ELKO – The Bureau of Land Management is conducting an emergency wild horse gather this week near the Wood Hills area southeast of Wells.
The horses have been determined to be excess and are largely on private lands outside of the nearest Herd Management Area, which is the Spruce-Pequop HMA approximately 10 miles away.
This water-and-bait gather will attempt to remove all the excess wild horses from the Wood Hills area – estimated to number about 60 — due to the declining critical water source on public lands, according to the BLM.
As of Tuesday, 30 horses had been removed by contractor Sampson Livestock of Utah.
The temporary water and bait traps consist of a series of corral panels stocked with water and hay. No helicopters are being used, and no visitors are allowed during the gather because wild horses are reluctant to approach the trap site when there is too much activity.
Gathering the excess wild horses and removing them from the area will prevent further resource degradation and allow the range to recover from wild horse impacts, the agency stated.
The horses are being shipped to the Palomino Valley Center north of Reno to be prepared for the BLM wild horse adoption program or for long-term pastures.
This gathering follows a similar one in the summer of 2015, which targeted 225 wild horses around Wood Hills.
Meanwhile, the BLM’s Battle Mountain district announced it has scheduled a special adoption event later this month, to be held along with a horse gather at Stone Cabin.
Approximately 20 recently gathered weanlings and yearlings will be offered for adoption between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Tonopah Fairgrounds. Horses can be previewed from noon to 5 p.m. the day before at the fairgrounds.
“All wild horses available for adoption will be vaccinated, dewormed, and Coggins tested,” stated the BLM.
Contractor Warner Livestock is conducting the bait and water trap gather this week in northern Nye County. Approximately 325 horses, mostly weaned foals and yearlings, will be gathered and approximately 210 of them released. Of the horses released, roughly 110 will be mares treated with the fertility control vaccine PZP-22.
Four years ago the BLM gathered horses in the same HMA and applied fertility control vaccine to 98 mares.
“Wild horse and burro staff from the Tonopah Field Office will continue to implement fertility control through a variety of methods on the Stone Cabin HMA in an effort to suppress population growth over the years to come,” stated the agency.
The BLM is offering field tours each Saturday throughout the gather. Call 775-635-4054 to sign up or for more information about the adoption event. Photos of horses available for adoption will be posted at http://on.doi.gov/2bKxpvN.