I’m a bit behind – these images were taken on a very bright (terrible light for picture taking), sunny day in September before the roundup. Tom and I visited the Green Mountain and Stewart Creek HMAs; part of the Red Desert Complex. We entered from the Bairoil side and came upon horses almost immediately.

A handsome grey boy

These guys seemed completely undisturbed by us. Strange. They're usually very flighty.

And as we continued west on the road out of Bairoil, we found some more horses headed to a creek for a drink.

Coming out of the creek

These are bachelor stallions

This stallion called out to the grey horses so I assumed he must be a member of the small band

And he was followed by another stallion

Together again, they all took off over a hill

This family wanted nothing to do with me even though I hung back because of the youngsters

A lounging antelope buck

As we were driving down a 2-track road, I noticed something in the brush quite a ways from us.

Most likely a cow I thought, but I wanted to be sure so I started hiking

This sage grouse shot up in front of me as I was walking out - they are so well camouflaged!

It was not a cow - it was a beautiful black stallion and he hadn't been gone very long.

We looked around for any signs of trauma or shell casings. We didn’t find anything that would indicate how this boy died. I always document what I find and based on some photos I took of the teeth, I was told he was probably only around eight years old. I’m always amazed at the feet of the wild horses. They’re always in such remarkable condition.

A perfectly designed wild horse hoof

We continued on and came upon another band of bachelors

The markings of the middle horse were so unique - the upside down V on his neck and his gorgeous stockings

Such harsh lighting for such beautiful horses.

This was a large bachelor band

A parting shot of a large band of horses at Stewart Creek

I sent an e-mail to the BLM field office in charge of the Red Desert Complex about the recent roundup. Below are the answers I received (my questions in italics):

Number of horses gathered: 1232
Number of mares PZP’d (what type): 193; all mares received the primer (1 cc liquid vaccine) and the booster (slow time-released pellets).
Number of horses released: 387 (of course this number does not accurately reflect the current populations of the Herd Management Areas as all horses were not gathered)
Number of fatalities: 12, however, 5 of these were not gather-related fatalities. Five horses were humanely euthanized due to serious, pre-existing conditions.
Where were the horses taken? Most of the horses were taken to either the Rock Springs, WY or the Canon City, CO horse facilities. A few horses were taken directly to the Honor Farm in Riverton, Wyoming.

(Photos are for viewing purposes only. Images are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. No reproduction permitted.)

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