Horse News

Nevada Owyhee Complex Wild Horse Stampede takes Holiday Break

As printed in the Elko Daily Free Press (unedited)

Local Herd Reduced to Possible Genetically Non-Viable Levels

ELKO — Wild horse gatherers are taking a break this holiday season.

The Bureau of Land Management has suspended operations for the Owyhee Complex gather, which began the end of November.

The Winnemucca District, Humboldt River Field Office completed its portion of the gather and when the operation resumes Jan. 4 it will be in the Elko District’s Owyhee herd management area, where an estimated 186 horses will be gathered. Of those, 47 will be removed from the range. The remainder will be released after many of the mares have been given a fertility control vaccine.

“Phase 1 of the gather has been completed with the last wild horses being gathered and removed from the Little Owyhee (herd management area),” Gene Seidlitz, BLM Winnemucca District Manager, said in a release. “The weather and mechanical issues on the helicopter caused several days without gather operations occurring but overall wild horses have been removed safely and humanely.”

To date, 819 horses have been gathered and 808 were removed from the Little Owyhee area.

Two studs were released.

The appropriate management level for the area is between 194 and 298 horses. It had a pre-gather population of about 1,097.

Removal of the excess horses will relieve pressure on the limited resources available, according to the BLM.

Wild horses removed to date have been transported to Palomino Valley Center near Reno and the Lichtfield Corrals near Susanville, Calif., where they will be prepared for the BLM adoption program.

Unadopted horses will be placed in long term pastures and retain their “wild” status.

No horses are sold or sent to slaughter, according to BLM.

Information on the gather can be found at

Click (HERE) to comment locally at the Elko Daily Free Press

12 replies »

  1. I am Happy the BLM suspended operations for now !!!!! If only we could find a way to stop them forever!!!!!!!! At the very least our Mustangs need peace to live their lives, it is not easy to them, the Wild is all they know , they deal with enough just to survive BLM, leave them alone !!!!!!


  2. When I read this report on their Facebook page I questioned it’s continuance due to the number of killings. Suddenly I got this response…

    “Bureau of Land Management – Nevada @Steve Whoops! Unfortunate choice of words in our quote. We checked with the wild horse and burro specialist and there are roughly between 300-400 wild horses still out on this portion of the complex.
    17 hours ago ”

    I questioned further exactly what information they were correcting and never got a response back. It could be to this quote in the PR…

    “Operations will resume in the Elko District’s Owyhee HMA where approximately 186 wild horses will be gathered. Of the 186 wild horses gathered, 47 will be removed from the range with the remainder being released back to the HMA with approximately 46 mares being vaccinated with PZP-22, a fertility control vaccine. Any wild horses gathered above the targeted removal numbers will be released back to the HMA. ”

    Does that mean more will be removed, more vaccinated…what? I’m still waiting for confirmation. I did have contact last Saturday maybe I’ll get lucky today as well…we’ll see.

    I do have a huge concern over their policy to kill whatever ain’t right.


    • I don’t agree with their policy to kill either. however, if they find a baby that is born and can’t rise, or if they find a mare that is diseased and doesn’t have long to live, wouldn’t you do the right thing and end their sufferings? I don’t agree with the round ups.. but i DO agree with them to maintain the health of the herd for future generations..


      • You have to look beyond the BLM’s PR spin of what they call a “humane” killing. The vast majority of horses killed by BLM during a round-up are due to injuries caused by BLM, not by some “pre-existing condition” as they like to categorize it. Even horses rounded up with club feet are now killed by BLM. Club feet aren’t fatal. In my opinion, I believe those horses are killed simply for BLM’s convenience, not for any “humane” reasons.

        As for the recurring BLM spin of “doing what is best for future generations”, at the rate BLM is “doing”, there won’t be any future generations.


      • Dovie, yes in those cases and even some others I think doing the right thing is just that…doing the right thing. But I do not think club foot is a death sentence. I have an appy who has a club foot and is the alpha in the pasture and can keep up with my QH and take a nip at him.

        Animals in the wild have bad things happen to them and they either do okay or they die trying…it’s nature’s way. My contention is that poorly healed breaks and club foot plagued animals need not be killed, after all they survived the stampede to the trap, so why not release them back to their home and families and let nature take it’s course. If you’re afraid of the genetics of club foot…geld them then let them go.

        Killing has to be the last resort. And I don’t thing the BLM is playing by that rule.


  3. I agree with Rbin Baily. I no longer have any faith or trust in what the BLM says or proposes. I think now that Salazar has been ” embarrassed”, which is an understatement, they are writing nicey, nice stuff. All the horror is being hidden under the words adopted(by kill buyers), released(in crowded waiting areas for further processing). It reminds me of the lies told to the Jewish population in Germany. Resettlement=Concentraton Camp=Extemination. ” Don’t worry, we’ll all be together as soon as they unload us from these cattle cars. Yeah right. No. I don’t believe a word they say.


  4. The killers are running (no pun intended) out of wild equines.

    I rage at the machine and can not wait for the day that they are punished for the hell they have wrought on our public lands, our bounty, our resources…I only hope some of our wildlife is left…like wild equines.


    • Dear Denise I agree so fully with all of your posts !!! The Wild Mustangs are so important for all of our Welfare , for so many years the BLm has been trying to eradicate them for no viable reason other then Pure Evil and Greed we must stop them………This hellish suffering , murdering of the mustangs goes far deeper then most can see…………….We now have to find a way to stop them before they kill them all , these people are liars murders……………..


  5. BLM ~ goals have never been in the interest of doing its best for the horses. How could anyone think, otherwise? The goal is extermination, plain and simple. SInce Salazar and BLM have been exposed somewhat by media, they are working on their PR to get rid of the perception that they are a criminal enterprise. Their meaningless bs articles of comfort language are to convey to the public how responsible they are (barf !) Although….they keep ramping up the roundups and the unnecesarry killing.


    • I repeat…their lies about swelling herds and the devastation they (the wild equines) are doing to the land is a big FAT F’ING LIE!!!!! They are running out of wild equines to blame and round up. Period.

      I hope some advocates and horsemen have some wild equines that haven’t been sterilized so we can put them back where they belong.

      BLM and state lands managers goal is to give away the candy store to greedy corporate raiders.


  6. Go after the corporations for restitution! Make them pay for what they have taken. Any other wildlife group would do this and Western Watersheds did it. We need the funds to fight and they have created a nightmare and influenced the powers that be to Not Enforce the 1971 Act. We have a LAW and it is being ignored for the amendments. Have you read the latest petition from Front Range Equine Rescue, Hilary Wood and Bruce Wagman and others (RT I know you are in there somewhere)? The wording is superb and is making BLM live up to its own policy not to sell to slaughter. And it asks for enforcement. We need this. We can do far more than we are attempting.


  7. Oh wow. More lies from the glorious BLM. They won’t leave anything ever! At least the horses got a reprieve for now. Salazars head is being called for by more than just the horse advocates from what I’ve seen. Nobody likes his policy. I suppose that resources will be fine since they’ve sterilized all the mares now. Very good for the cattle and sheep..
    Right? Merry Christmas to all but mostly to the horses.


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