Missoula Story of the Week: Bad to the Bovine


Finally, summer has arrived in Western Montana, and with the rise in mercury comes an increase in cattle mutilations. Well, that is if you count one incident of unexplained (as of yet) bovine destruction.

According to Missoulian reports, the death of the cow was reported to police Saturday, June 30. Authorities have determined that the animal’s demise was not “natural”, ruling out predation as a cause of death. Lake County undersheriff Dan Yonkin said the incident would have happened around Wednesday of last week given the amount of decomposition.

Before everyone breaks out their tin-foil hats in order to block any would be aliens from reading their minds, it should be noted that the incident is being investigated as human caused not extraterrestrial. There have not been any sightings of unmarked black helicopters piloted by some X-Files shadow government operatives either. This being said, the circumstances surrounding the death of the animal are disturbing.

The cow was in a herd when the attack occurred. The perpetrator took some meat from the animal and removed its organs.

Yonkin reassured ranchers that his department was taking the killing seriously, stressing that he “wouldn’t want ranchers to be concerned every night when they go to bed that when they wake up their cows will have been killed in their pasture.”

With all the long hours and extremely hard work that goes into raising a cow, it is important that ranchers do not have to concern themselves with human caused destruction of their livestock.

The Missoulian stated that a local veterinarian is performing the necropsy and that samples will be sent to a Colorado lab for thorough testing. No, this is not a government lab located in Cheyenne Mountain that will alter the results to say the cause of death was a weather-balloon.

Any serious information regarding the investigation should be directed to Crimestoppers at (406) 883-7309.

In the meantime, put away the tin-foil hats – it is going to be in the nineties this weekend and those things will cook your brain.


Each week, Tom Diddel recaps the week’s most talked-about story in Missoula. Visit the Make it Missoula News & Opinion section for more talk of the town.


Tom Diddel has lived in Missoula on and off for nearly thirty-eight years. He enjoys skiing, hiking, and many other outdoor activities. He holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Montana and is currently working as a Freelance Writer and a Para-Educator.