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Pictures | Mon Nov 28, 2011 | 12:08pm EST

Western states report comeback of cattle rustling

Nancy Schleining of Schleining Genetics brands a pregnant cow just arrived from Montana at her cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this photo taken November 21, 2011. Livestock officials in Western states are reporting a resurgence of cattle rustling in a region where the theft of cows was once a hanging offense. Authorities say the climb in cattle crimes is linked to the flagging economy, soaring beef prices and GPS devices that allow rustlers to navigate the wide-open range.   REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Nancy Schleining of Schleining Genetics brands a pregnant cow just arrived from Montana at her cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this photo taken November 21, 2011. Livestock officials in Western states are reporting a resurgence of cattle rustling...more

Nancy Schleining of Schleining Genetics brands a pregnant cow just arrived from Montana at her cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this photo taken November 21, 2011. Livestock officials in Western states are reporting a resurgence of cattle rustling in a region where the theft of cows was once a hanging offense. Authorities say the climb in cattle crimes is linked to the flagging economy, soaring beef prices and GPS devices that allow rustlers to navigate the wide-open range. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
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Nancy Schleining of Schleining Genetics herds a 1,200 pound cow just arrived from Montana at her cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this photo taken November 21, 2011.  REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Nancy Schleining of Schleining Genetics herds a 1,200 pound cow just arrived from Montana at her cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this photo taken November 21, 2011. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Nancy Schleining of Schleining Genetics herds a 1,200 pound cow just arrived from Montana at her cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this photo taken November 21, 2011. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
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Dallas Schleining of Schleining Genetics herds cows just arrived from Montana at her cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this picture taken November 21, 2011. Livestock officials in Western states are reporting a resurgence of cattle rustling in a region where the theft of cows was once a hanging offense. Authorities say the climb in cattle crimes is linked to the flagging economy, soaring beef prices and GPS devices that allow rustlers to navigate the wide-open range.  Picture taken November 21.  REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Dallas Schleining of Schleining Genetics herds cows just arrived from Montana at her cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this picture taken November 21, 2011. Livestock officials in Western states are reporting a resurgence of cattle rustling in a...more

Dallas Schleining of Schleining Genetics herds cows just arrived from Montana at her cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this picture taken November 21, 2011. Livestock officials in Western states are reporting a resurgence of cattle rustling in a region where the theft of cows was once a hanging offense. Authorities say the climb in cattle crimes is linked to the flagging economy, soaring beef prices and GPS devices that allow rustlers to navigate the wide-open range. Picture taken November 21. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
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Nancy Schleining of Schleining Genetics brands a pregnant cow just arrived from Montana at her cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this picture taken November 21, 2011.   REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Nancy Schleining of Schleining Genetics brands a pregnant cow just arrived from Montana at her cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this picture taken November 21, 2011. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Nancy Schleining of Schleining Genetics brands a pregnant cow just arrived from Montana at her cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this picture taken November 21, 2011. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
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A freshly branded cow just arrived from Montana runs to a pen at a cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this photo taken November 21, 2011. Livestock officials in Western states are reporting a resurgence of cattle rustling in a region where the theft of cows was once a hanging offense. Authorities say the climb in cattle crimes is linked to the flagging economy, soaring beef prices and GPS devices that allow rustlers to navigate the wide-open range. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

A freshly branded cow just arrived from Montana runs to a pen at a cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this photo taken November 21, 2011. Livestock officials in Western states are reporting a resurgence of cattle rustling in a region where the theft...more

A freshly branded cow just arrived from Montana runs to a pen at a cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this photo taken November 21, 2011. Livestock officials in Western states are reporting a resurgence of cattle rustling in a region where the theft of cows was once a hanging offense. Authorities say the climb in cattle crimes is linked to the flagging economy, soaring beef prices and GPS devices that allow rustlers to navigate the wide-open range. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
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Dallas Schleining of Schleining Genetics counts cows just arrived from Montana on a truck (background) at his cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this photo taken November 21, 2011.   REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Dallas Schleining of Schleining Genetics counts cows just arrived from Montana on a truck (background) at his cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this photo taken November 21, 2011. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Dallas Schleining of Schleining Genetics counts cows just arrived from Montana on a truck (background) at his cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this photo taken November 21, 2011. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
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Nancy Schleining of Schleining Genetics checks an ear tag on a cow just arrived from Montana at her cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this picture taken November 21, 2011. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Nancy Schleining of Schleining Genetics checks an ear tag on a cow just arrived from Montana at her cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this picture taken November 21, 2011. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Nancy Schleining of Schleining Genetics checks an ear tag on a cow just arrived from Montana at her cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this picture taken November 21, 2011. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
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Smoke rises from a reverse K slash over two brand burned into a cow just arrived from Montana at a cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this photo taken November 21, 2011. Livestock officials in Western states are reporting a resurgence of cattle rustling in a region where the theft of cows was once a hanging offense. Authorities say the climb in cattle crimes is linked to the flagging economy, soaring beef prices and GPS devices that allow rustlers to navigate the wide-open range.    REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Smoke rises from a reverse K slash over two brand burned into a cow just arrived from Montana at a cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this photo taken November 21, 2011. Livestock officials in Western states are reporting a resurgence of cattle...more

Smoke rises from a reverse K slash over two brand burned into a cow just arrived from Montana at a cattle feedlot in Ault, Colorado in this photo taken November 21, 2011. Livestock officials in Western states are reporting a resurgence of cattle rustling in a region where the theft of cows was once a hanging offense. Authorities say the climb in cattle crimes is linked to the flagging economy, soaring beef prices and GPS devices that allow rustlers to navigate the wide-open range. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
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