A Jacksonville rancher said he is shocked by the weekend shooting of three of his pregnant cows, including one that was mutilated by the side of the road after being dragged a half mile.

A Jacksonville rancher said he is shocked by the weekend shooting of three of his pregnant cows, including one that was mutilated by the side of the road after being dragged a half mile.

"They did take a hindquarter off the one they wasted," Tim Hunter said.

Hunter said the cows were shot at about 2 a.m. near Hunter's ranch off Highway 238 as they were lying next to their feed bunks.

Neighbors heard the shots, but didn't think much of it because it was at the end of deer season, Hunter said.

Hunter estimated the cows' value at about $3,600. The cows would have calved in February. The Hunters have 130 pregnant cows on their ranch.