PAULS VALLEY, OK -- Monday night, local ranchers got some tips on how to prevent cattle thefts.
"I was shocked at the increase in cattle theft last year and I can already tell this year is going to surpass that," said special ranger, Kent Dowell, with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.
Dowell spoke to local farmers and ranchers Monday night about the increase in cattle rustlers over the past couple years and how to combat the crime.
Rancher Brent Kuehny said, "We haven't had any thefts at our operations but realize that it is a continual threat and want to support that organization that helps ward that threat off."
Kuehny says while he hasn't been a victim of cattle theft, some of his neighbors have been. And with the price of beef at an all time high, he says it's important to know what you're up against.
"We're more than double in value what these animals might have been worth a year and a half ago," said Kuehny.
Dowell said, "It's a good pay day. You know, a mama cow, a good mama cow now is $2,000. A little 4 or 5 hundred pound calf is bringing close to $800 to $1,000."
Dowell says tonight's meeting was more than just informational.
"You bring strong people like ranchers and you bring them together where they can share, they can learn, and get to know their neighbors, get to know each other, and get unified in that purpose of the problems that ranchers are facing, you're a whole lot stronger," said Dowell.