2017 Cathedral Creek Wild Horse Gather

Gather Complete
9/14/17-9/19-17

The BLM is removing up to 100 wild horses from private lands in the Cathedral Creek area starting Sept. 14.

The BLM will primarily use a helicopter drive trap method to gather horses that have strayed outside the designated Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area in northwest Colorado. If less than 100 horses are gathered from this area, the BLM may gather horses from other nearby areas.

We estimate there are 210 wild horses outside the HMA in the area covered by this decision, which includes about 773,000 acres in the White River Field Office. The decision area does not include the West Douglas Herd Area.

Gather Reports

09-14-2017

State: Colorado

District/Field Office: Northwest/ White River Field Office 

Gather Name: Cathedral Creek  (Outside Piceance East-Douglas HMA Gather)

Contractor: Cattoor Livestock

Gather Method: Helicopter

Planned Gathered: 100

Planned Removed: 100

Planned Mares Treated: 0

Animals Gathered Today: 46

Animals Gathered Cumulative Total: 46

Henneke Body Condition Score of Animals Gathered: 5

Total Deaths Today: 1

Acute: 0

Chronic Preexisting: 1

Total Deaths Cumulative: 1

List Animals age, color, gender and cause of death: Approximately 4 Months old, Chestnut, Stud Colt, Euthanasia 

Facility Destination: Canon City

Total Released today: 0

Total Released Cumulative: 0

Number of Public/Media/Observer: No public or media present

Security Related Issues and BLM Response: None

Notable Incidents (e.g. roping, hotshot use, separated foals, etc.): None

Cloudy, cool in the morning 45 degrees beginning operations, high temperature was approximately 75 degrees at end of operations.

09-15-2017

Animals Gathered Today: 15

Animals Gathered Cumulative Total: 61

Henneke Body Condition Score of Animals Gathered: 5

Total Deaths Today: 0

Total Deaths Cumulative: 1

Acute: 0

Chronic/ Pre-existing: 1

Facility Destination: Canon City

Total Released today: 0

Total Released Cumulative: 0

Total Shipped Today: 40

Total Shipped Cumulative: 40

Number of Public/Media/Observer: No public or media present

Security Related Issues and BLM Response: None

Notable Incidents (e.g. roping, hotshot use, separated foals, etc.): None

Cloudy, cool in the morning 45 degrees beginning operations, high temperature was approximately 65 degrees at end of operations.

09-16-2017

Animals Gathered Today: 10

Animals Gathered Cumulative Total: 71

Henneke Body Condition Score of Animals Gathered: 5

Total Deaths Cumulative: 1

Acute: 0

Chronic/ Pre-existing: 1

Facility Destination: Canon City

Total Released Cumulative: 0

Total Shipped Today: 0

Total Shipped Cumulative: 40

Number of Public/Media/Observer: No public or media present

Security Related Issues and BLM Response: None

Notable Incidents (e.g. roping, hotshot use, separated foals, etc.): A foal was separated from its band during gather operations. Contractor used the helicopter and roping from domestic horses to try and catch the foal, but was unable to do so. After a considerable effort by the contractor, the decision was made to quit pursuing the foal. APHIS vet concurred, and that the foal was old enough to wean. No other incidents.

Cloudy, cool in the morning 41 degrees beginning operations, high temperature was approximately 75 degrees at end of operations.

09-17-2017

Animals Gathered Today: 10

Animals Gathered Cumulative Total: 81

Henneke Body Condition Score of Animals Gathered: 5

Total Deaths Today: 0

Total Deaths Cumulative: 1

Facility Destination: Canon City

Total Shipped Today: 30

Total Shipped Cumulative: 70

Number of Public/Media/Observer: Five members of public present, no media present

Security Related Issues and BLM Response: None

Notable Incidents (e.g. roping, hotshot use, separated foals, etc.): None

Cloudy, cool in the morning 41 degrees beginning operations, high temperature was approximately 65 degrees at end of operations.

09-18-2017

Animals Gathered Today: 5

Animals Gathered Cumulative Total: 86

Henneke Body Condition Score of Animals Gathered: 5

Total Deaths Cumulative: 1

Chronic/ Pre-existing: 1

Facility Destination: Canon City

Total Shipped Today: 0

Total Shipped Cumulative: 70

Number of Public/Media/Observer: No public present, no media present

Security Related Issues and BLM Response: None

Notable Incidents (e.g. roping, hotshot use, separated foals, etc.): None

Cloudy, cool in the morning 40 degrees beginning operations, high temperature was approximately 55 degrees at end of operations.

9/19/17

Animals Gathered Cumulative Total: 86

Facility Destination: Canon City

Total Shipped Today: 15

Total Shipped Cumulative: 85

Notable Incidents (e.g. roping, hotshot use, separated foals, etc.): 

Cloudy, cool in the morning 45 degrees during loading, truck departed for Canon City at 0800.  This concludes the operations for the Cathedral Creek (Outside Piceance East-Douglas HMA) Gather.

Veterinary Reports

September 14, 2017
During normal operations of the BLM wild horse gather of excess horses outside of the Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area, a large group of horses were brought in from below the Cathedral Bluffs. The main group arrived with mild perspiration and accelerated respiration rate, but in very good shape. The helicopter pilot had notified the contractor that there was a foal hanging back and that they may need a rope horse and trailer to get him, but the pilot was able to slowly work the foal into the trap.

The contractors kept him separated in a small pen where I could get a closer view. The foal was an approximately 4 month old chestnut stud colt. There was hair loss with dried exudate along the entire lateral aspect (outside) of the right carpal joint. The right carpal joint was severely enlarged to approximately twice the size of the left carpal joint. The digital flexor tendons were contracted with the hoof in a fully flexed position so that the distal aspect of the hoof was in contact with the ground. There was obvious muscle atrophy (loss) in the right shoulder and forearm when compared to the left forelimb. Based on these observations I judged the foal to have a pre-gather irreversible traumatic injury of the right carpal joint. I did not feel the foal would respond to treatment nor that he would be able to recover to a pain-free condition. I recommended to the BLM gather COR that he consider euthanasia as an act of mercy for this foal.

The foal was euthanatized with an appropriately placed gunshot to the head by the contractor. I did a partial necropsy of the right forelimb. The right carpal joint was almost immobile with very little flexion or extension possible even with force. The fetlock and pastern on the right forelimb were also less mobile than those on the left forelimb. The dorsal surface of the right hoof wall was scuffed smooth and flat with a rounded toe. The wall was overgrown approximately 1.5 cm past the sole indicating the foal had not been walking on the sole of the hoof for at least several weeks. I was able to follow a draining tract of seropurulent material from the lateral mid-carpal region distally to the ulnar carpal joint where the draining tract connected with the joint capsule. There was significant fibrinous tissue surrounding the draining tract. I also noted an approximately 1.5 cm round healed wound on the medial aspect of the hock on the left hind leg. Both wounds are consistent with puncture wounds caused by brush, although I did not find any woody material left in the draining tract.

Cumulative Totals

Animals Gathered: 86

Animals Returned to Home Range: 0

Animal Deaths: 1

*See details in "Gather Reports" tab.

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