Cows Die in Cannonball River - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Cows Die in Cannonball River

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It's a nightmare no rancher ever dreams of living.
But, for one cattleman this nightmare is a reality.
Ag Reporter Sarah Gustin takes you along the Cannonball River for the story.
We warn you this video is hard to watch.

No matter how well you care for your livestock, you can't prevent an incident like this.
Them are all calves, there are some underneath the bank,that are snow covered? Yep. 
When Dick Ressler started to round up his cows and calves last Tuesday he knew something was wrong.
(Dick Ressler / Rancher) "I knew I was a few cows short, I didn't know how many at that time. And I didn't know how many calves. I locked the rest of the cows up, I got a count on the cows and figured I was 40 cows short, I never counted the calves. Thursday I was getting worried and Friday morning  we got a plane in the air. And I got a good count on the calves, and I knew they were in the river. "
With a plane in the sky and a 4 wheeler on the ground, Ressler finally found the cattle he had been missing.
(Dick Ressler / Rancher) "44 cows, and 80 calves."
124 animals are frozen here.
A sight that's hard to see. Especially for the man who has spent countless hours caring for them.
(Dick Ressler / Rancher) "They were getting water up at the tank, When I would feed corn the cows on the top of the hill they would come way up there."
It's not that the cows went without feed. 
The water tank, creep feeders, protein blocks and corn were less than a 1/2 a mile away...a short jaunt for a cow.
(Sarah Gustin  / gustin@kxnet.com) "This actually happened right at the mouth of the Cannonball River, right where it meets the Missouri River, We aren't that far away, the Missouri is actually right over by those trees." 
(Dick Ressler / Rancher) "I don't know if they saw some open water and You see a lot of coyotes down here, but the cows. I don't know what the answer is and we are never going to find out either."
Ressler says it best, no cow deserves this.

44 cows and 80 calves is a large financial loss for anyone to endure.
A fund has been set up.
Contact Kist Livestock at 663-9573 for more information on how you can help.

 

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