A DelCo rancher hopes as reward will help him find the people responsible for stealing cattle from his ranch in rural Zena.

In late January to early February, Bill Ingram, who owns Sweet Water Ranch in Zena, had four head of cattle stolen.

A $10,000 reward has been offered, by the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association, for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the theft.

Ingram said he believes the cattle were taken during this time period, while family members were out of town for a funeral.

"I keep count on my cattle. I don't count them everyday but I do keep count," Ingram said. "When I got back from Louisiana, I went to gather up and rotate the cattle and I came up these short.

"After they came up missing then I went out investigating and found the hoof prints along the fence line leading to my gate."

Ingram runs roughly 100 to 120 head of cattle. During calving season the number climbs to around 200 on his property - depending on when he sells and when his cattle are calving at his ranch off 8350 road.

Missing from his herd were three cows - one of which had a 500 pounds calf by her side. The other two cows were pregnant, with one in the third trimester and the other in the first.

"The two in the third trimester probably will have calved by now," Ingram said. "Most of the rest that were bred about that time have."

Ingram said he works his cattle by horseback.

"When I am out in my meadows, I never ride the fence line. I have no reason to ride my fence line," Ingram said. "When I go to rotate them, my cattle know I am going to rotate them they go to where I am going to move them to.

"I found shod hoof prints along the fence line leading to my back gate. Dusty [Goforth] agrees they went out there on horseback and my herd thought they were going to be rotated headed towards the barn."

Ingram believes more than one person was involved in the theft. Pictures he took after discovering the cattle were missing reveal a shod horse hoof print with cattle hoof prints in front of it. The hoof prints indicate the cattle were taken through the highway gate.

Ingram said while he has always been afraid someone might use the gate to steal his cattle, he has used the pasture since moving to the ranch in 1992.

He has since made some changes to that area of his property to help deter future thefts from happening.

Ultimately, Ingram is hopeful someone knows what happened to his cattle.

"Someone is aware of what happened," Ingram said. "Someone will step up for that reward I believe.

"I know I won't get my cattle back and or my money back because I didn't have insurance. I want someone to be convicted. Just like anyone that is stolen from you want the people caught. It is so disturbing to have stuff stolen from you."

Ingram is working with Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Investigator Dusty Goforth, who continues to follow up on leads in the case.

Persons with information concerning the theft, may contact Ingram at 918-314-2685 or Goforth at 405-824-2194.