Green Guide

Wild horses wary of bait for roundup efforts near Craig

Posted November 25

— Wild horses have been slow to take bait laid out near Craig, delaying an effort to capture and remove some of them from the range.

The Bureau of Land Management reported earlier this week that 26 horses in the Sand Wash Basin have been gathered so far in a bait-trapping operation that started early this month, The Daily Sentinel of Grand Junction reported (http://bit.ly/2gu1Bfk).

BLM spokesman David Boyd said this is the first time the agency has tried to use bait to attract horses into temporary corrals. Typically, helicopters are used to round up horses.

"We didn't know what to expect," Boyd said. "They haven't come to the bait as readily as we would have hoped, so we're still working on it and still learning what's going to work best."

Boyd said some horses are eyeing the bait, but it's not attracting the whole herd.

"There's 600 of them out there. Not all of them are responding to the bait," he said.

Ten of the captured horses will be removed and placed into a nonprofit training and adoption program. Twelve will be released back to the range after five of them receive a fertility-delaying vaccine. Four of the 26 remained in holding as of Tuesday.

The BLM had hoped to gather 200 horses total, removing up to 50 of them and treating 75 to slow the herd's growth.

The bureau is conducting the bait operation because it says no more than 362 horses should occupy the nearly 250 square miles of public land in the herd management areas so as to protect forage, soil and other resources.

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