Roundup Report: Calico Complex, September 2022

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Black Rock Field Office will begin a wild horse roundup on or about September 10, 2022, on the Calico Complex located northwest of Humboldt County, Nevada using the helicopter contractors, Cattoor Livestock. 

The complex includes Black Rock Range, Calico Mountains, Granite Range McGee Mountain, and Warm Springs Canyon Herd Management Areas (HMAs) which encompasses over 584,101 acres and has an arbitrary Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 572 – 952 wild horses. The agency plans to round up 1,076 and remove approximately 1,036 wild horses. 

ROUNDUP REPORT

September 25, 2022: No horses were rounded up today.

September 24, 2022: 16 wild horses were captured and there were 3 deaths after the BLM euthanized a 20+-year-old Black stallion for a fracture to the left front fetlock, a 20+-year-old Buckskin stallion for being blind, and a 6-year-old Cremello mare for being blind.

We met BLM at the meet site at 7:00 am. We drove on the playa to get to the observation site. The Playa is a 200-square-mile seabed remnant of Lake Lahontan. It is considered one of the vastest stretches of ground in the entire world.

It leads up to Soldier Meadows Road. Arrived at 8:00 am. Helicopter in the air at 9:00 am. 9:35 am first run came in with 7 horses. Second, run at 12:56 with 5 horses. At 1:30 we were told they were done for the day and moving trap.

Current observation on the Calico HMA. The weather was 43-82 Degrees F. 

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September 23, 2022: 55 wild horses were captured and there was 1 death after the BLM euthanized an 8-year-old Bay stallion for  "chronic deformity; Right Front Knee"

AWHC

The weather ranged from 45° to 75°. We met at 7:00 am. The meet location has not changed from the intersection of Hwy 447 and Soldier Meadows Road. We traveled via the Playa saving around 20 minutes to get to the observation site. A lot of activities going on in the area with hunting season and other things going on locally. Once at the observation area the 1st run came in around 9 am. The second run came in from behind me around noon. The horses trotted most of the way in. A few appeared sweaty as they passed. One mare looked heavily pregnant. The 3rd run came in at approximately 3:00 pm. All runs came into the trap area and loading went fairly smooth. Difficult to get clear photos with heat haze.

Note: The 2nd run came in from behind me at approximately 12:00 pm. The horses appeared sweaty as they passed. A mare appeared to be heavy with foal.

September 22, 2022: 71 wild horses were captured and there were two deaths after the BLM euthanized a 20+-year old Red Dun stallion for having a "chronic deformity; Both front knees" and a 12-year-old Dun stallion for having a "Chronic: Deformity; Left front knee.

We met BLM at the meet site at 7 am. Traveled miles east up Soldier Meadows Rd to observer site Helicopter came in and fueled. 11:55 am 1st run came in with approx 20 horses. 2:58 pm 2nd run, approx 20 horses 3:00 pm helicopter fueled the last run brought in 4 and called it a day.

We did a tour of temp holding, one pen had standing water from the amount of rain. Horses were calm and eating.

September 21, 2022: Approximately 50 horses were captured today. 

AWHC’s field representative was 1 of 2 observers onsite today. 

We drove from the motel to the observation site..approx 110 miles from Fernley NV.  Heavy Rain. Reached meeting site off Hwy 447 and Soldier Meadows..drove up Soldier Meadows approx 40 Miles. The observation site was muddy in the morning drizzling rain on and off. mostly dry by the afternoon.

  • 9:10 am Helicopter was in the air.
  • 9:45 am He brought in the 1st run approx 20 horses. One avoided being trapped. He turned and ran out of trap. Helicopter did pursue him to no avail.
  • 10:00 am stopped to fuel.
  • 12:00 pm helicopter brought in approx 20 on the second run.
  • The last run of the day was approx 9 horses.

Called it a day around 3:00 pm.The weather for the day was 48°F to 55° F with rain/overcast with a slight wind. The observation site was muddy due to rainfall the night prior.

September 20, 2022: 5 wild horses were captured.

September 19, 2022: 44 wild horses were captured and there were 3 deaths after the BLM euthanized a 6-year old blue roan Mare, for a fracture to left hind fetlock, a 4-year-old cremello stallion for being blind and cryptorchid, and a 25+-year old black stallion for a fracture to right hind hock.

At the same observation site as the prior 2 days. The trap is not visible. Hidden and obstructed by trees. Can only see one part of the wing from observation.

Drove to meet site 118 miles located Hwy 447 and Soldier Meadows Road. As I pulled up a livestock truck was pulling into temp holding. (7:00am) Was escorted to the observation site (approx 77 miles). Hiked up to observation site. The helicopter was in the air. (9:00am). The first run came in at 9:10 am approx 23 horses, and stopped for fuel 10:00 am. The second run came in at 12:00pm with approx 21 horses. 1:00 pm observed a truck and trailer headed East up Soldier Meadows Rd. Was later informed that they went and picked up a foal that had been separated. The third run came in at 3:00 pm approx 10 and they called it day.

No Temp holding viewing today. Was permitted to view from Hwy 447 but was not able to see much from that distance.

September 18, 2022: 42 wild horses were captured and there was 1 death after the BLM euthanized a 14-year-old Buckskin mare, for partial blindness.

AWHC's field observer was one of two members of the public onsite. We met at 7:00 am at the Soldier Meadows Rd turn-off located off SR 46. The road to get to the observation area is very rocky and dusty. A few people were still in the area as you come in due to the Burning Man festival. The weather was overcast with winds at 9 mph 48°-74°F. Total of 2 runs today. The first run at 12:55 second approx 2:20.

We were offered to visit the temp holding. The horses appeared to be settled and eating. Foals were with their mothers and plenty of space for them in each pen. The body score on the horses looked to be 5-6. There were no livestock trucks on site only the contractor's trailers.

September 17, 2022: 66 wild horses were captured and there were 3 deaths after the BLM euthanized a 17-year-ol bay mare and a 4-year-old bay mare for partial/blindness. The BLM also euthanized a 13-year-old sorrel stallion for having a fracture that BLM said was “pre-existing”.

We had to drive another 116 miles to meet the BLM. AWHC’s field representative was one of 2 members of the public onsite. The trap site is in the same location as yesterday. Trap was still nestled in trees out of view and only one wing was visible.

Upon arrival at the observation site, one trailer containing horses were being taken to temp holding from the day prior. The horses captured the day before could not all be processed before dark. 

There were a total of 3 runs today. On the last run, a side-by-side came onto the road as horses were being led into the trap. Our concern on both days there has been road traffic. Signs should be strategically placed on both sides leading into the trap area. Some of the horses have visible wounds caused by a mountain lion. There was a vet on site.

We were not granted viewing of temp holding. We were told that we could stop on the side of the public road and view from a distance. The horses appeared very calm. Wounds were visible but otherwise appeared healthy.

September 16, 2022: 93 wild horses were captured and there was 1 death after the BLM euthanized a 20+ year-old stallion for having a dental abnormality.

We traveled from our motel 116 miles to meet the BLM at its location and then drove another 77 miles to the observation area. On the way there we saw 3 beautiful mustangs on the side of the road. 

We arrived at the observation around 8 am. We were located approx 0.632 miles from the trap site. The trap was not visible as it was strategically placed behind a thick area of trees. Was only able to view one side of the wing.

At 10:30 am the helicopter came in for fuel. One helicopter was in the air today. There was a total of two runs today. 

At 2:00 pm 1st run with approx 65 plus horses, and at 2:45 pm the second run came in with approx 12.

Horses from both runs appeared to be very tired. The weather was a mild 40°-79° F with mild winds and smoky air from fires in the area.

September 14 & 15: No roundup today.

September 13, 2022: 23 wild horses were captured today and there were two deaths after the BLM euthanized a 4-year-old sorrel stallion, missing an eye blindness and a 20+-year-old sorrel stallion citing a previous Injury: "Herniated Diaphragm Congenital; Evidence of previously broken rib and soft tissue injury"

September 12, 2022: 54 wild horses were captured today.

We met BLM at 7:00 am at the Leonard Creek Rest Area. Traveled approx 50 miles to the observation area. Temps were around 66°- 85° F throughout the day. Slight wind with the air smokey from the California/Oregon fires. After 3 runs, at 11:30 am we were told that the trap was being moved and we would go to a new observation area. We were moved down Leanord Creek Rd At approx 2:30 pm the first run came in and the last run was around 4:00 pm.

The second trap site appeared to have jute hung on barbed wire with it not being flagged.

We were not permitted to go to short-term holding because it was set up on private land.

September 11, 2022: 96 wild horses were captured today and there were 3 deaths after the BLM euthanized a 3-year-old sorrel mare for partial blindness, a 17-year-old bay mare for having a sway back, and a healthy 6-month-old fill with a sway back. 

AWHC's field representative was the only member of the public onsite today. The trap location was about 50 to 55 miles NW of Denio, NV. The meeting site is the Leonard Rest Area between Denio and Winnemucca NV.

We met BLM at 7:00 am and drove for an hour to the observation area.

We were located over a mile from the trap site. The Cattoors are using two helicopters.

They have been bringing the horses down from very far away. Horses are coming in sweaty and tired. 

September 10, 2022: 85 wild horses were captured and there were 2 deaths after the BLM euthanized a 4-year-old black mare for missing her right eye, and another. 4-year-old bay mare for a "previous puncture injury, deeply infected right-rear fetlock"

AWHC's field representative was the only member of the public onsite today. 

The temperature ranged from 50 to 88 degrees with light winds and smoke from California wildfires settling into the valley. Viewing was difficult due to the distance to the trap -- located about a mile away -- smoke, and heat haze. Had we been allowed closer to view the wings of the trap and trap itself would have been open with a clear view.

There were a total of two runs today using two helicopters for this roundup. There is fencing throughout the area due to the private ranching. The vet on site stated the horses were in good condition. 

Temporary holding is on private land as well as trap. When asked if Temp holding was going to be accessible to the public, there was not a clear answer given by the BLM if we were going to be allowed to visit.

The horses removed will be shipped to the Indian Lakes facility in Fallon, Nevada and will be prepped for the AIP.