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Horses running on a field.

2010 Adobe Town Salt Wells Gather

Details of Gather:Wild Horse and Burro Logo

This was a helicopter-assisted gather. It was initially estimated that approximately 1,950 wild horses would need to be gathered from both HMAs and that 1,580 excess horses would be removed; however, during a Sept. 2010 census flight, wild horse specialists found that the population of wild horses in the HMAs was greater than previously thought. In addition, wild horses which have migrated outside the HMAs will need to be gathered. As a result, approximately 157 additional horses will be removed from within the complex, and slightly more than 200 horses will be gathered outside the HMAs. 

Approximately 100 mares will be treated with the fertility-control vaccine Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP) and released back into the HMAs.

Approximately 860 wild horses will remain in the HMAs, which is the appropriate management level (AML) for this herd complex. AML is the point at which the herd’s population is consistent with the land’s capacity to support wild horses in balance with other public rangeland uses and resources.

Public Observation: 

Thank you for your interest in observing BLM wild horse gather operations in the Adobe Town/Salt Wells Herd Management Areas (HMAs). We hope you find the day informative and educational.

The BLM is committed to providing as much public access to the gather as possible. However, the Adobe Town/Salt Wells HMAs are in rugged and remote areas, and safety is our first priority. BLM staff will be available each public observation day to escort you into areas where you can safely view the gather operations. We are providing the following information for your safety and so that you can be prepared for your visit.

Observation Days
  • The BLM plans to conduct observation days as often as possible and as long as participants do not disrupt operations or create conditions that jeopardize the safety of the animals, observers, contractors or BLM staff. Public observation will be limited to gather locations and temporary holding facilities located on public land and accessible across public land.
  • After a briefing at the meeting location, the group will be escorted to the gather location. Observers will drive their own vehicles to the gather location.

  • Observation areas will be designated at each gather location. These areas will provide safe observation opportunities that will not disrupt gather activities. Observers must stay in the designated areas.
  • Inclement weather, a gather location inaccessible to the public, or lack of gather operations on a given day (trap moving, equipment problems, etc.) will cancel the observation outing for that day. Cancellations will often not be known before the meeting time. 
  • Because of the fluidity of gather operations, be prepared for the possibility of waiting at gather locations for hours without seeing any actual wild horse gathering.
BLM Wyoming Conditions & Safety Requirements
  • There are no facilities, including restrooms, in the HMAs.
  • Cell service is very limited or nonexistent in much of the HMAs. Plan to be out of range for most of the day.
  • You must bring your own lunch, water and snacks.
  • You must provide your own transportation. Government vehicles cannot be used to transport you to the gather locations or temporary holding facilities.
  • Arrive at the meeting place with a full tank of gas.
  • Roads are rugged and rocky. A high-clearance, four wheel drive vehicle is strongly recommended. Your tires must be in good condition and you should have a fully inflated spare and tire changing equipment.
  • Be prepared for weather extremes. Check the forecast the night before to ensure that you are prepared and dressed appropriately.
  • Wear sturdy boots for hiking in rugged terrain. There is no shade. Bring a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and other appropriate protective clothing.
  • Parking will be limited at many gather locations. Be prepared to hike into some observation locations. Some hikes could be arduous involving steep and rocky terrain. Hiking requirements will be explained at each morning briefing.
  • Binoculars and a camera with a telephoto lens are strongly recommended.
  • Dress in earth tones. Brightly-colored clothing can distract the horses.

Gather Reports

Sunday, October 10

Summary: Today was the first day of gather operations in the Adobe Town/Salt Wells Herd Management Complex. Henneke Scores ranged between 3.5 and 5, with the majority of the horses above 4. All of the horses appeared healthy in general. One mare came in with a slight limp, but the APHIS veterinarians on scene believed the limp was due to a pre-existing injury.   

Animals gathered:  123
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Monday, October 11

Summary: Henneke Scores ranged between 3.5 and 6, with many studs in the 5-6 range. In general, all the horses appeared healthy.  

Animals gathered:  75
Animals shipped:  75
Total Deaths Today:  1*
Acute: 1
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

* The horse was thoroughly examined by the APHIS veterinarian and aged to be 20-plus years. No obvious abnormalities were discovered and the veterinarian believed the cause of death was a combination of strain and age. A necropsy was performed and the report is pending.

Tuesday, October 12

Summary: Henneke Scores ranged between 3.5 and 6. In general, all the horses appeared healthy. The Canon City holding facility received 75 horses on Oct. 11. The horses were in good shape and with no visible problems. They will be freeze-marked, vaccinated, and prepared for adoption. 

Animals gathered:  122
Animals shipped:  33
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Wednesday, October 13

Summary: Henneke Scores ranged between 4 and 5. In general, all the horses appeared healthy. The Canon City holding facility received 33 horses on Oct. 12. The horses were in good shape and with no visible problems. They will be freeze-marked, vaccinated, and prepared for adoption.

Animals gathered:  52
Animals shipped:  120
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Thursday, October 14

Summary: Henneke Scores ranged between 3.5 and 5. Some mares gathered today appeared to be a little thin with the stud horses at or near 5. The Canon City holding facility received 120 horses on Oct. 13. The horses were in good shape and with no visible problems. They will be freeze-marked, vaccinated, and prepared for adoption.

Animals gathered:  68
Animals shipped:  68
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Friday, October 15

Summary: Henneke Scores ranged between 3 and 4.5 for the mares, and between 4 and 5 for the studs. In general, the mares were noted as being thin, with the stud horses somewhat healthier looking. The Canon City holding facility received 68 horses on Oct. 14. The horses were in good shape. They will be freeze-marked, vaccinated, and prepared for adoption.

Animals gathered:  85
Animals shipped:  113
Total Deaths Today:  1
Acute: 1*
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

* The horse was thoroughly examined by the APHIS veterinarian (and the AAEP veterinarians) and no obvious abnormalities were discovered. The APHIS veterinarian believed the cause of death was strain related to the gather. A necropsy was performed and the report is pending. 

Saturday, October 16

Summary: No horses were gathered today. Twelve horses were returned to the Adobe Town HMA. The Canon City holding facility received 113 horses on Oct. 15. The horses were in good shape. They will be freeze-marked, vaccinated, and prepared for adoption.

Animals gathered:  0
Animals shipped:  101
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Sunday, October 17

Summary: Henneke Score ranged from 4.0 to 5.5. Mares comprised the majority of the fours with the stud horses in the fives. Overall, the horses gathered today looked quite good.

Animals gathered:  80
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Monday, October 18

Summary: Ten horses were returned to the Adobe Town HMA. In addition, three horses gathered yesterday were identified as private horses from the neighboring grazing allotment. The owner of the horses was on site this morning to load and haul his horses back to his home ranch. No horses were gathered today.

Animals gathered:  0
Animals shipped:  67
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Tuesday, October 19

Summary: Approximately 300 horses are anticipated to be gathered at this trap site over the next 3-4 days.  The Canon City holding facility received 67 horses on Oct. 18. The horses were in good shape. They will be freeze-marked, vaccinated, and prepared for adoption.

Animals gathered:  97
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Wednesday, October 20

Summary: Henneke Scores ranged from 3.5 to 5.5. Mares comprised the majority of the four scores with the stud horses in the fives. Overall, the horses gathered today looked quite good.

Animals gathered:  176
Animals shipped:  81
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Thursday, October 21

Summary: This was the last day of gather operations at this trap site. The Canon City holding facility received 81 horses on Oct. 20. The horses were in good shape. They will be freeze-marked, vaccinated, and prepared for adoption.

Animals gathered:  95
Animals shipped:  81
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Friday, October 22

Summary: The contractor and CORs will use the temporary holding corrals at Sand Creek to administer PZP to 39 selected mares. Fifty-seven studs and 41 mares will be returned to the HMA. No wild horses will be gathered. The Canon City holding facility received 81 horses on Oct. 21. The horses were in good shape. They will be freeze-marked, vaccinated, and prepared for adoption.

Animals gathered:  0
Animals shipped:  103
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Saturday, October 23

Summary: The contractor is moving facilities to the Salt Wells HMA. The Canon City holding facility received 81 horses on Oct. 22. The horses were in good shape. They will be freeze-marked, vaccinated, and prepared for adoption. 

Animals gathered:  0
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Sunday, October 24

Summary: A total of 22 horses were gathered today, before operations had to be shutdown due to high winds. On Friday (10/22) three loads of horses were shipped from the previous trap site #4 (Sand Creek). Two loads went to Canon City and one load went to Rock Springs. A total of 23 stud horses were shipped to Rock Springs. Also, the total number of horses released back into the Adobe Town HMA has been updated as follows: 126 horses have been released back into the HMA. This total includes the 39 mares which were administered PZP on Friday.

Animals gathered:  22
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Monday, October 25

Summary: Today’s operations were cancelled due to high winds and snowy conditions. Tuesday’s weather forecast is very similar to the conditions experienced today.

Animals gathered:  0
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Tuesday, October 26

Summary: Gather operations were scheduled to continue this morning, however, were cancelled around 10:00 a.m. due to high winds. Currently, there are 22 wild horses in the temporary holding corrals (per gather operations on Sunday 10/24). Per the Contractor and CORs, all horses at the temporary holding corrals looked good.

Animals gathered:  0
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Wednesday, October 27

Summary: Gather operations were scheduled to continue this morning but were cancelled around 10:00 a.m. due to high winds. There are still 22 wild horses in the temporary holding corrals located at Blue Points. As reported by the Contractor and CORs, all horses at the temporary holding corrals looked good. 

Animals gathered:  0
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Thursday, October 28

Summary: Henneke Scores ranged from 3.5 to 4.0. All of the horses (mares and studs) gathered today were in noticeably poorer condition (thinner) than the previous horses gathered from the Adobe Town HMA. One mare gathered today had a number of cuts and scratches across the front of her chest. Cause of the injuries was not determined. CORs and APHIS veterinarian at the trap site determined that instead of holding the mare at the temporary holding corrals overnight and shipping her to Canon City in the morning, she was hauled in a gooseneck trailer to the Rock Springs corrals this afternoon for further observation. 

Animals gathered:  36
Animals shipped:  1
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Friday, October 29

Summary: Henneke Scores ranged from 4.0 to 5.0. Mares comprised the majority of the four scores with the stud horses in the fives. Overall, the horses gathered today looked quite good.

Animals gathered:  106
Animals shipped:  38
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Saturday, October 30

Summary: Henneke Scores ranged from 4.0 to 5.0. Mares comprised the majority of the four scores with the stud horses in the fives. Overall, the horses gathered today looked quite good.

Animals gathered:  116
Animals shipped:  76
Total Deaths Today:  1
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 1*

* After gather operations had concluded for the day and while sorting horses, one horse was euthanized after the COR/WH&B Specialist determined the horse was blind.

Sunday, October 31

Summary: Henneke Scores ranged from 4.0 to 5.0. Mares comprised the majority of the four scores with the stud horses in the fives. Overall, the horses gathered today looked quite good.

Animals gathered:  107
Animals shipped:  82
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Monday, November 1

Summary: Henneke Scores ranged from 4.0 to 5.0. Mares comprised the majority of the fours with the stud horses in the fives. Overall, the horses gathered today looked quite good.

Animals gathered:  65
Animals shipped:  82
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Tuesday, November 2

Summary: Henneke Scores ranged from 4.0 to 5.0. Mares comprised the majority of the fours with the stud horses in the fives. Overall, the horses gathered today looked quite good.

Animals gathered:  141
Animals shipped:  211
Total Deaths Today:  2
Acute: 2*
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

* Before leaving the temporary holding corrals Monday evening (11/1), the COR observed a young horse that appeared to be in discomfort. The horse was administered banamine in an attempt to relax the horse. Upon arriving at the corrals this morning at daybreak, the horse was found dead in one of the pens. Obvious cause of the horse’s death has not been determined, but a necropsy was performed and the report is pending. A second horse broke its leg at the satellite trap today after being gathered during sorting and was euthanized.

Wednesday, November 3

Summary: Henneke Scores ranged from 4.0 to 5.0. Overall, the horses gathered today looked quite good. PZP was administered to 35 mares.  

Animals gathered:  7
Animals shipped:  14
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Thursday, November 4

Summary: No horses were gathered today. 95 horses were returned to the Adobe Town HMA.  

Animals gathered:  0
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Friday, November 5

Summary: Henneke Scores ranged from 4.0 to 5.0. Overall, the horses gathered today looked quite good.

Animals gathered:  258
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Saturday, November 6

Summary: Henneke Scores ranged from 4.0 to 5.0. In general, the horses gathered today looked quite healthy.

Animals gathered:  95
Animals shipped:  232
Total Deaths Today:  2
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 2*

* One horse had a broken leg from a previous injury. The other horse had many visible tumorous growths, some of which were opening up. The horses were euthanized in accordance with WO-IM-2009-041. 

Sunday, November 7

Summary: No horses were gathered today. Instead, PZP was administered to nine mares who were then returned to the Salt Wells HMA along with 40 studs. 

Animals gathered:  0
Animals shipped:  66
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Monday, November 8

Summary: Henneke Scores ranged from 4.0 to 5.0. In general, the horses gathered today looked quite healthy.

Animals gathered:  63
Animals shipped:  62, 1 released back to HMA
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Tuesday, November 9

Summary: Gather operations have been canceled today due to poor weather conditions. 

Animals gathered:  0
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Wednesday, November 10

Summary: Henneke Scores ranged from 4.0 to 5.0. In general, the horses gathered today looked quite healthy. 

Animals gathered:  63
Animals shipped:  57
Total Deaths Today:  1
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 1*

* A 20+ year old horse gathered today was euthanized because it had a club foot.  The horse was euthanized in accordance with WO-IM-2009-041.

Thursday, November 11

Summary: Henneke Scores ranged from 4.5 to 5.5. In general, the horses gathered today looked very healthy.  PZP was administered to five mares which were returned to the Salt Wells HMA.

Animals gathered:  176
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  1
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 1*

* One horse gathered today was euthanized because it had a pre-existing injury (broken front leg).  The horse was euthanized in accordance with WO-IM-2009-041.

Friday, November 12

Summary: Henneke Scores ranged from 5.0 to 6.0 and the horses looked very healthy. Today is the last day horses were gathered.  

Animals gathered:  41
Animals shipped:  113
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Saturday, November 13

Summary: PZP was administered to 11 mares which were returned to the Salt Wells HMA along with 32 selected studs. Today is the last day of gather operations.

Animals gathered:  63
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

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A death labeled as "acute" is when an animal dies or is euthanized due to acute injuries or medical conditions brought about by the gather and removal process including those that occur during capture, sorting and holding at the gather site. This term will include animals that die for known or unknown reasons thought to be related to gather activities. 

A death labeled as "chronic/pre-existing" is when an animal dies or is euthanized for reasons related to chronic or pre-existing conditions such as body condition, lameness, serious physical defects, etc. This term will include animals that are euthanized for conditions not brought about by the gather activity.

Veterinary Reports

There are no veterinarian reports to display at this time. 

Adoption Information

Most of these horses will be available for adoption at the Rock Springs Corrals, the Mantle Wild Horse Facility, the Wyoming Honor Farm, and through the BLM's Internet adoption. 

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Cumulative Totals

Animals Gathered
2,269

Animals Returned to Home Range
318

Animal Deaths
9

*Includes non-gather related deaths. See details in "Gather Reports"