Day 18 (Feb 17) saw 99 wild horses captured (39 Studs, 39 Mares, and 21 Foals) and 6 more lose their lives. Total for the operation at the end of day 18; 1080 captured 25 dead (12 year old sorrel mare, 5 year old bay mare, 6 year old sorrel mare, 3 year old black mare, 10 year old bay mare, 5 year old black mare). We spent the day at holding and observed processing. BLM is stating that the horses over the last two days (17 and 18) appear to have more compromised body condition and perhaps a parasitic load (PVC should be notified to segregate these horses at holding).
Operations went from dawn to dusk and the ability to observe detail at temporary was inhibited by light. (Video from the day will be uploaded in our week three review)
Day 19 (Feb 18) the operation was cancelled due to wind, zero wild horses captured. WHE spent the day observing conditions of wild horses and have noted four newborns on the range.
WHE notified BLM COR for this operation. Today, Feb 19th, is expected to begin a deep freeze for a few days and we suggested suspending operations. The end of Feb is a very compromised time of year, and in our experience, not a safe capture time in NV. (read more here). If new ones are starting to drop, mares are that pregnant and we have a deep freeze? Causing mares to utilize precious resources fleeing from a helicopter, and little ones could be left behind, is simply not “ok.”
As an example of the freeze headed our way day time high in the area of the trap is not expected to exceed 18 degrees F’ on February 20th. Ambient temps are colder due to factors such as wind and wind coming off of mountains with snow.
A note about the word “foal” as it is used at this operation: Each year a domestic horse owner knows that if they do not know a horses birthday it is considered to be January 1. In BLM reports they are noting “foals.” However those notations range anywhere from a newborn to, quite possibly, a yearling. The number is not reflective, except anecdotally, of any “foaling rate.” Foaling season literally starts now in Nevada.
Day 20 (Feb 19); BLM flew in temperatures that did not exceed 19 degrees Fahrenheit. 107 wild horses were captured ((46 Studs, 43 Mares, and 18 Foals). One wild horse died. In the words of BLM “9 year old bay stud BCS 4, due a hopeless prognosis for recover due to preexisting condition (blindness).
There appear to be a lot of blind horses in Triple B. Perhaps BLM needs to check on environmental causes?
Totals: 1187 captured, 26 dead (there is still a discrepancy and the total dead could be 27, we are still checking on the mare that went down in the trailer).
We have been here since before operations began. Today we are documenting foaling and engaging as the deep freeze moves in. Operations need to be suspended. If you can help us be here, on ground when and where the wild ones need us, please consider helping us with our expenses.
Categories: Wild Horse Education