been the last year and a half when the wolves were getting slaughtered – last fall/winter. Which will be happening again this fall/winter. They need to be a bigger voice – a louder voice then they have been.


  4. la verdad no se que decir es todo como culpemos al lobo total ellos no tienen armas de fuego vamos por ellos ganaderos cobardes solo son eso son los mas debiles se asustan y van contra el lobo porque no tiene armas de fuego si las tuvieran se que no irian contra ellos irian contra otro animal que no las tenga perdon


  5. They knowingly set up a scenario that just begs for trouble…


  6. Has anyone read this article – – wolves getting blamed for livestock kills that they NEVER did.


  7. Another article on BIG CORP. The hated Monsanto strikes again.

    A so-called “Monsanto rider,” quietly slipped into the multi-billion dollar FY 2013 Agricultural Appropriations bill, would require – not just allow, but require – the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed.


    • Defeats the purpose of an impact statement entirely. How do these things slide by? Is there any recourse?


      • Not after the supreme court ruled on Citizens United. Unless of course you are super rich. Since money is now the equivalent of free speech.


  8. Just an excuse to kill Wolves. They are blamed for everything and instead of our governement doing their research the are fast to agree. I am sick and tired throughout the years which go way back to the 1700’s for Wolves being slaughtered. Somoene has to have the balls to stand up and say enough is enough. Biblically, we are not to kill wild animals that feed on plants and meat. We are only to kill those animals that eat plant/vegetation/grains. Those are the ones we hunt to feed our families. Friggen farmers. I bet it is a neighbor taking thier livestock. They leave them unattended for long periods of time. What do they expect is going to happen? Idiots.


  9. Funny how farmers and hunters say the wolves we have now are non native canadian pest yet in the video below ranchers keep tons of African animals in Texas. Hmmm…


  10. Because of the drought there will be fewer farmer – ranchers and mucho less beef. Plus beef will be very expensive. Bet Dept. of Ag imports. Don’t eat it.


  11. The horrors committed by the USDA could fill an entire book. But you shouldn’t be surprised. Although they don’t list it as part of their primary mission statement, the USDA admits to being “committed to helping America’s farmers and ranchers.” The same USDA responsible for “the safety” of meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs also promotes the sale of them. In fact, they even go so far as to purchase the products themselves, using our tax dollars. “Lester Friedlander, a former USDA veterinarian, says he was told by USDA officials as far back as 1991 that if his testing ever found evidence of mad cow disease, he was to tell no one. He and other scientists say they know of cases where cows tested positive for the disease in laboratories but were ruled negative by the USDA.” Trust no one! Illegal hormones, which are suspected of increasing the growth of cancer cells in the humans who eat them, are regularly pumped into veal calves. The USDA has not only been accused of overlooking these practices but also of falsifying lab results, altering records, and pressuring staff to lie about events. Even the selfish assholes who eat veal don’t deserve that. Again I say “TRUST NO ONE!”


  12. @peter souza


  13. So in my experience, predators don’t drag carcasses many times heavier than themselves off to secret places where no man can find them (that’s what disappear means, right?). And leave no blood, no evidence of devouring an animal on site (as is the case with predators – now I realize that big cats in Africa will drag their kill up into a handy tree . . . do wolves do that?) I don’t think for a moment that all ranchers are idiots, but those that aren’t should be outraged at this nonsense – because they get lumped with the idiots . . .


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