Archive for ‘McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Range’

August 8, 2011

New! 2011 Wild Horses Christmas Cards & Fine Art Prints

Bridger: A Wild Stallion in Wyoming, McCullough Peaks


   I have always loved and admired Wild Horses and preserving safe numbers in the wild for future generations to enjoy is one of my utmost priorities.     I enjoy watching these beautiful animals in the wild – there is something special about them!

Bridger is special to me.  Whenever I get the chance to see him, at the Wild Horse Range near Cody Wyoming, I am so happy to see that he hasn’t been rounded up yet!  He is still free!
He is a big handsome stallion, that seems to have a more laid-back personality.  I could just stay out in the quiet desert for hours watching him and his wild horse family.

There was something special when his eyes met mine out there in the Wyoming desert.   

Bridger is the first of my new 2011 Wild Horse Christmas Cards!  Collect them today and beat the Holiday rush!  Remember, its for a great cause too!

New!
2011 First Edition Wild Horses Christmas Cards benefitting Wild Horses
available at  www.westerngalleries.com


Standard shipping will be added & Texas Residents add Sales Tax

October 28, 2009

Bridger update

A huge THANK YOU to fellow photographer Pam Nickoles who just found out and informed me, that one of my favorite Wild Horses, Bridger, from the McCullough Peaks Range was not rounded up and is still living free!

Pam and Carol Walker were both so helpful! – Thanks!

A small bit of good news when the world seems so tough now-a-days!

Bridger is the big, stocky grey stallion on the left.

bridger

Bridger and Bachelor Stallions, McCullough Peaks

 

October 25, 2009

McCullough update

After a one-day delay because of muddy conditions, the McCullough Peaks Round-up is over. 

The BLM claims that the 110,000 acre conditions are becoming ‘degraded’.   I just do not believe that.    In fact, in late 2004 (just after my very first visit), the BLM removed around 400 horses from McCullough!   So the land can support many more.

The horses, unless they are old or injured,  are in healthy condition, and even fat, as having built up much of their reserves for the harsh Wyoming winters.   The horses will eat just about anything including sage,  a fast spreading, and poor nutrient plant that cattle will not eat.

The water reservoirs are still holding water too after the summer.

I am still trying to find out if one of my personal favorite horses, Bridger, was removed.  (see his photos below)

I am happy to announce that no horses were killed or injured during this particular round-up.  Cattoor was the contractor.  Small foals & their Mothers were separated from the other adults to prevent injury to the foals.  That is much better results than in the past many years of round-ups.  Perhaps since the Public is paying more attention to Round-ups we will continue to see fewer injuries or deaths during these stressful ordeals.

The BLM did not remove all 122 horses as they had planned.  

193 horses were captured by helicopter over several days.   93 horses were removed, leaving only 120 head on McCullough Peaks (110,000 acres).   Many of the returned mares were also darted with the birth control drug PZP, so we’ll see fewer births in the next few years.

Studies show that at least 150 head are needed for safe genetics, so now the amazing McCullough Peaks Range is below safe Genetics Levels – like so many other ranges.

The 93 removed horses have been shipped to Rock Springs until next Spring.   Stallions will be gelded, all are freeze branded, and some may even be ‘gentled’ at a top-dollar expense.   – a taxpayers expense for the next 6 months.

So far, plans for their adoption will be in the Spring of 2010, perhaps the horses will be shipped back near Cody Wyoming for the adoption.  

Meanwhile the Market, for all horses, is down, and its very low for Wild Horses.  There are very few people who can house, train, and care for a Wild Animal. 

 

Only approx. 3,000 were adopted last year, and nearly 12,000 horses are planned to be removed this fiscal year.   So the round-ups are being conducted at an amazingly fast, unprecedented,  and very costly pace.

The McCullough Peaks Range is a favorite for many of the local citizens of Cody, Powell, Lovell,  as well as travelers to the Yellowstone Area.  These Wild Horses can be easily viewed along or just off of the Highway.  The local citizens too  are voicing their concerns, but it seems to be going to a silent BLM ear.

October 14, 2009

So sad … McCullough’s Round Up

Bridger - McCullough Peaks Wild Stallion

Bridger - McCullough Peaks Wild Stallion - one of my favorites!

Bridger, McCullough Peaks Stallion

Bridger, McCullough Peaks Stallion - he is beautiful! My fav!

Title 'The Chase' McCullough Peaks

Title 'The Chase' McCullough Peaks - The little Pinto is fiesty!

McCullough Peaks in black & white.  A fast summer storm approaching.

McCullough Peaks in black & white. A fast summer storm approaching.

McCullough Peaks, one of my favorite places to visit while in Wyoming!  My two young children, husband, and I have visited this Range several times since my first visit in 2004.   My children, then aged 6 years and 9, both had a wonderful time -eventhough we were in the ‘middle of nowhere’ – they never have been ‘bored’ like kids often get after several hours.  It is such a wonderful experience to take the next generation into the Wild Horse Ranges!  My kids have even said they like it better than Yellowstone at times! WOW!

I am thankful that we have had the chance to visit, but I am so nervous & worried for the horses.  Which ones will the BLM take away?  Bridger my favorite?

Sadly, I cannot be there during the round-up.  Before BLM released these round-ups, I had already booked these dates.

This round-up is unnecessary right now and its so sad that the BLM are removing 122 horses!

Whenever we visit, we are lucky if we see about 40-50 head.

Right now the BLM is the Wild Horses greatest enemy with these large round-ups.

October 14, 2009

BLM 2009-2010 Wild Horse & Burro Round up removal numbers

Here it is folks, and it is scary!

The BLM’s official Round up plans for the next year.  The numbers are unbelievable!  They are indeed are bringing America’s Wild Horse population to extinction.   The mares that will be released back will be darted with PZP Birth control, leaving all these herds with below safe genetic numbers!

2010 GATHER SCHEDULE This gather schedule is subject to change. 9/15/2009

State Agency Herd Management Area Complex Start Date End Date

# Planned  Gathered    # Planned Removed species

AZ BLM Nuisance                                10/1/09 9/30/10                45                                    45 Burros

AZ BLM Lake Pleasant                        10/1/09 9/30/10                 30                                    30 Burros

NV BLM Caliante complex                   10/1/09 10/14/09               278                               278 Horses

UT BLM Onaqui                                  10/1/09 10/4/09               200                                 150 Horses

ID BLM Four Mile                                10/6/09 10/9/09               122                                 107 Horses

ID BLM Sands Basin                          10/10/09 10/13/09           112                                   99 Horses

WY BLM McCullough Peaks               10/15/09 10/20/09            211                                122 Horses

NV BLM Garfield Flats                        10/16/09 10/20/09           250                                 167 Horses

NV BLM Tobin Range                        10/22/09 11/3/09               443                               421 Horses

WY BLM Fifteen Mile                          10/21/09 10/28/09            333                               280 Horses

WY BLM Green Mountain Red Desert 10/30/09 11/25/09           354                                272 Horses

WY BLM Crooks Mountain Red Desert 10/30/09 11/25/09           70                                  13 Horses

WY BLM Lost Creek Red Desert          10/30/09 11/25/09           261                                230 Horses

WY BLM Stewart Creek Red Desert    10/30/09 11/25/09             300                              209 Horses

WY BLM Antelope Hills Red Desert     10/30/09 11/25/09            141                                 97 Horses

OR BLM Hog Creek                            11/5/09 11/9/09                 146                               116 Horses

OR BLM South Steens                        11/10/09 11/20/09            395                              236 Horses

CA BLM Massacre Lakes                    12/7/09 12/14/09              187                                162 Horses

OR BLM Palomina Buttes                    12/16/09 12/19/09            93                                   61 Horses

OR BLM Paisley                                  12/20/09 12/25/09           223                                163 Horses

NV BLM Calico Mt Complex                 12/1/09 2/28/09              3186                             2806 Horses

UT BLM Confusion                              1/15/10 1/21/10               200                              185 Horses

CA FS McGavin Peak                          1/24/10 1/29/10                20                               20 Horses

NV BLM Eagle (WC/DLC)                      2/7/10 2/20/10               727                              643 Horses

CO BLM West Douglas HA                  2/21/10 2/28/10                60                                 60 Horses

AZ BLM Cibola-Trigo                           3/4/10 3/10/10                  90                                 90 Burros

NV BLM Hickison                                3/2/10 3/15/10                  92                                75 Burros

AZ BLM Alamo                                  3/11/10 3/14/10                 35                                   35 Burros

How can the BLM get away with this?

September 24, 2009

ROAM ACT

Contact your Senator to vote YES for the ROAM ACT (S 1579)!

Think about this in a financial way if you are not a fan of America’s Wild Horses…

1> A main reason why so much land has been taken away from the wild horses is for cattle.

2>  Ranchers pays $1.35 PER COW/CALF pair PER MONTH to graze on BLM Land. – a very small amount of income.

3>  The percentage of beef that Americans consume from the cattle fed on BLM land is something like 5% per year. – a very insignifigent amount.

4> This is the same land that BLM claims cannot support wild horses, and they ‘may starve or are starving’.

5> We taxpayers are paying someone $100,000 PER DAY (around $3 per horse everyday) for the BLM to maintain the 33,000 wild horses that have been captured and removed from their designated land, and are being held in long-term holding facilities.  (Then there is the costs of the roundups – read below)

What the BLM is doing, does not make financial sense, and its poor land & animal management –  with our tax money! 

The proposed ROAM ACT will allow the captured wild horses to be able to roam again on some of the 19.4 Million Acres that have been taken from them since 1971 when the Wild Horse & Burro Act was first passed.

Not only will it give the captured Wild Horses their deserved freedom, but it will save us money!

Again, please contact your Senator & Congressmen to VOTE YES on The ROAM ACT (S. 1579)!

* The BLM is having a ‘Public Advisory Board Meeting’ on Sept 28th in Arlington, VA.

* Advocates are meeting September 29, 2009 in Washington DC for ‘MUSTANG ON THE HILL’ to support passage of the ROAM ACT, and Press Conference.

Call 719-633-3842 to learn more about attending!

n51570102881_269

September 5, 2009

Wild Horses Video

August 25, 2009

Getting to know the horses

** Copied from my Mustang Page that was written in 2006 ***

As a child, I was fortunate enough to have been raised on a farm with animals including horses, and I have always admired their strength and beauty.

When I was around ten years old, I was thumbing through a magazine, which included a short story and photos of some wild Mustangs, and I wished that I could see them in the wild.

My first true photographic encounter with Wyoming’s Wild Mustangs was in July 2004 during a visit to Cody Wyoming. We found the McCullough Peaks Range, around 40 (aka the Wild Bunch) all in seemingly good health, during our first visit.  It was a collection of families with various mixed colors (paints, palomino, sorrel, bay, buckskin, dun, roan…) and markings. They kept a very watchful eye on us at all times, never completely letting their guard down.

We immediately felt their amazing wild spirit.  What a fun day!  We watched the different family members interact… young foals would periodically nurse, sometimes a pair of friendly horses would ‘groom’ each other, and occasionally a few yearlings would playfully kick up their heels. We watched these horses for several hours in the quite desert, while also keeping an eye on the western sky.   Storm clouds rolled in all around and rain was falling on the distant hills, so we packed up our gear and headed back to Cody.  It was a short yet wonderful encounter!

In July of 2006 we returned to the McCullough Peaks Range. Ahhh, another beautiful Wyoming sunset! We paused on a ridge to watch the sunset over the high desert canyons and rolling hills. Other wildlife moved around us including antelope, rabbits, and a burrowing owl! In the distance we could hear a coyote barking while we watched the sun slip behind the hills. Although we only managed to find a handful of horses on that day, we enjoyed the peaceful desert evening, and it was a nice ending to an adventurous day.

Our next day trip to the McCullough Peaks would produce more horses.  Like our 2004 visit, several bands of horses had gathered together creating a large group of forty or so. We were spellbound by their presence, and my camera stayed busy! Thank goodness for long lenses.

We watched them until the horses finally moved on.

We kept going back to McCullough, but for our much anticipated last ‘horse day trip’ we cruised to Lovell Wyoming and up Pryor Mountain, which is just over the Montana border.  While heading up Pryor Mountain early in the morning, (approx. 8700 ft. elevation, 4×4 ) the roads were rough at times with ruts and washboard, but the area was filled with pretty rock outcroppings, tree clusters, meadows, and grand overlooks. As we rounded a curve, the landscape suddenly opened up to some beautiful mountain meadows, and we were thrilled to see several bands of horses right there in the open meadows!

As we rolled to a stop not too far from Penn’s Cabin along the Sykes Ridge Road (a very difficult road, 4×4 only – best with atv or jeep), a gorgeous black stallion (Raven) stood just a few feet away grazing, seemingly unmindful of our human presence.  He was a beauty!  This older stallion did not have any mares, and he stood alone. His shiny black coat was loaded with scars from head to hoof. The stallion kept busy grazing on the summer mountain grass, always watching, yet thoughtfully ignoring us ‘tourists’. Now at 18 years old, Raven has lost his mares and family to the younger and stronger band stallions (we understand that he lost them in the summer of 2005), but he is still a magnificent animal.

* NOTE *
Raven has passed on. (Winter 2007-08?) I will miss him much!  At least he lived and died FREE!

The Pryor Mountain Mustangs are very unique wild horses. They have the genetic DNA link to the Spanish Conquistador’s horses, which are a special part of America’s History!

We couldn’t believe that many of the wild horses on this mountain were fairly approachable, as we ‘stepped’ into their world. (ALWAYS KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE!)

We wanted to absorb as much as possible from each horse, and we quietly observed all of the wild horses around us. Most of the animals were steadily grazing, but several young stallions, or bachelor stallions, were running about chasing each other, their sure-footed pounding hooves could be easily heard hitting the rocky ground.

Like hawks, the band stallions were busy keeping watch over their families, making sure that no other stallion moved in too close.

We ‘absorbed’ all the horse activities that we could!  The horse ‘action’ was all around us!  What a special place!

——————————————————————————–

The wild horses and their scenic mountain home were magical – in a world of their own.

——————————————————————————–

Again, we began watching the late summer afternoon sky, as dark storm clouds and fierce lightening quickly approached the mountain.

We knew that we had to go… and that was very difficult for us.

~Kathy Weigand