Wild Horse Education

Desatoya (Roundup 2023)

Temporary Holding, 2019

The BLM plans to roundup 122 wild horses, remove approximately 24 and treat up to 49 mares with a population suppression vaccine GonaCon. BLM is intent on switching all herds where they used to use PZP-22 (non hormonal, 22 month vaccine) over to the hormonal substance GonaCon that will essentially stop reproduction for 5-10 years and can create sterility when boostered.

BLM claims that post-operations, approximately 128 wild horses will remain in the HMA consisting of 157,838 acres of BLM land and 3840 acres of a mix of private and other public lands for a total of 161,678 acres.

Roundup in this area was in 2019. You can see team report HERE.

BLM runs what they call “outcome based grazing” in Desatoya and approved more fences and shutting off waters in the HMA. At this time, wild horses cannot access the entire HMA. You can even read in the “info sheet” that one of the reasons that the permittee agreed to this program was to get wild horses removed. (HERE)

Apparently BLM also continues to use the ranches private land for their temporary holding facility. At the start of the roundup observers were informed that the permittee does not want the public to be allowed to observe temporary corrals. We are hoping access can be figured out to assess holding. (We gave BLM coordinates on an access point for temporary holding and they have said they have found a location.)

Wild horses will be shipped to Palomino Valley Center north of Reno.

Our team is also out at Surprise. 

Cumulative totals

Animals Gathered: 9/30  59 Wild Horses (14 Stallions, 39 Mares, and 6 Foals)

Death: 1, Mare broke neck during fertility control treatment.

Our team is in the field at multiple roundups and BLM posts the official count online after we have to leave. Observers are not given counts each day. We will update when we return each day. 

NOTE: We have team members at multiple roundups and in field. We leave before Sunrise. BLM often posts official numbers after 9 a.m. the day after capture. We will update official numbers as soon as we can.

Newest updates will appear at the top. Scroll down for earlier reports.

FULL RELEASE ARTICLE HERE with video and images of stallions and mares

14 stallions were released (this number includes 2 that escaped on the 28th) and 12 mares retreated with GonaCon. 20 mares were given first dose of GonaCon and are being held for second dose before release (1 mare broke her neck).


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Desatoya ends early

BLM cannot give exact numbers for release onsite. Our observer reports 3 trailers and we will post images and video with complete count.

BLM has also changed the facility they are sending wild horses to after capture. The press release says Palomino Valley (open to the public). Instead, they sent horses to the closed to the public facility Broken Arrow (Indian Lakes).

Above: Mare and yearling (last years foal) escape trap and are pursued and then let go. The action takes place a VERY long distance from observers.


Last day of capture at Desatoya saw 6 (2 Stallions, 4 Mares, and 0 Foals) captured. Horses are hard to find in Desatoya.

The extremely low number of foals indicates that the fertility control they already had onboard from the last roundup worked much better than anticipated. There is absolutely no need to hit this herd with another GonaCon hit (resulting in a 7-10 year hormonal “sledgehammer”). However, BLM NV seems intent on switching everything in the state to GonaCon (in multiple doses to create infertility) regardless of what the data shows.

Stallions will be released tomorrow and mares will be held for GonaCon treatment. It appears that the same permittee will be housing mares being held for GonaCon release under some type of agreement.


14 (4 Stallions, 7 Mares, and 3 Foals)  were captured and 2 escaped. For the last couple of days, our volunteer is the only member of the public onsite.

Not much can be seen at capture. At holding can see very little. But out team member did see the crew at the chute trying to crouch a bit to not scare a horse loading into the chute.

We do not know why BLM is hiding actions of this contractor. We saw them in action at Bible Springs and they seemed to be more cognizant of the CAWP policy and moved slower. We know BLM hires contractors based on low bid and not merit. This is only the second time we have seen this contractor.

We are aware that the BLM Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program (CAWP) team is onsite.


Access to view this new trap is pretty nonexistent. 14 (2 Stallions, 12 Mares, and 0 Foals)  were captured.

Although access was provided at temporary on the third day, it was on the road on the low side and not the high side as we had requested. The low side makes for harder viewing. However, the sun was “just right” as we got there and you can see a bit through the snow fencing.


It appears the pilot had some trouble at the wings (we cannot evaluate “why” as we can’t see). The second run seemed to overshoot and this group evaded capture.

3 horses were roped: The adult above and a mare/foal pair.

7 wild horses were captured after observers were told the day was (probably) done and they could leave.

15 (3 Stallions, 9 Mares, and 3 Foals)  were captured in total.

Our team lead emailed BLM the location of the observation location (on public land) for the temporary holding corrals (on private property). BLM said they went to the location and found a spot nearby. BLM will offer observation at temporary corrals tomorrow.

Our observer remains onsite.


Although very little could be seen of the run to the trap, our seasoned team member reported that the pilot appeared to maintain good control of his helicopter. Ground crew lowered the back of the trailer (dug a hole) to minimize the risk of injury before a single horse was captured.

Runs only produced a few horses each. About 10 wild horses may have been captured.

Our observer requested a tour of trap to view configuration as she could not see from observation.

A tour was facilitated after the operation was called due to wind.

We will be back onsite tomorrow.

Our wild ones should live free on the range with the families they hold dear. Our wild ones should also live without abuse. WHE carries ongoing litigation to force BLM into open public process to create an enforceable welfare standard for our treasured wild ones. 

Thank you for keeping us in the fight!

2023 Summer roundup reports


Antelope Complex (north and south)

Black Mountain, Hardtrigger, Sands Basin

Devils Garden (USFS)


Desatoya (coming soon)

Categories: Wild Horse Education