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Oregon / Washington

2015 Beaty Butte Wild Horse Gather

The Beaty Butte Herd Management Area (HMA) is located 65 miles east of Lakeview. The area is adjacent to the Hart Mountain Antelope National Wildlife Refuge and bordered on the south by the Charles Sheldon National Antelope Refuge. The herd population is estimated at 1,500—six times the Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 100–250 head.

Details of Gather

Our overall goal is for the range to achieve or maintain a thriving natural ecological balance.

Total horses gathered: 1070
  Foals 240
  Mares 436
  Studs 394
Total Deaths: 16
  11/5/15: One albino weanling filly, blind in both eyes, and one 12 year old stallion with old break on right hind leg, severely lame with poor prognosis for recovery and Body Condition Score 3 were euthanized.

11/7/15: One severely club foot stallion, one old, blind stallion, and one 12+ year old mare with Body Condition Score 2 and poor prognosis for recovery were euthanized.

11/11/2015: One 13 year old stallion with severe club foot and lame on front left foot was euthanized.

11/13/2015: One 2 year old mare, one 3 year old mare, and one 4 month old colt—all albino and blind—were euthanized (captured 11/12/15).

11/19/2015: One 2 year old blind mare, one yearling filly, one 4 month old blind filly, one 8 year old mare with old break in right hind leg and Body Condition Score of 2.5, and one 4 month old colt with old break in left hind leg and Body Condition Score of 2 were euthanized.

11/22/2015: One 4 month old colt with preexisting medical condition (gathered 11/20, necropsy pending) died and one 4 month old filly with old rib break, spinal injury and Body Condition Score of 2.5 was euthanized.
Total horses shipped to holding facilities: 1050
Total horses released back into HMA: 1 (escape from capture site)
For DAILY gather stats, click here.

Kathy Knowles, BLM
Kathy Knowles, BLM
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposes to gather 1,500 wild horses from the Beaty Butte Herd Management Area (HMA), and return 100 horses (60 studs and 40 mares) to the range to re-establish the low end of the Appropriate Management Level (AML) following the gather.

It is anticipated 4-5 capture sites (traps) will be used to collect wild horses from the HMA. Trap site corrals will typically be approximately 800 square feet. With secondary disturbance areas such as trap wings, total surface disturbance will be approximately 2,400 square feet (0.05-acre) per trap site. Trap wing configuration will vary, depending on terrain and materials. Trap sites will be selected during the gather operations. Traps are built as close to the horses' location as possible.

All capture and handling activities, including capture site selections, will be conducted in accordance within the guidelines identified here and here.

Public/Media Gather Viewing Opportunities

Gabrielle Leal, BLM
Gabrielle Leal, BLM

The public is welcome to attend the Beaty Butte wild horse gather and must read the Field Observation Protocol (PDF) information before visiting. Observation will be held daily during the Kiger HMA portion of the gather, with a maximum number of 15 people attending each day.

If you are interested in observing the gather, you must contact Larisa Bogardus at the BLM Lakeview District Office (lbogrdus@blm.gov or 541-947-6237) to have your name added to the viewing list. Observation will be offered in order of request. If for some reason you are not able to attend, please notify Ms. Bogardus as soon as possible so that your slot can be offered to the next person.

The estimated gather start date is proposed for the last week in October and wrap up the first week of November. Dates are subject to change depending upon weather and gather operations. Some days of the gather may not provide a viewing opportunity at the capture site, due to variable circumstances such as moving the trap location (not gathering), no safe area to view activity or disguise vehicles, etc. Viewings may be canceled on short notice—perhaps the day before or the morning of the gather operation.


Horses removed from the Beaty Butte Herd Management Area will be available for adoption from Oregon's Wild Horse Corral Facility in Hines, Ore., and Palomino Valley, Nev., later in the year.

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