Texas buffalo killings spark range law questions
GUTHRIE, Texas (AP) - A January buffalo slaughter on a northwest
Texas ranch has reopened a long unresolved debate about what
ranchers legally can do when somebody else's livestock roam onto
The slaughter of dozens of buffalo came amid an apparent spat
between the owners of the QB Ranch and the neighboring Niblo Ranch.
QB rancher Wayne Kirk recalled the horrific scene of more than 50
of his buffalo shot to death on a nearby ranch. Some of them had
been "caped," meaning their hides were removed.
The then-foreman at the neighboring Nibol Ranch ranch was
charged with criminal mischief for the killings, and both ranches
The farming and ranching partnership that leases Niblo was the
first to sue, contending QB's bison had become a "public
The animals improperly roamed freely and interfered
with Niblo's ranching operations by destroying fencing, eating
wheat crops and livestock feed and mingling with its cattle,
threatening those animals with crossbreeding and disease, its
In a countersuit, QB Ranch accused its neighbor of negligence
and of being responsible for the animal slaughter, seeking damages
equal to the value or replacement cost of the lost buffalo.
While ranchers across Texas closely followed the legal dispute,
figuring it could set some precedent, the two sides largely
resolved their differences out of court.
A judge ordered QB to keep its remaining herd penned, and QB eventually dropped its lawsuit.