Hunters discover seven horse carcasses

Seven horses were found shot dead with their lead ropes and halters up Mutch Creek on Nov. 13. The Benewah County Sheriff's Department is still investigating.

Two local men stumbled upon a gruesome sight up Mutch Creek and now police are investigating.

Preston Boyd and his friend Josh McHenry were hunting on November 13 when they saw seven horse carcasses in one remote area. They said that they found the horses about six miles up Mutch Creek Road.

“I saw a whole bunch of ravens circling one spot and usually when you see that it’s someone’s kill that they lost or couldn’t find,” Mr Boyd said. “I knew there was something there, so I walked out into the clear-cut a little bit, about maybe 50 feet off the road, and I saw two dead horses in one pile. Then about ten feet away from it, there were four piled up and then there was another one about 50 feet away that was by itself.”

Mr Boyd said he knew that something wasn’t right when he noticed that the horses still had their lead ropes and halters attached. He and Mr. McHenry called the Benewah County Sheriff’s office who had an officer respond to the scene.

“They had an officer come up and take pictures, and we checked the teeth to make sure they weren’t old or sick,” Mr. Boyd said. “Then we noticed that the brands had been cut out and the feet and legs on some had been removed. Two of the seven that were up there were foal, only about 6 to 10 months, and looked healthy.”

Mr. Boyd said that it seemed strange to dispose of the horses, considering that they showed traits that they were well taken care of.

“They were nice healthy horses,” Mr. Boyd said. “I could tell because they had “fat caps” on them which means they were well taken care of.”

Sheriff Dave Resser said that his department has never came across an incident like this before, and that the investigation is ongoing.

“What was very weird was the fact that almost all of the animals had their legs removed,” Sheriff Resser said.

Sheriff Resser said that later they had Scott Barns, a state veterinarian, come and examine the carcasses. He said that Mr. Barns was able to identify that one or two of the animals were very old, but he said that still didn’t explain why the animals were killed and discarded in the way that they were.

“All of the horses were shot with a small caliber pistol,” Sheriff Resser said. “We tried to identify the horses, but there were no identifiable marks.”

Sheriff Resser said that they currently have no leads on who the horses belong to or who killed them and left them there.

Mr. Boyd brought attention to the horses by posting his findings online. The post caught the attention of about 200 people. A few of those people commented speculations of who the horses could belong to in Mr. Boyd’s post. So far all leads have come up dry.

If anyone has any information regarding the horses contact the Benewah County Sheriff’s Department at 208-245-2555.

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