October 14, 2007 – Sykes Ridge

On October 14th, we decided to head up Sykes Ridge to see if there was any activity there. This is among the least accessible parts of the wild horse range due to the quality of the road, but there are definitely some horses who live in the area.

Driving along, we saw a family in a drainage. As we popped up over a hill near them, I recognized the family as Starbuck’s family. Starbuck was grazing on a hill above them.

Starbuck

As his family moved out, I saw that he had a new member – Durango’s two year old grulla daughter.

F and H

Starbuck’s family

We left them and drove up the road a little further. As we entered a place where the road goes into a canyon, we saw two horses running a distance ahead of us. They ran up a hill, and I recognized them as Bristol and his young filly.

Bristol and GG

Bristol only stopped for a short time to watch us, and then the two disappeared over the hill.

Bristol

Up the road, two bighorn sheep rams were just visible near some trees.

Rams

They kept looking down the drainage, so I figured there must be some more sheep down there. I peeked over the hill; and there were two others right below the sheep, but they were horses.

Tony is a black stallion with a blaze. He is now a bachelor living on Sykes Ridge, though he was often seen with his family in Bighorn Canyon when he had them. His two year old son was removed in last year’s roundup, and the rest of his family is now with Chino.

Tony

Tony is most often seen hanging around another old grulla bachelor named Lone Wolf. Lone Wolf had been living off the range until last year in some mystery area of Bighorn Canyon. He had some short-lived success in getting a family, but he is older and didn’t hold on to them for too long.

Lone Wolf

It was a nice surprise seeing all of these horses on Sykes Ridge. That was the second time I’d seen Starbuck’s family, the third time I’d seen Bristol’s family, and the first time I’d seen Tony and Lone Wolf without the aid of a spotting scope all summer. There are still a couple more families in the area that I was hoping to see, but there are many hiding places along Sykes Ridge.

There was a lot of other recent horse sign further up the road, but we didn’t find anymore horses. It is probable that this was from horses who had moved down the ridge due to bad weather but had recently moved back up.  When we arrived on the top of the mountain, we saw the families of Prince, Teton, Coronado, and Santa Fe. We headed down the mountain on the Burnt Timber road and saw Mescalero’s family a little lower there.

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Published in: on October 22, 2007 at 12:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

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