Hunting for cattle rustlers is a common theme in Western Movies, but cattle rustling still occurs and is very common. When people steal cattle it increases the price we pay for beef at the grocery store.
With the economy in a recession, many people have turned to stealing cattle. A few years ago the State Of Utah had a cattle rustling epidemic. Meth users were stealing calves in their passenger cars and then trading the baby cows for money they would use to buy more Meth.
Imagine getting pulled over by the police, high as heck, with a baby calf in the back of your Ford Pinto. Cattle rustling methods have changed drastically since the early part of the last century, but cattle rustling still affects ranchers financially.
Cattle commonly graze on pasture land that is very rural and remote. In Northern Nevada, it is possible for people to steal cattle, and many times the ranches cowboys may not notice a herd theft until weeks after the cattle theft occurs.
Northern Nevada has many ranches that are very remote and it is common for cattle thefts to occur. Most ranchers and cowboys have weapons on them, so expect to be shot at if you are stealing cattle, it is their livelihood.
Branding the cattle helps identify which ranches herd they were stole from. Not all states require branding. Nevada has different branding laws depending on the county. In Nevada, some of the counties require branding while other counties do not require branding of the cattle.
While you will still find drug abusers stealing individual calves by placing them in the backseat of their car, the most common method is still the livestock trailer.
In the middle of the night a couple of guys will drive to a rural grazing land, load up around 6-10 cows into the livestock trailer, and then drive off. Many times they will drive to a new state. Sometimes they will drive multiple states to find a place where they can get away with selling the cattle.
Branding cattle helps a lot in the fight against rustling however, even with the branded cattle you still stand a chance of losing the cattle to rustling.
In Northern Nevada, a ranchers closet neighbor may be 20 20 miles away, but they still keep an eye out for each other. If you live in a very remote area of Northern Nevada you will recognize trucks and livestock trailers that do not belong their. A quick call to the neighboring ranch to see if they have had a visitor will be all the information they need. If neither rancher is familiar with the truck and trailer then the authorities, the brand inspectors, and the cowboys will be called up.
If you steal cattle you can expect to be arrested or shot and killed. Cattle rustling increases the costs for everybody. If you eat beef then you should be concerned about the increase in cattle rustling that has occurred over the last few years.