Antelope Roundup, Oct 2 - 5, 2012

By Deniz Bolbol, AWHPC

On Tuesday, October 2, 2012, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) began a massive plan to remove 3,500 wild horsesfrom public lands over the next four months.

The following is an Eyewitness Report from Deniz Bolbol of AWHPC.

The massive removal started with the Antelope and Antelope Valley Herd Management Areas (HMAs) roundup — in northeastern Nevada — where 200 horses are targeted for removal.

Today, the BLM public observation box prohibited members of the public from adequately being able to see and document the roundup. The mouth of the trap, where the helicopter often has difficulty chasing the horses, was block by a hill. Observers were not positioned high enough to be able to see many portions of the valley where the horses were chased by the helicopter.

Sadly, after a wrangler approached the trap and put his whip in the trap pen, where an agitated stallion was held, the stallion jumped to escape from the pen — in the process breaking his read left leg. While not properly framed in the video, you can see what happens to the stallion on AWHPC’s video below. In addition, some bands were run repeatedly back and forth as the helicopter tried to stampede the horses into the trap pens … in the process a young foal dangerous tripped and fell. This foal got up and continued to run to evade the menacing and thunderous helicopter.

Timeline and Details

Day 1: October 2, 2012, Antelope HMA (trap site #1)

Stallion is killed after jumping to escape trap pens and breaking his leg.

Ben Noyes, on-the-ground lead for the roundup trap pen (aka Contracting Officer’s Representative).

Ruth Thompson, on-the-ground BLM person at temporary holding pens.

Chris Hanefeld, lead public relations.

5:00 am Met BLM at Shellbourn Station on Highway 93 (north of Ely, Nevada).

6:15 am Arrive at trapsite.

6:35 am 4 horses and 1 foal being chased by helicopter in Valley. 3+ attempts to stampede horses into trap.

6:50 am 5 HORSES CAPTURE: 4 horses stampeded into trap. Foal was left behind on the range. Wranglers on horseback went out and roped the foal and brought him/her to the trap pens.

7:10 am 4 horses in northern portion of the valley; brought around to the east.

7:23 am 3 HORSES CAPTURED: 2 adults and 1 foal chased by helicopter into the trap.

8:00 am 9 HORSES CAPTURED (estimated): ~8 adults chased into trap – a foal would could not keep up was roped and taken to the trap pen.


8:25 am 1st trailer leaves to take horses to temporary holding which is in the northern portion of the valley.

8:31 – :38 am helicopter refuels.

8:50 am helicopter has horses in far northern portion of valley

9:24 am 6 HORSES CAPTURED. 5 adults and 1 foal chased into trap pen.

9:32 am trailer leaves to take horses to temporary holding. Ruth leaves for temporary holding.

10:07 am helicopter chasing 2 groups (7 adults + 1 foal and 6 adults + 1 foal) in the southern portion of the valley.

10:18 am 7 HORSES CAPTURED. 6 adults and 1 foal.

10:30 am 8 HORSES CAPTURED. 7 adults and 1 foal.

10:30 am helicopter refuels.

10:35 am Stallion jumps the trap pen, after a wrangler approaches and puts a whip in the pen, breaking his leg. The stallion is roped and put in a trailer.

11:00 am The BLM drives the trailer to temporary holding where the stallion will be killed.

Based on the situation, AWHPC Deniz Bolbol left the trap pens to go to temporary holding. When Bolbol requested to return to the trap site, BLM refused to allow Bolbol to return to the roundup on this day. BLM refused to allow Bolbol to walk around the temporary holding pens in order to get a better view of the horses.

Day 3: October 4, 2012, Antelope HMA 

Day 4: October 5, 2012, Antelope HMA