I’m getting really tired of the advocate communities competitive bent.
The lack of cooperation, coordination and kindness among the groups hurts the horses. There are so many areas that need to be addressed and not ONE group will be able to address this issue as a “stand alone.”
Almost everything I do is attacked and critized by those that spend hours behind a keyboard and have not walked in my shoes.
Even the post I wrote about the two horses on the highway has been ridiculed! Dear God!
Fencelines on public highways (in HMA’s) that are not contiguous (they have gates onto public dirt roads or cattle guards onto the highway) are a sign that the animals (antelope, deer, horses) are public. You can be assured that if a horse can run along a fence (even if it goes miles before the break) and find that break, it’s a wild horse.
To all of you planning on going to roundups I have seen “what you need” lists written by people that have never been out to the range, let alone a roundup. Things like “when you get to the parking lot” and “bring a suitcase with wheels.”
Where do you think you are going?
Summer roundups are the easy ones. Winter roundups are very hard.
Be aware of where you are.
BLM can not help you if your vehicle breaks down. They can call for help but will not help you themselves. Be prepared with a jack and two spare tires, jumper cables, a spare car battery. You will NOT have Cell service, if you do it is a gift, but don’t expect it.
Do not rent an all wheel drive. You need a four wheel drive WITH clearance. Not all traps are hard to get to but you might find yourself there on a day you are literally navigating a road along a cliffside with a sheer drop-off. You never know until you get there.
Make sure you have water and food, enough in case you have to spend the night on the range. Wear long pants and high boots, I have photographed rattlesnakes on 4 occassions near trap sites. Watch for fireants, they hurt. Carry Benadryl in your car right next to the sunscreen and ibuprofen.
You may have to hike in for a half mile or more. Carry in only what you can carry out.
If you are tooling around looking for horses be aware that even a drizzle can turn roads into cement. If it rains hard you can get caught in a flash flood. If you went out without being aware it would rain… get to high ground as fast as you can.
And PLEASE… at roundups follow the rules. If you don’t you can screw it up for anyone else that wants to go out. Don’t lie about who you are… google is a powerful tool.
I hope people go out. I hope there are others that take this on… but NOT as a one time thing. I want to see you out in December and January… daily. But the needs change… like a case of de-icer and windshield washer fluid.
Oh and if you bring a dog… he can’t leave the car at a trap site. If he barks he is a distraction and you may be asked to leave. If you get caught on the range over night do not let your dog run off leash, particularly after dark and sunset and sunrise. Be aware of tracks… yes, there are mountain lions out there.
And be ready that if you print anything you will be criticized. If you do a non-emotional report you will be accused of being heartless. If you do an emotional post you will be accused of being “hysteria-corps.”
So bring a thick skin… you will need it.
See you there.