Info sought on Rio Blanco cow shooting

A $3,000 reward has yet to flush out information about who shot two cows in Rio Blanco County.

The shootings happened earlier this year on County Road 5, also known as the Piceance Creek Road, about 18 miles from Colorado Highway 13, which connects Rifle and Meeker.

The Oldland ranch family, which owned the cows, joined with another ranch to offer and advertise a $3,000 reward for information in the case. But Norma Oldland said they have yet to hear from anybody.

“I thought for sure someone would get drunk one night in a bar and spill everything, but they haven’t,” she said.

At least one of the shootings happened along the road in mid-January, shortly after a third Oldland cow was killed when a vehicle, presumed to be a truck, struck it. Coe Uphoff, 28,

Norma Oldland’s grandson, said it’s hard to say if the two shootings and the third incident were related.

Within days after that incident, Uphoff and others were driving cows down the side of the road and all but one went into a ditch. As the cowboys went down to drive the herd back out, they heard a gunshot. Uphoff assumed it might have been someone shooting a coyote. They found the bleeding cow when they returned to the road, and it died immediately, Uphoff said.

Toward the end of the month, a second cow was found dead of a gunshot maybe a mile down the road. Rio Blanco County Undersheriff Michael Joos said the cow was shot in the body, as was the other one, and went under a bridge to die a slow death. Uphoff said it may have been shot the same day the other cow was shot.

Both animals were shot with .40-caliber bullets, Joos said.

The three cows were pregnant and probably worth a couple of thousand dollars apiece, Uphoff said.

Joos said maybe one or two livestock shootings occur each year in his county, but generally during hunting season.

Said Uphoff, “It’s the first time we ever had it happen. It’s really unusual.”

Anyone with information in the case can call the Sheriff’s Department at 970-878-9620 or the Oldland ranch at 970-878-4711.


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