June 28, 2012 – Gather Updates

I’ve had a number of inquiries about the status of the gather, and I’m sure many others are wondering what’s going on too. For this gather, the BLM will be posting regular updates on the Billings Field Office’s Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range webpage (http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/fo/billings_field_office/wildhorses.html). Following is today’s post:

Daily Gather Update – June 28, 2012

The BLM has begun constructing bait traps at Cottonwood Spring, Bad Pass Seep, and Layout with salt/mineral blocks left inside the panels.  The traps will remain open for the horses to pass in and out for several days in order to allow the horses to become familiar with the site.  Also, the BLM will resume paint marking on low elevation Dryhead and Desert wild horses only. When marking the wild horses at the lower elevation, we did not experience the same issues of the paint rubbing off on the other horses, like what occurred in the high elevation areas. Paint marking will remain suspended for wild horses residing within the high elevation portion of wild horse range.  No horses are being gathered or removed at this time.

The BLM has suspended operations using paint balls to mark targeted excess wild horses for removal in the high elevation areas of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range.  Before the paint can dry, the horses were rubbing against each other and confusing the paint markings among the horses.  In one instance, a paint ball exploded prematurely and marked nearby horses.  The BLM is re-evaluating how to most effectively mark horses for removal, and updates will be provided here as soon as possible.

The color code below identifies tiers established for excess horse removal.  This is based on the tiers identified in the Environmental Assessment (p. 9-11). http://blm.gov/pjkd

PAINT COLOR CODE:
Tier One – Blue
Tier Two Higher Priority –   Orange
Tier Two Lower Priority –   Green
Tier Three – Red
The wild horse is not hurt as a result of using paint balls shot from a paint ball gun.  Even less than experiencing a shot at the doctor’s office or being darted with the fertility control drug porcine zona pellucida (PZP), the shooter aims for the hindquarters where the animal feels a quick superficial impact to the outer layer of hide.  Photo below shows accurately marked horse.

I’ll post updates as I can, but due to the longer nature of a bait trapping operation, the BLM will likely be able to provide more day-to-day information than I can; so I recommend checking out their webpage.

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Published in: on June 28, 2012 at 7:17 pm  Comments (11)  

June 18, 2012 – Updates

I spent much of this past weekend on the Range. I ended up seeing every harem except for Bristol’s along with a few of the bachelors. Because I saw so many horses, I thought I would post photographs on some of the more memorable things I saw.

I actually made a trip to the mountain last Tuesday too; and right as I was heading home, I had a very quick glimpse of Gringo running with Ketchikan and Beulah from Tecumseh.

Gringo, Ketchikan, and Beulah

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Published in: on June 18, 2012 at 9:45 pm  Comments (11)  

June 12, 2012 – Merlin Update

My mom headed out to Bighorn Canyon tonight to try and find Merlin, and she was able to find him in a place you rarely see horses at. She emailed some photos and information to post here to get everyone updated on how he is doing:

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Published in: on June 12, 2012 at 9:22 pm  Comments (18)  

June 10, 2012 – Dryhead Update

This afternoon, we decided to take a quick trip up to Bighorn Canyon. I wasn’t planning on doing a post from this trip originally; but after coming home and seeing some new comments on my last post, I thought it would be good to provide some more updates.

We first saw Hickok, Hightail, Seneca, and Jesse James at Crooked Creek Bay.

Jesse James and Hickok

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Published in: on June 10, 2012 at 8:05 pm  Comments (6)