Bill Maness is seeking justice for one of his livestock.
Hickory, a black Dexter bull, was shot six times after escaping from Maness’ pasture in Timber Hills on Oct. 11. Maness originally thought Hickory had been shot four times, but as the bull began to heal, it was clear there were six wounds.
“He is doing better,” Maness said of Hickory. “It’s a sad deal. He is alive and is probably going to live through this, but it is an ongoing, major wound.”
The six shots were allegedly fired at close range, with the most catastrophic injury to his scrotum. Maness said as a breeding animal, Hickory is now worthless.
“He will never breed again,” he said.
Maness said the bull is healing and has become more active.
“He has lost a couple hundred pounds - it was a major hit to his body,” Maness said.
For Maness, the hardest part of the entire ordeal is people that would commit cruelty to livestock in a rural area.
“This is an agriculture area and things happen,” Maness said. “You don’t just go around shooting people’s animals.”
Maness has enlisted the help of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association to unmask the shooter. The association offers rewards for information leading to the arrest or indictment of individuals involved in crimes against livestock through its Operation Cow Thief.
Special Ranger H.D. Brittain has been assigned to the case and said this case is perfect for the program.
“It’s a good deal for Operation Cow Thief. If you shoot someone’s bull, you’ve just about stolen him,” Brittain said.
The ranger said the association operates similar to Crime Stoppers, except it allots different award amounts depending on the severity of a crime. Brittain said the shooting could have been caused by a slew of stimulators, but it does not excuse the crime.
“That’s an expensive, registered bull. Not only that, but the shooting was extremely cruel,” Brittain said. “Someone who is doing that to an animal is likely to commit other crimes as well. If this crime was committed by someone who did not want the bull on their property, they should have called the sheriff - not taken matters into their own hands.”
As for Maness, he is hopeful that the mystery will be solved.
“I am very confident in (the association). I believe they will do everything they can to help me,” Maness said. “I am real happy with the ranger. He is everything I could expect a ranger and a friend to be.”
Anyone with information on the case should contact the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association at 1-888-830-2333.