Leads sought in shooting of sheep near Axe Handle Canyon

Leads sought in shooting of sheep

near Axe Handle Canyon




EPHRAIM—The Sanpete County Sherriff’s Office has confirmed that five sheep were shot and left to rot in a private field near Axe Handle Canyon.

The dead sheep were reported by rancher Tom Lund, who said they were probably shot April 26 or 27.

In a KSL video, Lund reported that at least two dozen sheep were found dead in the pasture.

The Sherriff’s Office investigated the incident, along with a DWR officer, and located 11 sheep carcasses, according to detective Derick Taysom. Five of the sheep had been shot, most likely resulting in their deaths approximately a week ago, Taysom said. The death of the other six sheep were at different stages of decay and appeared to have died due to environmental factors or natural causes.

Several other sheep carcasses were located showing far more decay. These sheep are not believed to be part of the current flock in the area and died a significant amount of time ago, Taysom said.

The investigation started when a ranch worker noticed a couple of sheep were limping. The ranch hand soon discovered the bodies of several sheep and lambs, some just a couple of weeks old, according to KSL reports.

In the video, Lund said, “Somebody who would do something like this is obviously sick and they probably need some help.”

Though Lund’s land is private, he said neighboring lands were not, raising questions as to whether the shooter or shooters came from nearby canyon areas. “I don’t know if someone was hunting and just decided to go and do this,” Lund said.

He said this has not been the first attack on animals on his property. “At night, when we come over to check our sheep at three in the morning, there’s lights all over,” Lund said.

KSL reported that Lund wants to bring attention to the case and he wants it solved.

The Sheriff’s Office is currently seeking information that could assist in the investigation. If you have any information please contact dispatch at 835-2345.