McCullough Peaks BLM Bait Trapped Its First Horses

(Last Updated On: February 8, 2024)
Yearling Kat Ballou with her great-grandmother Totem and her mother Keota. Jan 2, 2024.

After three months, BLM finally caught ten horses in their McCullough Peaks bait trapping operation that began last November. Six of the horses were released and the remaining 4 young horses were to be transported to the Rock Springs Short-Term Holding facility. The youngsters remained in the trap from Jan. 22-24. BLM says that they when they checked on the horses on the evening of the 23rd, all were calmly eating and drinking water. Then, they left for the night.

Upon their return on the morning of the 24th, they would find one of the horses – a beautiful, 13-month-old filly named Kat Ballou – dead in the corral. BLM’s daily gather report states, “Veterinarian determined horse died due to a head injury.” It is likely that she was mortally injured as she attempted to escape the corral.

The remaining three horses — Bandero, Brumby, and Sky Dancer — have been shipped to the Rock Springs Wild Horse Holding Facility where they will be vet-checked and readied for adoption.

There were no helicopters, no observers or drones to disturb or disrupt the horses. Yet, there was a horrific death with no BLM staff on-site monitoring the horses.

There are two bait trap areas for this removal – one on the East side of the HMA and one on the West. The East Trap and all roads leading up to it are blocked off to visitors and potential observers are not welcome in this area. Kat, Sky Dancer, Brumby, and Bandero were caught in the West trap.

Another filly, Korrine, was trapped following the shipping of the three other youngsters. After spending some time in the corral, BLM staff chose to let her go. There have been no further captures or removals since.

The Cody Approved RMP 2015 states:

Avoid wild horse gathers 6 weeks before or 6 weeks after peak foaling season. To the extent possible, conduct wild horse gathers in the fall, after peak foaling has occurred and when temperatures are lower to reduce stress on the animals.

(Record Number 4151 of the Cody RMP applies) seasonal restrictions from February 1 to July 31 to prevent foal abandonment or jeopardy of wild horse health and welfare.

PLEASE SPEAK UP FOR A CEASE TO THE TRAPPING AND REMOVAL OF McCULLOUGH PEAKS HORSES as called for in the WHB Management Handbook and the Cody Approved RMP.

Use Your Voice to Protect These Horses.
Take a few minutes to make a few two-minute phone calls to the officials listed below or find your representatives. See below for information on people you may contact to voice your concerns for this herd and to call for a halt to current operations.

Your script should include:
1) Your name, address, and phone numbers, 2) 2-3 bulleted talking points on why you are calling and what you would like for them to do, 3) restate your name and phone, and 4) end with a sincere “Thank You.”

People to Contact:

Deb Haaland, Secretary of the Interior: DOI Main Phone: (202) 208-3100

Tracy Stone-Manning, Director of the BLM: Phone: 202-208-3801 Fax: 970-256-4997

BLM Cody Field Office
Phone: 307-578-5900
Fax: 307-578-5939

7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. M-F

Or find your state US Representatives and Senators’ phone numbers and make a brief phone call expressing your concern for the McCullough Peaks horses.

The Cloud Foundation

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