Utah Farm Bureau officials said Friday they have just learned that five cows and a bull were killed with arrows recently, and they urged deer hunters to be careful of their targets during the annual hunt beginning today.
Hardly a hunting season goes by that someone doesn't shoot another hunter or a cow, bull, horse or sheep by mistake or perforate a truck or watering tank, said C. Booth Wallentine, Utah Farm Bureau executive vice president."Four cows were found dead recently in the mountains above Payson, and a cow and a very valuable bull were found dead in the Diamond Fork area of central Utah. All six had been killed with arrows," Wallentine said.
"The cow and bull killed in Diamond Fork belonged to Ted Larson, of LeLand, Utah County. We're trying to find out who the owners of the other four cows are and trying to determine whether the killings were vandalism or simply stupidity."
Wallentine said farmers need hunters just as hunters need farmers, and he urged the groups to work together.
"Hunters harvest excess deer and elk that eat up farmers' pasture lands, thus helping to manage the range. On the other hand, farmers plant grass and grain and improve the carrying capacity of their land and public range land, and this helps feed wildlife and big game."
The UFB official said most of the cattle on public rangeland has been rounded up already. But some strays may remain on public lands. He said there are thousands of cattle on private rangelands next to public range that could be killed by mistake.
Wallentine also said a radical environmental group has invited environmental activists to kill cattle during the deer hunt and make it look as if hunters shot the animals.
"Garfield County officials are investigating the slaughter of 21 cattle in that area earlier this year - all suffered gunshot wounds."
Wallentine said there have been more cattle killings in Utah than in any other Western state, and the latest incident - the six cattle killed by arrows - only makes the situation in Utah worse.
"Environmental extremists want all cattle removed from public rangelands, and it appears that the 21 cattle deaths were the work of eco-terrorists," he said.