POLICE are investigating after a steer was found butchered and killed at a property north of Tamworth.
The force's rural crime prevention team and Oxley police are investigating, after the dead steer was found at a property near Barraba on the weekend of February 14.
Police said it appeared the steer had been illegally hunted by trespassers at the property, before the offenders dragged the carcass toward a nearby creek and butchered the body on the bank.
According to police, the trespassers took off with the meat but left the animal's head, hooves and insides behind at the Woodsreef Road property.
Police have increased patrols in the surrounding area, after the Barraba property where the steer was killed and neighbouring farms reported more issues with illegal hunting during the past few months, officers said.
Investigations into the incident are continuing.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Barraba Police Station on 6782 1003 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.