Horse Health

“A Serious Crime”: State Officials Investigate Wild Horse Killings

Source: By Ed Pearce of

“Probably the greatest photo op was when he took his band and he ran alongside the train for a full mile at the same pace as the train…”

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LYON COUNTY, CA – Some called him “Railroad Man” or “Flash.”

The crews and passengers on the V&T Railroad who saw the paint stallion leading his band near American Flat almost every trip called him “Damien.”

By whatever name he had many fans. In fact he starred in many tourists’ memories and videos of their trip to the Comstock.

“It was the highlight of their trip to Nevada,” says the railroad’s Vice President Thomas Gray.

“Probably the greatest photo op was when he took his band and he ran alongside the train for a full mile at the same pace as the train. It was wonderful.”

Today, the big stallion is a rotting carcass, not far from a Mound House neighborhood, shot and killed a couple of weeks ago.

Then yesterday another wild stallion, a bay called “Noman was found on a nearby hillside.

“He had been shot with arrows,” says Bob Conrad of the Department of Agriculture, “and he was near death when we arrived on scene. We had to euthanize him

Both incidents are now under investigation.

Time was, killing a wild horse would get you the legal equivalent of a slap on the hand.

No more.

It’s now a felony. The penalty is up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Conrad hopes the killers will be caught and he’s asking the public for help. The Ag Department is offering through Secret Witness, a $1,000 reward for information leading to arrest and prosecution.

The longtime crime fighting organization takes calls 24/7, paying cash rewards while keeping tipsters anonymous. Their number is (775) 322-4900.

Sharing in the blame with whoever is responsible for these killings may be some people living nearby who see them every day.

The horses are a common sight in Mound House and other rural neighborhoods. They come here because some people feed them and in time they have no fear of people.

That makes them a vulnerable, easy target for whoever is responsible for killings like these latest..

Feeding them, one local advocate told us, “Isn’t kindness. It’s a death sentence.”

It’s also against the law.

18 replies »

  1. The government disrespects wildlife and now others are following suit. These horses are part of our national heritage not some worthless animal to be slaughtered and eaten or shot with an arrow and left to die in pain over a several hour period! Respect life!


    • Agreed – If its a felony to kill a wild horse, then why aren’t the BLM, DOI, etc going to prison for selling wild horses to slaughter??


  2. Serious crime is an understatement. A far as I’m concerned, it is rye equivalent of murder by a serial killer. I wish i had witnessed it because there’d be only one killing and it wouldn’t be the horses.. This guy or guys should shot, just like the horses they killed.


      • I doubt anything of any consequence will be done to the perpetrators, IF they’re even apprehended. Too many people see these beautiful animals as “nuisances” who invade “their” territory….lawns, golf courses, motocross tracks, etc…so, while they may never admit it, as long as they don’t have to “witness” this heinous act of brutality, they don’t care. AND, heavens forbid if it is found to be someone’s “child” that carried out, or participated in this slaughter, then, of course, it was “only a horse.” I have some other choice words to say about this, but they would never be printed.


  3. I agree with Terri Russell- the government shows that wild horses are not worth anything and now other people are following suit- they need to be shot and left to suffer just like they do to these beautiful animals that have more right to be here than we do , I hate some Humans because they show NO RESPECT for OUR WILD HORSES!!!!!!!!!!


    • They were caught. They were teenagers and as far as I know nothing was done about it. Hope I’m wrong tho !


  4. It’s like watching the Outdoor Network on Saturday morning where people hunt for and ogle over the beautiful animals they are about to murder…yes I said murder! Hunting requires skills seldom possessed by today’s outdoors men. Shooting an animal from half a mile away is no sport.

    That’s not to say that’s what happened in this case…obviously to get close enough to shoot a wild animal with a bow required one of two things…good hunting skills (doubtful) or an animal that did not fear it’s pursuer. In Damian’s case we may never know but the animal shot with arrows and left to bleed out is about as sadistic an act as I’ve ever heard.

    Hopefully the owner’s DNA is still on those arrows and they find him/her and bring them to justice. It’s unfortunate we don’t still practice ‘an eye for an eye’ style of punishment in this country.


  5. It is really a sick act to kill such beautiful horses. I hope they catch whoever did this very soon. The killing of wild horses is so wrong. This beautiful stallion had so much life and just to be killed like it was a piece of garbage. So sad.


  6. Unfortunately, this mentality in our country abounds; if there is no respect for human life has been ingrained in our youth what kind of respect can we expect can we expect for an animals life? We see it every day; dirt bikes, the 4 wheelers; the addiction to consumption in the name of sport. So, what’s in a life? It entails work which equals time invested upkeep of these creatures. The mentalities wer are “molding” are disposable like a tank of gas…. immediate gratification through speed, and no further involvement. Why not shoot the damn horse? Or better yet mame by using it for target practice and let it bleed out, after all, its a “free” target – – – no further involvement required!


  7. We need to follow this situation if we can and send it to more media and let the local authorities know we are watching to see if they are truly investigating this. Many other wild horses and wild burros have been killed similar to this and then nobody is arrested or even if they are … they don’t get true punishment and the public forgets. After reading about other WH&B killings on our public lands it makes me wonder how many actually happen that are not ever found or reported. These people are not humans … they are sub-human … they are a boil on the butt of humanity.


  8. My heart and soul are absolutely crushed by this! There needs to be more “culling” of the human monsters so pervasive in society. I pray the low life scum that did this are found and are prosecuted by the “peoples’ law!” Give ME the bow and arrows!!


  9. The horses have been abused to ad nauseum by the forestry, wildlife and BLM agencies. The hire employees that have no issue with carrying on the abuse. The Interior Dept pr department, under Bob Abbey, works solely on behalf of these ranchers and now the extractors and encourages the constant vilification of the horses by the ranching welfare queens who want the horses grazing land, on the cheap.

    So now we have two additional, horrible deaths of these, our wild stallions, and they expect us to believe yet another fed agency, that they are concerned about the welfare of our wild ones? It is the feds that are killing them.


  10. My fiancé says we just need to relax on the slaughter thing for a minute and lets see what happens, I am phoning anyone who will listen, emailing, faxing, every single state, posting, texting, and just on and on, so he says you need to slow down. But that all changed in a matter of minutes, I showed him this article and something about the death of this stallion and the video of the sweet little foal at the end kicked something in him, because he was typing away and he said here we go again! Huh? Still waking up, and he answered-i’ll get you the phone, and you just keep right on working…..I think that we now more than EVER need to be out there, keep our presence know that we wont accept any of these things. We need to keep making our comments and calls, and push for justice-because they were just waiting for us to get tired. For a moment he did, but then the article on this horse……man-that re-started it for both of us! I am now wide awake and I hope they catch these killers and make examples of them. These horses were outside of the town when they were killed and not in the urban area. This is very serious and we have to make sure that we express our outrage! The horses obvious cared about the people to keep making appearances, they just found themselves having fun. If they were causing a problem they didn’t need shot but to call the officials to handle it. This is so very sad and really very maddening-because they value no lives to do this. This is the great old West, but it sure doesn’t act like it anymore!


  11. Lot of devils in human form out there who do such diabolical acts against these Earth angels the wild horses! They will have a fate much worst than what these two beautiful free spirits in horse form suffered!


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