Caldwell County rancher's bison shot and killed

There's a $500 reward for information leading to the person who shot and killed a bison in Caldwell County.
The owners say this is the second time the animal has been shot. They believe whoever did it intended to kill the bison the first time around.

A little over a week ago, Benjy Cox got the news.

“I got a call from a neighbor saying it looks like you got a buffalo dead,” he said.

Cox, the ranch owner, says this isn't the first time he's received such a phone call. Back in January the couple made a Facebook post, showing the bull named Rusty.

He was shot in the right hip, but survived then. This second time around, which happened last week, he wasn't as lucky. It's an unexpected crime that happened in such a small community.

“It makes me think it's probably somebody in the area quite a bit, as opposed to somebody who just happens to be passing through, Cox said.

Cox says rusty played an important role on the ranch as a breeder.

“I would say 95 percent of the calves that I've had born since 2009 have been his,” Cox said.

This time around, the assailant shot rusty in the right shoulder. Deeply hurt by the loss, cox finds comfort knowing rusty probably did not suffer.

“He just fell down on all four legs, so he probably went down with the shot so that means he was shot through the heart,” he said.

Those in the community like Randy Laney are at a loss for words.

“The buffalos are really a small tourist attraction to this town, and it really hurts me to think someone would do something like that,” Laney said.

Now everyone is just hoping someone will come clean

“It’ll definitely go a lot easier if you step up, man up and come forward,” Laney said.

“I don't know who in the neighborhood has a problem with me, and that's what is so shocking. If it's personal, then I'd like to know why,” Cox said.

If you have any information on who is behind this you're asked to call the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office or Benjy Cox at 512-923-0189

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