KINGSPORT — The Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the Christmas Day shooting of a cow that had strayed into a neighbor’s pasture in an unincorporated section of Hawkins County just north of Kingsport.
James Click, 320 Click Town Road, told the HCSO that he received a call from his neighbor Garry Collings Tuesday morning around 11 a.m. reporting that some of his cows had strayed onto Collings’ property.
When Click went to retrieve his cows he discovered that one of them had been killed on Collings’ property — shot eight times in the left shoulder.
According to reports, Collings told the HCSO it appeared that the cows had wandered into the North Fork of the Holston River and walked around the edge of a fence separating his property from Click’s.
Collings told the HCSO he didn’t know anything about the dead cow, but he’d tried to put some cows back onto Click’s property earlier.
Sheriff Roger Christian said Thursday it’s doubtful that the shots were fired from the road based on the location of the fallen cow. Christian said the cow was located near the river, and there wasn’t a clear shot from the road.
Christian added that Click has indicated he will attempt to remove a bullet from the cow, which will hopefully improve the odds of finding the guilty party.
The cow was valued at $2,000.
Collings called the HCSO on Wednesday to report seven of Click’s cows had gotten onto his property again. The cows were gone by the time a deputy arrived, and Collings was advised to seek private prosecution for livestock running at large if he wished to pursue the matter.
Collings told the HCSO he would take down part of his fence so that Click could get onto his property with a tractor and pull the dead cow back.
Last week in Washington County, Tenn., several farm animals including cattle, horses and a dog were found shot at three different locations — most likely the victims of spotlighting. Although investigators believe the Washington County shootings are related, Christian said his cow shooting most likely is a separate, isolated incident.
Still, Christian said he’s not ruling anything out at this time.
“It’s something we want to put a stop to immediately before it happens again,” Christian said. “Farmers have too much time and money invested in their livestock to lose them like this. If there’s a person out shooting farm animals for fun, or for whatever reason, we want to catch him.”
Anyone with information about the Click Town Road cow shooting is asked to contact the HCSO at 272-4848.