MADISON — A local farmer has agreed to reopen a portion of a snowmobile trail on his land that he closed last month after one of his pregnant Angus cows was shot and killed, he believes, from the trail.

The cow killer has yet to be identified.

The Abnaki Sno Riders club announced on its Facebook page Feb. 15 that the section of trail it calls Club Trail 27 would be closed for the remainder of the season. That section of trail runs through the farm property of Clayton Tibbetts, who lives with his fiancée, Christine Stevens, and their children, on River Road in Madison.

But as of Saturday, Tibbetts apparently has relented. According to the snowmobile club’s newest social media post, the trail that runs from the intersection of ITS 87 on River Road from Conjockty Road to what it calls the Bunny Trail, off Adams Road, is back open.

“The landowner, Clayton Tibbetts (formerly Thompson’s Farm) on the River Road in Madison has allowed us to open this trail back up,” the group posted Saturday on its Facebook page. Club members thanked Tibbetts in the comment section of the post.

Club secretary Leeann Newton said in messages Monday that game wardens have leads on the shooting, but so far have not identified the people who were responsible for the death of the cow the family’s kids called Fluffy.


“Out of the kindness of their hearts, Mr. Tibbetts and his family decided to reopen the trail because they wanted snowmobilers to continue to enjoy the use of their land for the remainder of the season,” Newton wrote.

The Tibbetts family as well as snowmobile club members were shocked and dismayed at the shooting of the cow.

“They shot her between the eyes,” landowner Clayton Tibbetts said in February from his River Road farm. “It had to have been at close range. We raise beef. We’re just farmers. Got draft horses, cows, do a little logging — agricultural people.”

Tibbetts, 39, said the snowmobile trail is 25 to 30 feet from the field where the cow’s carcass was found. He said he has never had a problem before and still does not know who shot the animal or if it even was someone on a snowmobile. Tibbetts said a taxidermist who he gave the animal to told him the cow had not died giving birth, as Tibbetts initially had thought, but had been shot.

The cow was due to give birth in May. Tibbetts, who raises the cattle for beef, said he didn’t dare to try to salvage the meat. Financially, the loss exceeds $2,000, not including the lost calf and the price to feed the cow.

Tibbetts was on the road Monday and could not be reached by cell phone. A message left for Warden Chad Robertson, who is investigating the report, was not immediately returned Monday.


Meanwhile, about 100 miles to the south, a judge in Cumberland County District Court approved a one-year protection-from-harassment order filed by Smiling Hill Farm in Scarborough against Daniel J. Arnold, 40, in connection with the death of a pregnant goat. Arnold, who is homeless, is barred from setting foot on farm property.

The goat was last seen alive about two days after the Madison incident. Police say the goat was shot by an arrow fired from a crossbow. Arnold has not been charged with killing the goat, but police investigated Arnold in connection with the crime, and a witness reported to investigators seeing Arnold walking out of the woods around the time of the killing, carrying a crossbow, the Portland Press Herald reported.

Although police did not have enough evidence to charge him with the goat’s death, he was arrested for possessing the crossbow. Arnold was on probation from a May 24, 2017, conviction for aggravated assault and criminal threatening, and was not supposed to have any dangerous weapons.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367


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