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

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.

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

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11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thank you Matt! I am sure everyone appreciates your updates concerning the gather, and the link to the BLM web page so that they can keep up to date!

  2. http://blm.gov/pjkd

    Goes to “Page Not Found.”

  3. Same thing happened when I tried to access it!

  4. http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/fo/billings_field_office/wildhorses.html

    Works just fine now.

  5. So the gather has started 1 Male horse was removed yesterday. I assume that a member of this Center will be involved. Is there anyway that we can get daily updates here as well as to who has been caught? We all know these horses by names and some with very personable experiences. We would like to continue to be updated with from someone who knows the horses on a personable level as well.

    • We will definitely try to be updating this as much as possible with daily news too. The first horse removed was Kokopelli. I went out to the Canyon last night and saw Fiero, Strawberry, and Bakken still milling around the area of the trap. I think that most gathering will be taking place in the Dryhead area for now.

      • Matt, thanks for updating us when you can… are they going to be taking horses from all three tiers and then sorting them? For instance, Kaelia is Tier 2, Jemez Tier 3 — will they be gathered and then the determination made later as to who goes and who stays? Or will they just start with Tier 1 horses…

  6. I know Strawberry is the Mother of Fools Crow and I hate to see any of our horses suffering from losing one of their herd. I know you told us that we should not attach human thoughts to the horses , but I cannot
    help but think that if I lost a member of my family I would not be affected

  7. Personally, I hope they stick strictly to the tier arrangement instead of going with the “easier to catch” ones. Seems to me like the Dryhead gets hit the hardest when it’s done that way, as those horses are most used to humans and their activities, thus easier to trap and remove. That’s not fair, and I hope the darn delays because of legal bickering don’t cause it to happen again. Maybe I’m wrong on this, but it just seems to me like what happens. I hate that any horses have to be removed, but if they must, then it should be done strictly scientifically (genetically). Just sayin’. I know it’s easy to criticize from a distance, but sometimes it’s also easy to come up with excuses to take the easier way out if you “can”, too.

    • PS. the “pjkd” web address still does not work, as of this am, but there is information on the link Joy provided. They say the names of horses gathered will be available, but I don’t see them anywhere yet. Heard that they have Kokopelli and Jumping Badger, so far.

  8. Case in point of how I hope they go by the tier arrangement is the number of horses on the list before Jesse James, who is Admiral’s last offspring and whose dam is on fertility for the rest of her life. Trouble is, he’s a dryhead horse and will probably be easy to find, just like Ghost Dancer and her foal in ’09.

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