Desatoya Roundup 2019

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Desatoya 2019

BLM estimated approximately 558 wild horses roamed the Desatoya Mountains Herd Management Area in July. BLM plans to capture approximately 450 wild horses and remove 431 wild horses from within and outside the HMA, BLM will leave 127 wild horses in the area consisting of 157838 acres of BLM land and 3840 acres of a mix of private and other public lands for a total of 161,678 acres.

Totals as of Dec 11: 456 wild horses captured. No deaths reported onsite. Facility reports not available. 

The capture portion of the operation has concluded. BLM had planned to release 29 wild horses, weather permitting, back to the HMA after fertility treatment. 

Wild Horse Education has had teams in field every day of this operation. We were either at trap or watching the range and transport. (We have added these notes in response to some claims made.)

Corporate mindsets are busy working in Congress as well. Both bills will increase roundups; one pushed by one million dollar lobby and the other by the other one. PLEASE take action HERE.) 

Newest updates at the bottom, scroll down

Dec 4: cancelled due to weather.

Dec 5: 81 wild horses captured (24 Studs, 36 Mares, 21 Foals). 59 wild horses shipped directly to Palomino Valley Center (PVC) north of Reno. Sunrise of freedom, captured and trucked all the way to Reno within hours.

Dec 6: 19 wild horses captured (breakdown not available until Dec 7). First band ran through first strand of barbed wire (flagged) and through a second set of barbed wired. No obvious lameness was noted in the band as it was captured. 2 more runs and the day was called early. Weather expected tomorrow.

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note: Yes, a written request was made to promptly address issues of “traps near barbed wire.” WHE have been working on CAWP this past year and will publish a report for you shortly.

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Dec 7: 42 wild horses we captured. Our observer was the only one onsite.

A temporary holding facility has been constructed. Holding was about half mile from viewing, trap a bit over a mile. Semi did ship to PVC a load of freshly captured wild horses.

A lot of barbed wired and junk (old cars and trailers, same as last trap). Only the barbed wire closest trap itself was flagged.

Of note that is steam, not dust. It is cold outside (first run we temped at 29), the wild horses are run hard. The heat and sweat cause the steam.

At full zoom it is difficult to video hold camera still (sorry for roll). Wind picked up as the day went on. At the end of video you can see pilot checking his ability to maneuver and decides to land.

Our observer was the only one onsite. BLM changed meet time to 30 minutes earlier as there was a high probability of snow in the mountain passes as we took the long route in.

Dec 8: 35 (15 Studs, 13 Mares, 7 Foals) wild horses were captured. Last day at this trap. Long intervals between runs as BLM tries to clear the wild horses out of the Smith ranch area. Two bands moved for over an hour.

First run came in at about 9:30 am. Snow and icy fog created a situation where it took a long time to de-ice the helicopter blades. Last run ended around 3 pm.

Our observer was the only one onsite. BLM changed meet time to 30 minutes earlier as there was a high probability of snow in the mountain passes as we took the long route in.

A Band That Got AWAY

At the end of the day a group came into the valley, moving from the chopper. They stopped. I wished I could tell them just to move closer to where I stood, the chopper would not come in. But they left. First stopping to watch the helicopter.

The chase began in earnest. But the crafty stallion and the wise mare headed around the curve and back up into a draw. The chase ended and the were still free that night.

May they escape capture tomorrow. (fast edit below)

Dec 9: Trap location moved. 95 (38 Studs, 35 Mares, 22 Foals). 40 (13 Studs, 16 Mares, 11 Foals) shipped to PVC. Temps 21- 36.

Our observer was in the field in Desatoya. Not onsite at trap as we were told another observer would be present. Yes, WHE was out in Desatoya.

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December 10: 118 wild horses were captured (51 Studs, 39 Mares, 28 Foals). The day began at 19 degrees. Total captured to date 390 of the 450 targeted for capture. We expect the operation to wrap today or tomorrow. If BLM hits their target number for capture, about 58 will be returned to range after a fertility control application.

Issues with ice slowed the start of the day including shipping of 85 wild horses (39 Studs, 26 Mares, 20 Foals) to Palomino Valley Center north of Reno. Many of the wild horses captured at this operation have been shipped direct from range to Reno.

Dec 11: 66 wild horses captured (21 Studs, 26 Mares, 19 Foals), 90 shipped. BLM has exceeded the target number. A small release is expected on December 12 of about 29 wild horses.

Still wild at Desatoya as capture ends


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Categories: Lead, Wild Horse Education