Epping boy wondering 'Where's the beef' after his new steer runs away
Ryan Hoelzel, 9, of Epping, is hoping the steer he bought returns to his family's Epping farm. (JASON SCHREIBER PHOTO)
The steer that Ryan planned to name Panda never made it into the family's fenced-in field and has been on the loose ever since.
Dozens of family members, friends and neighbors have done their best to hunt for the wayward steer. It's been spotted a few times, but no one's been able to catch it, even though it has a halter and rope hanging from its neck.
Police have also been called in to help. The most recent sighting came Tuesday night when a Rockingham County sheriff's deputy saw the steer on the Rockingham Recreation Trail, not too far from Ryan's home in the area of Fremont and Jenness roads. The deputy wasn't able to catch it either.
"It's so frustrating. We were so close," said Ryan's mother, Mary.
He used every dollar he earned and collected for his birthday, Christmas and other occasions.
Ryan got a deal on the calf from a farm in Dover.
Ryan is facing a June 1 deadline to enter his steer in 4-H for this year's beef cattle shows.
"He's out the cow and out the money," his mother said.
If he's not able to enter fairs this year, Ryan said he'll probably just help out his friends when they show their animals and try again next year.
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