Roundup Report: Fish Creek Roundup 2020

The Fish Creek HMA is located just a few miles south of Eureka, Nevada in the Antelope and Little Smokey Valleys and in the Antelope and Fish Creek Mountains. The area consists of 250,244 acres of BLM land and 2,527 acres of a mix of private and other public lands for a total of 252,771 acres. The area is 25 miles wide and 28 miles long. The majority of the HMA is comprised of north-south trending mountain ranges that include all or portions of the Fish Creek Range, the Mahogany Hills, and the Antelope Range. 

The BLM plans to roundup approximately 195 wild horses, remove approximately 135 excess wild horses and treat up to 30 mares with PZP-22, a fertility control vaccine. The treated mares will be released back to the range along with up to 30 stallions. Only ~105 wild horses will remain in the HMA once roundup operations are complete.

January 3, 2020: AWHC was onsite to watch the release of 30 treated mares and 30 stallions being released back to freedom.

January 2, 2021: Fish Creek Roundup concludes: 198 federally-protected wild horses removed from public lands.

AWHC was the only member of the public onsite. This morning, we were at a new trap site and our observation point was 1.5 miles from the trap.

There were only small groups captured again today, 41 horses in total. This concluded the removal of the Fish Creek wild horses. Tomorrow, we will be onsite to watch the release of approximately 30 mares that have been treated with PZP fertility control, and 30 stallions back to the HMA.

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January 1, 2021: 17 wild horses lost their freedom on the first day of the New Year.

AWHC was the only member of the public onsite today. It was -4 on the drive to the trap site, 24 when roundup commenced at 10 am

We were at the same observation spot, with lots of fog this morning. 

Initially, we were told that the helicopters might not fly as it was foggy for a couple of hours, and they hadn't spotted any horses, however, it did proceed.

Small groups throughout the day, mostly groups of 2 or 3.

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At one point a foal from a group of 3 was lassoed. While they were bringing him in, the helicopter was pushing another group of 2 adult horses in fast instead of waiting or slowing down, so they tied up the foal "in a hole" (behind a hill right on the way into the jute run), binding his feet. They were going to wait for the next run to complete. The riders were instructed over radio to tie him in case something happened with the next group. Then something happened with the next group; around where the foal t was being stowed, the group of 2 ran by and suddenly evaded and needed to be lassoed, so the foal was abandoned by the two wranglers (hw was still tied while being left alone). The two wranglers went out and lassoed these 2 horses after a long chase, leaving the foal on the ground for many minutes.

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December 31, 2020: 16 wild horses were rounded up and removed today and there were no deaths.

AWHC was the only member of the public onsite again today. While it had snowed over the night, we started today at a much warmer 24 degrees. 

We were at the same observation point and the cloud cover was low and foggy. 

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Cows could be seen on the way in, and on the way out the cows were blocking the road.

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One horse defied the helicopter for a number of minutes, repeatedly dodging back and forth, back and forth again and again. They finally went to lasso. 

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The day ended around 10am for them to set up a new trap site for tomorrow.

December 30, 2020: 61 wild horses were captured and removed.

AWHC was the only member of the public onsite again today. The exact number of horses removed today was not posted, though it looked to be around the same amount as yesterday. 

We were located at the same observation and trap site as yesterday. We couldn't see the pen, only the jute.

There were a number of small-medium bands brought in today (horses of 4, 6, 8). 

One horse seemed to defy the helicopter. They sent a horse to lasso later.

Another group of horses was so far away and may have been getting tired, we heard over the radio the pilot call for a trailer and lasso to come get them beyond the horizon. 

The trap was dusty near the end of the day, but only on the final runs. The frozen ground had kept it from being dusty until now when it has been pretty beaten by hooves over 2 days.

Jute was broken down at end of day, signaling a new trap site tomorrow.

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December 29, 2020: 63 wild horses were rounded up and removed today.

The morning drive to the trap site started out at -4 degrees, and the roundup officially began at 14 degrees. 

2 helicopters were used during the operation. We couldn't see the trap pen but could see the jute

A number of small groups were brought in throughout the day until the roundup ended at about 2pm.

A young horse was separated from the group and had to be lassoed.  

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