(Above and below) Five wild horses flee from a BLM contractor’s helicopter on Sunday. Two ultimately escaped. All photos by Steve Paige for RTF.


Please consider a contribution to the Wild Horse Defense Fund, which makes it possible for RTF to have humane observers on the ground at roundups. Having an active voice has proven valuable for holding BLM and contractors accountable for the humane handling of wild horses, pressing for improvements to humane standards, and educating policymakers and the public about how tax dollars are being used.


Thirteen wild horses were captured on Sunday at the Frisco Horse Management Area in western Utah that saw the contractor’s helicopter make repeated attempts to force a band into the trap. The Cattoor Livestock Roundup pilot finally relented, with two of the five wild horses escaping.

Fifty wild horses have been captured at Frisco since Friday, Jan. 6. No injuries have been reported by the Bureau of Land Management.

BLM plans to capture 150 wild horses, permanently removing 90 from their home range. Some will be returned to the range fitted with radio collars and global positioning system tracking devices as part of a population-control experiment.

U.S. Geological Survey and Colorado State University researchers intend to study for five years “the effects of removing males from the reproductive population through gelding as an alternative potential management tool.” 

Also on Sunday: 37 wild horses gathered Friday and Saturday were shipped to the Axtell Off-Range Corrals, joining 113 Frisco horses who have remained in the corrals since being captured last July.

Wild horses not returned to the HMA with radio collars are to be made available for adoption. Those not adopted will be sent to long-term holding facilities.

Photos from Jan. 8:


Roundup viewing:

Members of the public interested in viewing the roundup should call the BLM gather hotline: (801) 539-4050. Participants must provide their own transportation (four-wheel drive, high-clearance vehicles are recommended), as well as their own water and food. They should wear clothing suitable for harsh winter conditions.


Frisco HMA roundup: 37 wild horses captured in Utah, Jan. 8, 2017

150 Utah wild horses to be captured as part of experiment, Dec. 30, 2016

Chronicle of the Frisco HMA roundup, Utah, July 13, 2016