February 13, 2008 – Lower Sykes Ridge

We made the big hike up Lower Sykes Ridge again on the 13th. While walking in the snow along the rim of a canyon, we came upon Bristol; and he had Greta back.

Bristol and Greta

Just to the northwest of them were the Dryhead bachelors.

Dryhead boys

Starbuck wasn’t with them then, and I didn’t see him that day. However, this isn’t atypical behavior for him to drift to and from bachelors. In fact, the first time I ever saw Starbuck, he was with the bachelor pair of Admiral and Cibeque. When I went out the next day, he was gone from them already.

The bachelors were moving up the hill, and so we just sat and waited for them to pass by so that we wouldn’t change their travel plans. They remained alert, but it took them a little while to move past as they stopped to graze and eat a little snow on the way.

Medicine Bow and Fiero

Fools Crow

I’ve said it before, but getting to watch these three together is a pretty special treat on the range. Many past visitors have very likely seen the behavior of bachelor groups before, likely on the mountain. However, these three are the only static bachelor group that isn’t just made up of a pair of bachelors due to the last roundup which effectively eliminated the “black bachelor” group that had been on the mountain. Thus, among many other reasons, these three are very special horses in the social fabric of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses.

The bachelors ended up moving up another hill. Walking around the hill, I got a nice glimpse of Fools Crow as he looked over the edge as we walked past.

Fools Crow

Published in: on February 22, 2008 at 1:26 pm  Comments (2)  

February 10, 2008 – Lower Sykes Ridge

It’s hard to believe it’s been so long since I’ve put up a new post! Things have been busy here at the Center, but I have been able to get out to the range a few times since my last post. We did a lot of hiking on the 10th to look for horses.

We first spotted Corona’s family. As is usual with them, they were quite a distance away.

Corona family

A distance away from them, we spotted the Dryhead bachelors – Fiero, Fools Crow, and Medicine Bow. They also had the bachelor Starbuck with them.

Fiero and Fools Crow

Medicine Bow and Starbuck

Walking further up, we unexpectedly came upon the grullo bachelor Lone Wolf. Typically Lone Wolf is with the black bachelor Tony, but we couldn’t see Tony near him there.

Lone Wolf

Up from Lone Wolf was Merlin with his family. They were just grazing and resting on the edge of a small canyon. By this time, it was warming up; and there was a lot of distortion watching and photographing the horses due to heat waves. We were spotting other parts of the range from our location, and we saw a number of horses from a long distance. However, the heat waves made identifying some of them impossible. We did positively identify Teton, Chino, and Santa Fe from there, though.

Merlin

Up from them we spotted Tony. However, Tony had another horse with him – The young bay filly that had been with Bristol.

Tony and Greta

This was an interesting mystery, and it really made me wonder what had happened to Bristol. Walking back, this question was answered. He was grazing along the rim of a small drainage. He looked to be in good shape despite losing his filly.

Bristol

There’s been a lot of interchange in the Lower Sykes area. This makes me curious about interchange that’s also occurring in the Burnt Timber area.

Published in: on February 22, 2008 at 12:54 pm  Leave a Comment