Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18437
Classification: Shooting
Animal: cow
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Tuesday, Aug 9, 2011

County: Rogers

Disposition: Convicted
Case Images: 1 files available

» Jared Wade Barless
» Traton Tyler Vanderpool

Case Updates: 2 update(s) available

The Rogers County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of five cows near Oologah.

Rancher Lyle Blakley thought a lightning strike had killed one of his cows. Then a bull turned up dead and Blakley became suspicious.

"As soon as I seen the bull I rolled it over. It had an arrow broke off in it," Blakley said.

Early Tuesday morning, someone used the cattle as target practice.

"I just can't figure it out. Why would they do that?" he said.

Eight were shot and five of those were killed. Several were pregnant and nearly ready to calve.

"Different places. One right in the chest, one just through the top of his back, one of the cows was through the ribs," Blakley said.

"The care that goes to these animals year round. They are all very important to our livelihood and our way of life," said cattle owner Steve Branen.

There was at least $15,000 in damage. Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton says they'll take the arrows for physical evidence. They'll look for fingerprints and tracking numbers.

"It would definitely be a hunting grade set up that would be able to make a 40 or 50 yard shot like this," said Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton.

Walton says he's seen cattle butchered for their meat. But he says this is a completely senseless act.

"Nothing we'd like more than to make an example or trophy out of these thugs that think this is funny," he said.

"This is just random. If someone needed the meat, it would be a different thing. This is just meanness," Blakley said.

The Roger's County Sheriff is asking anyone with information to call the anonymous tip line at 918-341-3620.

The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward to help find the person or persons who shot cattle with arrows at ranches in northeastern Oklahoma.

Officials said Wednesday that a reward of up to $2,500 is in addition to a $1,000 reward being offered by the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.

Case Updates

Two Broken Arrow men who pleaded guilty to cruelty to animals in connection with the bow-and-arrow slayings of cattle in Rogers County last August were ordered to serve one year in a state boot camp program.

Traton Tyler Vanderpool, 19, and Jared Wade Barless, 20, will take part in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections' regimented inmate discipline program, according to a Friday release from the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.

After their time in the program, Vanderpool and Barless - whose name is spelled Barlass on some documents - will also serve four years on supervised probation, pay a $100 fine, serve 60 days in the Rogers County Jail or complete 240 hours of community service. Both will also be expected to pay restitution to the ranchers whose livestock was shot.

Court records show the two will also not be allowed to hunt while under court supervision.

The two used compound bows to shoot nine cows, killing six, at Oologah-area ranches Aug. 9. The slain livestock were worth an estimated $19,000

Authorities said in August that the two apparently shot the cattle out of boredom.

Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton stated in the Friday press release: "This was a unique case in that it affected a variety of people. From the ranchers whose livelihoods depend on the cattle they produce, to a young 4-H member who lost her show calf, along with folks from the general public who were concerned about the welfare of the cattle so violently harmed. We appreciate our relationship we have with the community and the assistance we receive from groups like the TSCRA Special Rangers."
Source: - Feb 25, 2012
Update posted on Feb 25, 2012 - 8:54PM 
Two teens are arrested for killing a herd of cattle with a bow and arrows.

On Tuesday, Traton Vanderpool, 19, and Jared Barlass, 19, of Broken Arrow turned themselves into the Rogers County Sheriff after accusations they shot nine head of cattle in Oologah on August 9th.

Originally there were five cattle killed but an injured cow later died. Another cow was found with an arrow in her leg and a pregnant cow that was shot lost her calf.

The Branen family has the cattle for show.

They named them Prissy, Mini Pearl and Skunky.

"You get to know them. They are not a number 23, they have names, almost every cow out here has a name," says 12-year-old Lyndee Branen.

Her sister had a cow named Lacy.

"She was the lead cow, so she was Boss Man. You could get her to go where you wanted to go and everyone would follow," says 16-year-old Michaela Branen.

However, August 9th, Lacy and two other pregnant cows were killed and another was later found shot in the leg. She gave birth to a calf Tuesday morning.

"I am missing her [Lacy] and she is irreplaceable," says Michaela Branen.

The cattle were shot with a bow and arrows allegedly by Vanderpool and Barlass.

"I don't think they understood how big the cows are in our lives. I think they just thought they are just raising them for hamburgers," says Lyndee Branen.

Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers Association John Cummings caught up with the 19-year-olds.

He says the teens were avid hunters who decided to go out for target practice.

"We started getting information that led us to believe they had access to some property out there in the area through some relatives," says Cummings.

Still Michaela Branen says it's been a stressful week.

"I'm honestly still trying to get over it," says Michaela Branen.

Lyle Blakley says he's not mad but disappointed.

"Why? I guess Why? What do you say? Why?" says Blakley.

He lost a bull and two cows, one that was shot later died and another pregnant mom that was shot lost her embryo calf.

"I expected the two cows to be fine, I really did but they just never got any better," says Blakley.

The money making bull is still injured.

"Those people liked him a lot and I was hoping to sell him," says Blakley. "I've treated them for a lot of things but never an arrow."

While investigators were working leads, 98.5 KVOO shared FOX23 News' story and big donations poured in.

Local veterinarian, Dr. Kim Huckaby donated a cow for 4-H.

"Very humbling experience," says Steve Branen.

She also donated $1,250 for the Branen girls' college fund.

"You have to find those good people. There are bad people out there but there are good people too," says Michaela Branen.

It's a relief to have the culprits caught but the father of the Branen's say the accused shooters took away memories.

"Some innocence was lost on this deal, it was taken away and it will not be back," says Steve Branen.

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association put up a $1,000 reward and the Human Society put up a $2,500 reward.
There were also a few more donors which brought the total to $4,500 reward.

Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton says if they accept the reward the reward will paid out to several tipsters.

Vanderpool and Barlass bonded out on $22,500 bond today.

Each are facing nine counts of animal cruelty. Each count carries a five-year prison sentence.
Source: - Aug 16, 2011
Update posted on Aug 18, 2011 - 8:24PM 


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