The Bureau of Land Management captured 295 wild horses Nov. 5-11 in a helicopter roundup on the Challis Herd Management Area in Custer County, Idaho.
Two mares were euthanized for unspecificed “pre-existing conditions” on Sunday, according to BLM.
BLM plans to release some mares treated with fertility control and studs that would place the herd at the low end of its “Appropriate Management Level” of 185-253 for the 168,700-acre HMA.
Entering the roundup, the agency’s stated goal was to remove about 244 wild horses and re-release 121. BLM says the exact number of captured wild horses to be released will be determined by a new aerial census of the wild horses that remain on the Herd Management Area.
The ststae purpose of the roundup was to reduce “overpopulation” on the Herd Management Area, according to the agency, which estimated the population prior to the roundup to be 429 wild horses.
Compared to the BLM-set “Appropriate Management Level” of as few as one horse for every 912 acres, the agency allows up to 16,065 Animal Unit Months for seasonal livestock grazing on six allotments that overlap a portion of the Herd Management Area by 79 percent or more (0ne Animal Unit Month is defined as a month’s forage for one horse, one cow / calf pair or five sheep). Actual use in 2017 was 9,075 AUM.
Wild horses removed from the range were to be transported to the Bruneau (Idaho) Wild Horse Off-Range Corral facility to be prepared for BLM’s adoption and sale program. Those to be released, including mares receiving fertility control, were to be housed at the Challis (Idaho) Off-Range Corral Facility.
Of the horses captured, 123 were mares, 115 stallions, 43 foals and 14 geldings.