We are saddened by the loss, and paying our respects to an elderly Challis mare estimated to be 25+ that came in very underweight, her body score was 1.5. While she at first took to hay and water, perked up and even started putting on weight, she ultimately laid down and would not have the strength to get up again. Her life, however, was lived on the wild side and for that we are thankful.
We have been paying close attention to casualties as result of this year's historic winter conditions. To date, shed hunters and locals have discovered nine (9) wild horses on the Challis range that did not make it and this number is sure to rise. The extreme and relentless bitter cold and deep snows have dealt a heavy hand. It is surreal, the number of deer and wildlife that did not make it and are surfacing in town, pastures and on the range as deep snows finally melt. We are continuing to monitor and document these numbers as they relate to overall health, count, and well-being of the Challis Herd.
False reports and inaccuracies circulated about the number of Challis wild horses being gathered, removed and shipped out, prior to the start of the bait trap operation, creating quite a stir. Horses assumed to be Challis wild horses, were, in fact, the domestic horses of regional outfitters and ranchers who have annual permits to winter graze their horses in the area around the BLM Challis Wild Horse Corrals. The outfitters and ranchers who own these horses had to bring them in, sort and move them to their respective ranches prior to start of bait trap gather, and so the BLM could prepare for expectant Challis wild horses coming in from the range through mid-April. Apparently this created confusion, concern and a spread of misinformation. To be clear, the BLM Challis Wild Horse Corrals are not located on the Challis HMA.