Mutilated Cow
© Blue Mountain Eagle
A mutilated cow on a ranch in Deschutes County in 2020. A similar case occurred in Bear Valley last month.
Bear Valley — A mutilated bull mysteriously turned up dead at a ranch in Bear Valley last month with body parts removed.

According to a Feb. 28 incident report by the Oregon State Police, a rancher called a wildlife trooper to report a bull had been killed and mutilated on his ranch with its testicles, scrotum, tongue and lips precisely removed.

Sgt. Erich Timko of the Oregon State Police Wildlife Division said the injuries to the bull were consistent with the pattern observed in similar cattle mutilation cases.

"It's just puzzling, Timko said. "The best word to describe it is 'bizarre.'"

Mat Carter, a rancher from the Crown Cattle Co., said he reported the mutilation to the Oregon State Police after discovering the dead bull roughly a quarter-mile to half a mile from his house.

The cause of death is unknown.

When Carter found the bull, it had been dead for about a day and was already decomposing. According to OSP, the 24-hour window during which a necropsy could have been performed on the carcass had passed.

Dead Mutilated Bull
© Blue Mountain Eagle
A dead bull found at the Crown Cattle Co. ranch in Bear Valley last month is the latest in a string of mysterious cattle mutilations in Eastern Oregon.
Carter said it is hard to imagine anyone would have come onto his property, killed a bull and then cleanly cut off specific body parts.

According to Carter, with no evidence or leads to follow up for law enforcement, the incident remains a mystery.

This was not the first cow mutilation on his ranch, Carter added.

Several years ago, Carter said, he was almost sure one of his cows had been mutilated. However, he added, there was no way to say with certainty because he did not get to the carcass quickly enough before flies and other scavengers made it impossible to determine what happened.

He said a similar situation occurred in August of 2020, which is why he tries to inspect cattle deaths closely when they occur.

Indeed, Carter's situation is not unique. According to FBI records, since the 1970s, thousands of unexplained killings and mutilations of cattle have happened across the U.S.

Last year Wheeler County had five cases while Harney County has had four in four years, with the previous two occurring in May and June.

The cases, according to the FBI reports, are similar to Carter's case, where a cow or a bull was found dead in a remote area with no signs of how someone could have made it into the area or onto private property undetected. In most cases, authorities have not found footprints, tire tracks, or fingerprints. There is little — if any — spilled blood, and there are no visible puncture wounds, bullet holes or strangulation marks.

In the thousands of cattle mutilations that have occurred since the 1970s, a culprit has yet to be caught, according to FBI records.

The bizarre nature of the mutilation and complete lack of evidence in last month's case make it all the more baffling and frustrating for Carter.

The mutilations simply do not make sense.

"It's really odd," Carter said. "There's just no logical explanation."