Four calves killed on Harding County, South Dakota, roads |

Four calves killed on Harding County, South Dakota, roads

The Harding County, South Dakota, sheriff is looking for clues as to who hit and killed two calves on Oct. 7, and two more on Nov. 7.

Sheriff Wyatt Sabo said the two incidents could be unrelated but the fact that they happened exactly one month apart immediately caught his attention. In each of the instances, there was no braking or swerving evident.

All four of the calves were on open range country roads in the southwestern part of the county. The first two calves were hit about 1/2 mile off the Harding Road and were in different pastures, belonging to different owners.

The second two calves were hit within about 5 miles of the first incedent and belong to a third rancher. In the second instance, one calf was killed and appeared to have been drug under a vehicle, then run over when the vehicle backed up to get rid of the calf. The other calf was not killed but suffered a broken back and had to be euthanized.

While the instances could have been accidents, Sabo said that usually if someone indavertantly hits a domestic animal, the driver contacts the sheriff or the cattle owner to report it, and usually there is braking in that kind of situation. No vehicle tracks could be identified in any of the instances. The sheriff said more than likely or vehicles that did the damage are equipped with substantial grill guards or bumpers.

All of the calves were black or black baldy spring calves, a mix of heifers and steers.

Sabo said he does not have any leads and encourages anyone with information to contact the Harding County Sheriff’s office at (605) 375-3414. The informant can remain anonymous if he or she chooses. “If someone sees something out of the ordinary, write down plate numbers. They are huge for solving this kind of thing,” he said.