Back in July a friend sent me some photos she took of wild horses out in Utah's west desert. She mentioned that if I wanted to see them, not to wait too long, as the BLM was going to round them up and take them away. I checked online and sure enough, the BLM is gathering them from all over the state, and some of the other western states as well. They are saying that there are too many horses on the land, and over grazing it. I found other reports that say the ranchers are complaining that the stock they put out on the Government BLM lands are not finding enough grass, because the wild horses are eating it. What ever the reason, it seems we are going to loose a lot of wild horses.
At one time, there were about 47,000 wild horses out on the range.
On the 4th of July I decided to go out and look for them, maybe get a few good pictures. It took me awhile to find these horses, but I finally found them at a long watering trough on the way to Simpson Springs along the old Pony Express Route. Be aware though, that this is a gravel road many miles long.
A long line of wild horses at the watering trough - Click on photo to see the larger size
The area where I found the horses is out west of Delta Utah and south of Dugway Proving Grounds Army Base. I had not been in that area before. It's out in the middle of no-where. Considering that Dugway Proving Grounds has been used to test biological and chemical weapons, I understand why it's in the middle of no-where. For the last few years DPG has been going through a program to destroy all of those weapons. Recently the base has been used by the Army Special Forces for training in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan.
Back to horses... I drove south from Dugway to reach a road that follows the old Pony Express Route where I finally found them at the watering trough. They usually don't show up at the trough until late in the day, but it was more than 100° in the shade, so I guess they didn't want to leave the water. I said 100° in the shade, but there was no shade out there. It was hot. Even my car air-conditioner couldn't handle it. While out photographing I was dripping wet, but I was able to get hundreds of photographs. What surprised me is they aren't afraid of people. I was able to walk right among them.
Found them in every color and age group - many were covered in mud
I am sure that like me, most of you have seen movies with wild mustangs in them. What wonderful beasts they are. So magnificent, and beautiful. Ha! Not the ones I found. These were all covered with mud and dust. I wonder how they do it for the movies? Must run them though a car wash first.
I am going to have a bit of trouble deciding which photos to include here. I took over 300 photos. I want to include them all, but I can't do that.
you can view my photos by clicking on any of these pictures
Every few mintues some would start fighting. I saw a lot of this.
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More pages of Wildlife
Winter Wildlife 1
Winter Wildlife 2
Winter Wildlife 3
Hardware Elk Ranch
My panoramic photos were taken with a small Canon Powershot, SX280, 12 Megapixel Camera which has Image Stabilization and a lens going from wide angle to 20x optical zoom.
The long panoramas are multiple photos stitched together using Autostitch.
For close up photos I used my Canon EOS 60D with a 100-400mm telephoto lens with IS.
These photos are set to lower resolution and compressed 10:1 for faster loading. You are welcome to look at or download any of the photos. If you use them on any other webpage, please give credit and refer back to me.
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