2015 Camping Trip Information, Available Dates and Reviews!

Wild in the Pryors

Due to a cancellation, there is one spot available in August.  Click on 2016 to go to next years dates.

Below are the available Tour Dates for 2015.   For questions and reservations:  Phone: 406-360-8959.  Email: wildinthepryors@aol.com

Please click here to read some reviews from past guests: REVIEWS   At the bottom of this post there are some reviews from some of this years guests!

A mountain top view.
A mountain top view.

Wild in the Pryors is permitted by the Bureau of Land Management to conduct small group tours within the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range from January to December. Wild in the Pryors is one of a handful of businesses that have the federal permits necessary to guide clients onto this federal property.
Wild In The Pryors is also licensed to give tours within the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area.

London and Knight, June 2014
London and Knight, June 2014

Sandy goes to the Pryors Mountains many times through-out the year ( this past summer, she has camped more than 40 days on the mountain top, this year will be over 55 days). Experience a camping trip with someone who knows all the horses and the places they may hide.  With this trip, you won’t just go to view the horses, you will go to know the horses, hearing the many stories that she shares, making this a once in a life-time experience.

Blue Moon, August 20, 2014
Blue Moon, August 20, 2014

All tours may include light to moderate hiking.

All trips include transportation up and down the mountain, all food, snacks, tents, and expert personal guiding. (last night dinner is on your own once we return to Cody).

The trips will start and end in Cody, Wyoming on the beautiful Monster Lake Ranch.  We will be staying there the night before and after the camping trip.  (extra cost will apply).  Arrangements can be made for pick-up at the Cody Airport.

Camping trips will be limited to 4-5 guests.  Sandy will have an assistant with her who will do the camp cooking and help you with any camping needs.  Sandy will personally be doing all of the guiding.

Cloud, July 2014
Cloud, July 2014

June

This trip may be a bit colder than the others, but to be some of the first people to see the horses reach the mountain top for the summer, makes it all worth it.

1. June 21-24, 4 day/ 3 night  FULL

2.  June 27-29, 3 day/2 night  FULL

July:

This month is the most popular and also the prime wildflower season.

1. July 2-5, 4 day/3 night Full Moon   FULL

2. July 7-10, 4 day/3 night    FULL

3.  July 12-14, 3 day/2 night FULL

4.  July 25-28, 4 day/3 night Full

5.  July 30-August 2, 4 day/3 night.  A “Once in a Blue Moon” trip.  The 2nd Full Moon of July. Full

August:

These trips may include more hiking, it just depends on the year.  However, if you love to hike and see some of the hidden areas that not many people get to see, this would be a great month for you.  The sunsets are even more intense this time of year.

1.  August 4-7, 4 day/3 night YOGA AND WILD HORSES.   No previous yoga experience necessary.  You do not have to do yoga, this is an option.   FULL

We will start the morning on the mountain with a yoga session, watch the horses all day, then end the day with another yoga session.  Yoga will be taught by a certified Yoga Instructor.  Contact Sandy for more details.

2.  August 9-11, 3 day/2 night. 1 Space available

Killian and Bolder
Killian and Bolder
Mule Deer Buck at sunrise, August 2014. Taken right by camp.
Mule Deer Buck at sunrise, August 2014. Taken right by camp.

All trips leave from Lovell, Wyoming (unless other arrangements are made).  Airports nearby: Billings, Montana.  Cody, Wyoming.

A 50% down payment is required upon booking with the remainder due one month prior to your trip.

All payments are considered non-refundable. Refunds may be made when cancellations can be filled.

 Anyone interested in a trip will be asked to complete a Pre-Screening Health Questionnaire, and those who book a trip will be required to sign an Acknowledgement of Responsiblity and Assumption of Risk document, as per Montana State Law.

Nimbus, July 2014
Nimbus, July 2014

Be sure if you book a trip with someone, that they have the proper permits in place. This is required by law for anyone giving tours on Public Lands.  Please click on PERMITS to read my blog post about this.

Sandy

Reviews from this year (2014)

Jackson, October, 2011.
Jackson, October, 2011.

My whole life has been filled with dreams of watching the wild horses running free. My dream came true this year when a good friend told me about Sandy and Wild in the Pryors.

The minute I read about the four day camping trip I booked it. I really had no idea what to expect. Sandy was incredible. The minute I met her I knew this was going to be a great trip. We started our adventure with a drive up to the mountains early the first morning. The views were breathtaking and we had not even gotten to the horses yet. When we reached the top the views were like something I had never imagined. The horses were grazing and playing in the field across from our campsite. The grass was filled with wildflowers.

Sandy and her assistant Jeanne were so nice. The meals were all prepared on their camp oven and were really good. We woke to the sounds of winnies and the smell of fresh coffee. The nights were spent watching the incredible sunsets and listening to the horses playing throughout the night. Sandy is very knowledgeable about wild horses and knows all the horses by name. I felt like she was introducing me to her horse family. Her love for the Pryor horses is infectious. Throughout the week I learned about all the different horse bands and wild horse behaviors. I love that I can log into her blog any time from home and check in on the horses that I fell in love with.

I have already booked another trip with Sandy and can’t wait. If anyone is looking for a 5 star camping trip to see the Wild Horses I would recommend this one. Every last detail was taken care of. The only thing I had to do was sit back relax and watch my dreams coming true. The Pryor Horses are beautiful. Thank you Sandy for this once in a lifetime experience. There is not a day that goes by I don’t think about the week I spent with your Pryor Family. Can’t wait to bring all of my friends and join you again.

Meg, St.Louis, MO

Lakota at my campsite, July 2011
Lakota at my campsite, July 2011

I’m a Pryor Mountain Mustang owner living in Europe. When I asked my wife and my daughters if they would agree to go and see where our stallion was born, they were enthusiastic.
I knew Sandy from wildinthepryors just through her blog and a few email we exchanged before but I also knew that we are sharing the same passion for those horses.
Sandy knows where to find the horses. It sounds obvious, but if you’ve ever been on the range, you know it’s not that simple. During the 3 days, we saw all the mountains horses. She knows all the horses by their name and all their parents too! She can describe their behavior and announces, when 2 stallions are getting too close, that something is going to happens.
But it’s not only about horses. The mountain top offer incredible landscape’s view. And the camping and catering was just perfect.
After our 3 days on the mountain top, we went on the Dryhead for the last morning. Once again, we were lucky and we saw more than 20 horses. Our last words : we will come back!

Cedric, France.

Mesa
Mesa

Here is a link to a blog about the trip that one of my guests did this year.  Click on REVIEW to go there.

Sandy, August 2014
Sandy, August 2014

Review of the Wild in the Pyrors Full Moon Tour July 2014

A friend of mine introduced me to Sandy’s blogs about the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses about 18 months ago, when we were also talking about travelling together to the USA. We very quickly decided that this was where we wanted to go and subsequently planned our trip around the Full Moon Tour.

I love horses, photography and wild places so I was excited to be going to the mountains that I had read so much about. The reality was even more amazing that I could have imagined. The Pryor Mountains and the horses that live there gave me that ‘once in a lifetime’ experience (although if I can make it happen again I will!). It is a truly wonderful place that allows you to completely escape from real life and observe the horses living theirs. I was often torn between wanting to take photos and just sit watching them, soaking it all up.

Sandy was the perfect guide and host. Firstly by making it up the ‘somewhat scary in places’ road with ease and getting us set up with the prime camping spot on top of the mountain. The organisation of the camping and food was spot on, my favourites being the home made cookies and scones. She even had vitamin supplements to help me get over my cold! But more importantly she knows and cares about the horses and their mountain home like they are family. This allowed us some amazing close up encounters that I will never forget in particular the discovery of new foal, less than a day old, and the afternoon we spent amongst the trees with the horses in the wild flowers – beautiful!

So if you really want to see how horses live in the wild and escape from the stresses of our everyday lives I would thoroughly recommend taking a Wild in the Pryors tour. My only warning…it becomes an addiction 😉

Ros Jones, Oxfordshire, UK

Logo designed by Amber Bushnell. Wild in the Pryors and this logo is copyrighted.
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell. Wild in the Pryors and this logo is copyrighted.

June Mountain Top (#3). Father and Son

Killian with his mother Celt and mare Sapo.
Killian with his mother Celt and mare Sapo.

I have watched this story unfolding now for several years.  I saw Killian for the first time when he was about a month old.  Beautiful and very much a shadow or “Echo” of his grandfather Cloud.  His mother Celt watching over him closely and protecting him from all that challenged him.  It was cute for the first few years, but now, here we are four years later and Killian continues to nurse his mother, but yet is now trying to breed his fathers mares.  This started to happen last year when he was three, but now as a four-year old, it is becoming even more apparent.  This kid needs to go.

Sapo and Killian, June 24, 2014
Sapo and Killian, June 24, 2014

But Bolder has seemed to be rather nonchalant about the whole story.  I have shook my head more than once at this situation and I have said out loud, that I wondered if his mother Celt was grooming him to take his father’s band.

This time, it was very apparent that Killian wanted his fathers mare, Sapo.  He constantly snaked her and tried to mount her.  Finally on this evening, Bolder had enough of it.

I have seen Bolder and Killian have a few little “discussions”, but nothing like what we all witnessed a few evenings ago.  This time the discussion took on a new level and strength about it and went on into the night.  Some of it took place right outside our tents!  I expected (and hoped) to see the problem solved in the morning,  but instead, I saw the whole band intact and peacefully grazing nearby.

The light could not have been more perfect for these shots.   I will let the photos speak for themselves.  If you would like to see the image in a larger size, just click on the image.

Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors

Sapo and Killian
Sapo and Killian
Bolder starts to take charge.
Bolder starts to take charge.

Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors

Father and son square off.
Father and son square off.

Wild in the Pryors

Killian and Bolder
Killian and Bolder

Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors

I am looking forward to watching this story continue to unfold this summer.  I hope it has a good ending for Bolder.

Sandy

Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell , This logo (and Wild in the Pryors) is trademarked and may not be used without permission.

 

 

 

WordPress Numbers For Wild In The Pryors (2013)

I found this interesting and I am happy with the results from 2013.  I thought I would share them with you.  Thank you all for reading and commenting on my posts.  It looks like Sarah G. won the award for most comments, with 326!  Thank you Sarah, I always look forward to your comments and insight!

Maybe next year I should give a prize for most commented.  How about a 2015 Wild In The Pryors Calendar?  Ready set go!  🙂  My first 2014 post will be coming out soon!

I look forward to bringing you many more posts for 2014!  Happy New Year!!

Sandy

Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 74,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Call To Action For The Pryor Herd.

Niabrara
Niabrara

Wild in the Pryors is asking that you submit your comments before September 6, 2013 in regards to the recently released  Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range Fertility Control Modification Preliminary Environmental Assessment August 2013 (DOI-BLM-MT-0010-2013- 0034-EA).

Nye
Nye

Nye and Niabrara will be yearlings in the spring of 2014.  They could be given PZP treatment this next spring if the proposed Modification takes effect.  They would be treated at the age of 1, 2, 3, and 4 until they move into the 5-10 age range where, with the current Fertility Plan, treatment stops. The questions arise, “How many years can PZP be administered without causing irreversible infertility?” and “Will their response be similar to other Pryor fillies who were treated at a very young age and faced infertility problems?” 

Aurora, age 13.  Was given PZP as a yearling and has never had a foal.
Aurora, age 13. Was given PZP as a yearling and has never had a foal.

Manuelita picture below will be given her first PZP treatment this fall if it takes effect.

Manuelita
Manuelita.  Will she ever be able to conceive?

Comments are due by September 6, 2013.

We ask that you send your comment to:
Jim Sparks, Field Manager
BLM Billings Field Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, MT 59101

Your comment should be polite and to the point.  We would like you to ask  that the current PZP program remain in effect and no changes be made to the current program. 

Please make your comment short and to the point.

Start your comment with this reference:

I am writing in regard to the Bureau of Land Management’s recently released Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range Fertility Control Modification Preliminary Environmental Assessment August 2013 (DOI-BLM-MT-0010-2013-0034-EA). 

Nye and Galena, August 2013
Nye and Galena, August 2013

Long-term herd sustainability should be a primary management goal for the Pryor Mountain wild horses.

 “Removing females even temporarily from the breeding pool is likely to reduce the effective population size and genetic diversity of the population.” (p. 125 of the National Science Academy report.)

Mercuria and Morgana, August 2013.  Will they become sterile?
Yearlings Mercuria and Morgana, August 2013. Will they become sterile?

Please send your comments in today.  You can read more on this proposal by clicking on PZP.  You can read the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center’s letter regarding this proposal by clicking on PMWMC.

Thank you.

Sandy

Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

 

2014 Wild In The Pryors Calendars

My 2014 Calendars are now available for purchase.  $23.00 including shipping within the United States.  

SOLD OUT!  Thank you to all who purchased them!

To order:

Email: wildinthepryors@aol.com

Phone: 406-244-0015

Payment: check or paypal.

Here is what each month will look like:

Cover

lp.aspx lp-1.aspx lp-2.aspx lp-3.aspx lp-4.aspx lp-5.aspx lp-6.aspx lp-7.aspx lp-8.aspx lp-9.aspx lp-10.aspx lp-11.aspx

Thank you.  All photos are taken by me!

Sandy

Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

Missing Lakota, My Spirit Horse

Lakota at my campsite, July 2011
Lakota at my campsite, July 2011

The start of my camping season in the Pryors is just around the corner.  Amber and I are planning a trip to the top of the mountain in June.  I will be there a few times before that, but that is when the camping season starts for me.

This will be my forth summer camping up there.  The first year (2010) I spent  10 days there, 2011, I spent 14 days there, 2012, I spent 33 days there.  This year I will be in the Pryors for over 50 days.  I sense a trend here.  I wonder what next year will bring.

With that in mind, I started to think about Lakota, and how much a part of those trips he had been.  I miss him, there is no denying it and I hope I don’t bore you with this post.  But I thought that perhaps going through all the photos of my days in the Pryors would help me miss him less.  There was some comfort in it, but it actually made me miss him more.  All those “less than perfect” shots that I passed by of him and his band the first time around, suddenly looked perfect to me.  I didn’t care about the shadows, focus, or composition, I just became grateful for every photo I had of him.  I miss you my friend.

I decided to share these never before seen, less than perfect shots of Lakota, I hope you are touched by them as much as I have been.  A few of them are repeats, but not many.

I first knew who Lakota was in October of 2010.  You can read my post, LAKOTA to learn more about his history and this meeting.

Lakota, October 2010
Lakota, October 2010

I was just learning all of the horses then, it was confusing and I doubted I would ever be able to learn and recognize all of the stallions, let alone all of the mares and new foals.  But now, on my forth year to the Pryors, I think I know them all very well.  With the amount of time I have spent with the horses and with the amount of time I spend studying them at home when I am not there,  I would say maybe I have a bachelors degree in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses.  Not a masters degree like some I know, but a very solid bachelors.  That was a fun thought to think about.  I am not mentioning this to brag, but I have studied in college (many years ago) and I realize that I have probably put in more dedicated time studying the Pryor Horses than I ever did studying in college.

So with my knowledge of today, and my goal of trying not to miss him so much, I decided to spend some time watching video and looking through photos to see when exactly the first time I saw Lakota was.

I found out that the first time I saw Lakota was in August of 2010.  He was with his band, by Kreuger Pond.   I even have video of him that day. (you can see this footage in the video I have posted at the end of this post.  His 2010 band is at about 2:30 into the video.  There is also many footage of him in other years throughout this video). His band then consisted of  Quelle Colour (pregnant with Kohl), Blanca with her foal Kalispell, Half Moon with her foal, Kiowa and Heritage with her foal Kootenai.  I had no way of knowing then, that in two years, I would be able to look out my window of my house everyday and see two of these foals, now almost  3 years old. (Kiowa and Kootenai)

Starman band, Lakota band and Custer band.  August 2010
Starman band, Lakota band and Custer band. August 2010
Sante Fe band and Lakota band, August 2010
Sante Fe band and Lakota band, August 2010
Blanca and Kalispell, August 2010
Blanca and Kalispell, August 2010
Kootenai, August 2010
Kootenai, August 2010
Blanca and Kalispell, August, 2010
Blanca and Kalispell, August, 2010

I would next see Lakota and his band in October 2010.

Lakota, October 2010.
Lakota, October 2010.

I would not see Lakota again, until July 2011. Today, I found many photos that I had never published from that trip.  That is when Grijala was fighting Lakota for his band.  We woke up on our first day with this band surrounding us.  They seemed comfortable with us at our campsite, and stayed several hours.

It was then that I fell in love with Lakota.  I had admired him before now, but this was the day I fell in love with him.   I spent enough time with him that morning, to feel his strength, pain, and determination.   He was the perfect stallion to me, and I begin to find myself being sucked into the world with him.  Even after I left the mountain, I worried about him and what was happening.  I learned that Grijala would take the band from him and he would be alone.  My heart broke with his.

Grijala and Lakota snaking the band together, July 2012
Grijala and Lakota snaking the band together, July 2012

While we were there that day in July 2011, we watched this scene unfold before our eyes.  The still moments, the very thought-out moves and the interaction among the band was even more apparent to me today as I relived that morning.

Lakota 2011-10
Lakota, July 2011
Lakota 2011-12
Grijala with Lakota’s Band, July 2011
Lakota 2011-18
Lakota
Lakota 2011-11
Lakota with Jenny, July 2011
Lakota and Grijala, July 2011.
Lakota and Grijala, July 2011.
Lakota 2011-16
Lakota
Lakota 2011-17
Lakota
Quelle Colour, Kohl and Grijala
Quelle Colour, Kohl and Grijala
July 2011
July 2011
July 2011
July 2011
July 2011
July 2011
Knight, Kohl, Lakota and Grijala, July 2011
Knight, Kohl, Lakota and Grijala, July 2011
July 2011
July 2011
Jenny and Quelle Colour
Jenny and Quelle Colour
Grijala and Kohl
Grijala and Kohl
July 2011
July 2011
July 2011
July 2011
Lakota takes time to roll.
Lakota takes time to roll.
Lakota posturing at Grijala, July 2011
Lakota posturing at Grijala, July 2011
Lakota snaking the band.
Lakota snaking the band.
Lakota, July 2011
Lakota, July 2011
Several Bands, Lakota and Grijala (and Band) in the middle.  July 2011
Several Bands, Lakota and Grijala (and Band) in the middle. July 2011
Lakota
Lakota

I returned to the mountain the following month (August) with my daughter Amber.  We only got one very brief view of Lakota.  It was just before dark.  He was heading to Kreuger Pond, and he was alone.

Lakota, August 2011
Lakota, August 2011

In September I would again go to the mountain, but I would not see him that trip.  Then in October I was there for just a day.  You know the story if you have read my post Lakota.  I would see him just as I was about to leave the mountain.

My heart broke even more that day as I watched him.  There was a look in his eyes that made me sad.   His will to live seemed to leaving him.  I had heard stories of stallions that just give up after they loose their bands, I hoped he would not be one of them.  I worried about him all winter.

Lakota 2011-October 5

In March of 2012 I headed to the Pryors.  It was my birthday.  I was hoping to see Lakota, but I knew that the chances would be very slim.  The horses are so spread out this time of year, and travel is very limited.

I saw him.  It was just a chance finding really.  You can read about that day by clicking THE GIFT.

Lakota gave me one of the best birthday presents I have ever had.  Showing himself to me.  He looked great too.  The winter had been kind to him and he had put on a lot of weight since I had seen him last.

Lakota, March 2012
Lakota, March 2012
Lakota
Lakota

I would not see him in April when I returned, but in May 2012, he gave me another very special gift.  You can read about that encounter, by clicking on Finding Lakota.

It was one of the most incredible moments of my life and most definitely the most incredible moments I have ever had with a wild horse.  I will always remember it.  Every time I head up Burnt Timber road, I point out this spot to whom ever is with me.  I don’t care if they don’t care to hear it.  I say it out loud every time.  I will never forget that day.

Lakota, May 2012
Lakota, May 2012
Lakota, May 2012
Lakota, May 2012
Lakota, May 2012
Lakota, May 2012
Lakota
Lakota

I was so happy and excited for Lakota.  He looked so good and that sparkle was back in his eye.  I heard from Shawn a few weeks later that he was dogging Grijala, trying to get his band back.  I thought “Good for you Lakota”.  Even though he was 20, I had every confidence that he would prevail and win his band back, or at least Quelle Colour, his faithful and devoted long time mare.

But it was not to be.

I returned the middle of June, only being away for 3 weeks.  I received a text from Matt on the first evening I was there. “Lakota is injured”, the text read.  I was lucky to find a place where I had fairly good cell service and called Matt.  He told me Lakota was down Burnt Timber Road a ways.  The next day, my friend Linda and I headed down in search of him.  We passed Grijala and his band way down in a valley below us.  Continuing down the road, not much further, was Lakota, looking down towards his former band.

I knew right away by looking at the pain in his eyes that it was not good.  Linda and I tried to have hope and we managed to have some.  But I think I knew deep down that my first thought was the right one.  Lakota would never win his beautiful chestnut mare back.  He would be lucky to survive this injury.  You can read more about that day by clicking on Healing Thoughts For Lakota.  I did not know that these would be the last photos I would have of him alive.

Lakota, June 2012
Lakota, June 2012
Lakota
Lakota
Lakota
Lakota
Lakota
Lakota

I kept in contact with other people that were on the mountain after I left. (thank you Ginger and Jared).  Some saw him, and I held out hope he would make it through this injury.

I returned 3 weeks later and spent most of my time searching for him.  I never found him.  It was heartbreaking.  You can read about that trip by clicking on Searching For Lakota.

Two weeks later, my phone rang.  It was Jared and he said the words I did not want to hear.  “I euthanized Lakota last night.”  It was July 24, 2012.   I weeped for days and I still do, even I as write this post.  Click on Remembering Lakota.

Lakota, July 2011
Lakota, July 2011

I made several trips to the mountain last summer, after Lakota’s death.  Lori, Shawn and I held a memorial a week after Lakota died.    And you know what?   He died where he knew I could always find and see him.  Not far from my campsite.  I believe it was his last gift to me.  It was apparent he had been there for some time.  There was a perfect circle (about 20 feet)  of eaten grass around his body.  He could not move any longer and so he stayed and ate what he could.

Lakota's memorial
Lakota’s memorial

One of the first things I will do on my first trip up the mountain this year, will be to visit Lakota.  By now, I am sure I will have to pick up his bones and carefully stack what is left of him by the memorial that I made last July.

I hope as time passes, my pain will subside.  I just hope the ache in my heart and in the pit of my stomach, that I am feeling as I write this, will pass some.   Not all though.

I do have some comfort when I look out the window at his young son, Kootenai.  As each day passes, he looks more and more like his father.  I know that a part of Lakota lives on through him and his daughter Kiowa.

I am also sure that Lakota’s spirit is living on, on top of the mountain.  I feel it every time I am there.  I am sure he will be running through the lupine again this year, just like I saw him in July of 2011.   My Spirit Horse.

I miss you Lakota.

Sandy

Lakota, July 2011
Lakota, July 2011
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

An Update On The Scoping Notice For Changes To The PZP Program In The Pryors.

Kiva's foal, Madrid, July 2012
Kiva’s foal, Madrid, July 2012

There have been a lot of questions and confusion on the scoping letter that was sent out last week.  You can read about that letter by clicking SCOPING LETTER.  I decided to make another post on it, so that those that want to know more can read it in this post, instead of having to wade through all the comments from my previous post.

I am still waiting to hear from The Cloud Foundation on what exactly what their proposal is going to be.  I have been in contact with Ginger and I hope to have that answer soon.

So while I waited, I contacted Jared to ask for some clarification on what this meant.  Thank you so much Jared for getting back to me so fast.  Here is what he had to say:

Sandy,

 
You really need to ask TCF what they exactly have in mind.  The scoping letter pretty much explains it. TCF isn’t the only party that has wondered if the current PZP prescription is adequate, based upon the details provided in the scoping notice about demographics, efficacy, timing due to access, etc  TCF just requested BLM do more. The first place to start to determine the feasibility is a scoping notice. There has been no proposal from any party for an Assateague model, that died in 2010 when the preliminary current  EA was issued and the public saw exactly what they asked the BLM to do.  This is an opportunity for the public to send BLM a proposal, instead of BLM sending one out and trying to read the tea leaf’s.  Any scoping comments provided to the BLM are public record.
 
Hope this clarify’s things
   
Jared Bybee

Rangeland Management Specialist
Montana/Dakotas State Wild Horse and Burro Specialist
5001 Southgate Drive Billings MT 59101
Desk:406-896-5223
Mobile: 406-698-4831
Fax: 406-896-5281
Lakota, June, 2012
Lakota, June, 2012

I have my letter ready to send, but will wait until I hear from The Cloud Foundation on their proposal.  But, I am thinking it will not change.  Here is that letter:

Dear Mr. Sparks,

In regards to the scoping letter regarding the PZP program released April 1, 2013, I as a Montana resident, frequent visitor to the Pryors and permit holder within the Pryors request that the current PZP program remain in place.  I feel I have been able to observe and study the horses in their home intently.  This year alone, I will be with them for more than 50 days.

I feel that we should see how the current plan works on a good year. With the NPS assisting in the darting of the horses, I feel that the horses will be given the injections in a more timely manner. We should give this program some more time to see how it is working and then re-evaluate as necessary for the next phase starting in 2015.

I would hate to see a rushed decision on changes to the PZP program.

I do not support any changes to the current plan.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Sandra P. Elmore

UPDATE:  Here is the link to TCF proposal, just released tonight.  I still stand by my letter above.  Click TCF to go there.  

Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

Some Extra Photos

I decided to make a post with some extra photos I found while looking through my files! I hope you enjoy them!

Sandy

Tecumseh and Kalahari, July 2012
Tecumseh and Kalahari, July 2012
Blue Moon, October 2010
Blue Moon, October 2010
Phoenix, March 2012
Phoenix, March 2012
Santa Fe
Santa Fe
Mescalero
Mescalero
Galaxy, May 2012
Galaxy, May 2012
Warbonnet, August 2012
Warbonnet, August 2012
Blue Moon, May 2012
Blue Moon, May 2012
Cloud, March 2013
Cloud, March 2013
Inocentes, August 2011
Inocentes, August 2011
Merlin, March 2012
Merlin, March 2012

The Dryhead, Day Two, March 18, 2013

We still had some light left in the day, so once we loaded the ATV back up in the truck we decided to take a trip up the Dryhead.  This time of year seems to be really hard to spot horses in the Dryhead.  I can count the many times I have gone up there in February and March and only see a few horses.  I do believe they will be showing up down there again soon, but right now, it is very hard to see them.  I saw a few today, way up on Sykes from my view on Burnt Timber.

Of course, it seems the ever faithful Greeters are always in the same area.  I wondered if they ever moved much.  They all looked really good, so they must be getting plenty of forage in the areas that they visit.

Today they were right by the road and I was finally able to get a good photo of Jesse James.  It always seemed that he would move off and never really wanted to look at me.  But today, he seemed confident and at ease with our presents.  I thought perhaps it was his age now.  He will be 4 this year.

Jesse James, March 18, 2013
Jesse James, March 18, 2013

Hightail was in the brush and too busy eating to even turn our way.

Hightower, March 18. 2013
Hightail, March 18. 2013

Seneca and Hickok had moved on the other side of the trees, so we were able to get a few photos of them.

Seneca, March 18, 2013
Seneca, March 18, 2013
Hickok, March 18, 2013
Hickok, March 18, 2013
Seneca
Seneca
Hickok
Hickok

We stayed for a few minutes and then slowy drove the length of the Dryhead paved road without seeing another horse.

When we returned to the entrance of the range,  the Greeters were still there.  I said goodbye and we left the range.

We decided to stop by the Center and see how Kiabab and Liesl were doing.  Liesl immediately came up to the fence and stuck her head through for me to pet her.  She took her sweet little nose and rubbed it in my hand.  I really think she remembered me.  She loved the attention.  Kiabab was a bit more reserved and came up, but not close.  I should have changed lens, but did not and was just able to get a couple good photos.  They both look great.

Kiabab, March 18, 2013
Kiabab, March 18, 2013
Liesl, March 18, 2013
Liesl, March 18, 2013

They were both interested in watching the horses across the road.  There were people riding them and a new foal too.  So after a few minutes we said goodbye.

I also will add that I drove by Jalisco and Jumping Badger everyday.  They both look great.  They are out in a big pasture now with a few other horses.  It was good to be able to see them both, especially Jalisco.

I will be back again next month.  By then I am hoping to see some of the first foals on the range!

Sandy

Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

Day Three. Burnt Timber

We decided to go back up Burnt Timber again today.  With the snow pack down and the ability to hike a short way once at the water catchment and see all of Turkey Flat’s below and a lot of Skyes Ridge, it seemed a better and less stressful choice than taking our chances going up (and back down) a slippery Sykes Ridge Road.  I also wanted to check on Teton and see how that situation was going, hoping too that I would see Warbonnet.

The morning was cool, 23 at the bottom of Burnt Timber.  The sky was clear for the most part.  I welcomed the cooler morning as I knew it would firm up the road more and I would be able to get up higher on Burnt Timber.  However the ride back down confirmed my earlier decision to avoid Sykes Ridge Road.

The first band we saw was Doc and his band.  Doc, Broken Bow, Demure and little Mandan.  Even from across the ridge looking through my binoculars, I could see that Demure was very pregnant!  YAY!  A Doc foal, probably in May.  This is really great news.

Doc and his Band, March 18, 2013
Doc and his Band, March 18, 2013

The second band we encountered was a very sleepy Cappuccino Band.  We stopped and said good morning, spent a few minutes, then left them to their morning nap in the sun.

IMG_9730 IMG_9761 IMG_9753 IMG_9749 IMG_9741 IMG_9734 IMG_9730

I was really hoping to see Jackson and his band at the catchment.  When we got there, no one was there.  We briefly debated hiking for our look at Skyes and Turkey Flats, but decided to continue up the road while it was firm and save that hike for later.

We continued up the road to the mines and the picnic table.  Still no more horses.  After a brief check there, we continued.  We were beginning to see drifts in the road, but the ATV busted through them quite easily.  There was a steep hill in the road ahead, and Brigitte decided she wanted to get off and walk, so I stopped, let her off, and continued.  I was determined to get up the hill.  I always know, if I can not get up a hill, it will be an okay situation to just back right back down in my tracks.  But I never go down a hill, I don’t think I can get back up.  Does that make sense?!

This steep section had a pretty good snow drift on it.  Some melted snow pack from the winter and then some new snow from yesterday.  I hit the gas and made a run for it.

Yay!  Made it to the top with very little slipping!  I was happy.  I kept going down and up one more section, until I saw the steep down hill I told you I would not go down, unless sure.  It had an even bigger drift and a huge frozen muddle pond at the bottom.  I decided to park the ATV and hike over to the edge and look down while I waited for Brigitte to catch up.

I was immediately rewarded for my efforts.  There was Teton and his band along with Mescalero and his band.  But this time I got to see that Warbonnet was there.  They also seemed a little more separate then two days before.  I thought maybe I had been wrong, and these two bands were simply banding together for whatever reason.  Time will tell.  But it gave me a much needed comfort.

IMG_9764
Both bands. Tetons on the left, Mescalero’s on the right.

Both bands.

Rosarita, Poloris and Mescalero.
Rosarita, Poloris and Mescalero.
Warbonnet, Half Moon and Missoula napping.
Warbonnet, Half Moon and Missoula napping.
Phoenix.
Phoenix.

I thought Warbonnet looked very round.  I am hoping she is pregnant.  Another Kayenta on the range would be wonderful, but I am afraid she may just be fat.  Just as disappointing was the clear realization that Half Moon also looked as though she was not.  I was also trying to decide if Phoenix looked like she received another PZP injection in the same spot as last year.  There is a big round scar from last year, and I hoped she would not have another reaction.  It was apparent that many of the mares had received their injections in recent days or weeks.

We watched them for a while and then decided to hike up to Cheyenne Flats.  I knew we could not be more than a mile or so from there.

We returned to the road and started down.  I looked to the bushes on the left and saw this looking back at me.

Galaxy's Girls: Maia, Limerick, Ireland and Pococeno
Galaxy’s Girls: Maia, Limerick, Ireland and Pococeno

Galaxy!  I was so happy to see them.  Galaxy is one of my favorite stallions, he is after all Lakota’s son.  But aside from that fact, he is one gorgeous stallion.  He just oozes handsome.  I had also hoped for a Hera/Galaxy foal, but right now, she is not looking pregnant to me.

Hera was just up the hill from these girls and she also peered through the bushes at us.  After a few minutes, they all decided to cross the road and head up the ridge.

Hera and Maia
Hera and Maia
Galaxy and Galaxy's Girls.
Galaxy and Galaxy’s Girls.
Maia and Ireland
Maia and Ireland
Galaxy.
Galaxy.

IMG_9868 IMG_9864

Galaxy and his girls.
Galaxy and his girls.
Pococeno, you can see her PZP mark on her hip.
Pococeno, you can see her PZP mark on her hip.
Maia and Hera
Maia and Hera
Galaxy
Galaxy

After they all crossed the road in front of us and were working their way up the ridge, we continued to hike down the road.  Once we were down the hill and back up another we got an even better view of this wonderful band.  I think Galaxy has proved to be a fantastic band stallion, and I am looking forward to seeing him raise many foals in the future.

Galaxy's Girls, March 18, 2013
Galaxy’s Girls, March 18, 2013
Galaxy, March 18, 2013
Galaxy, March 18, 2013

We continued hiking up the road.  It seemed like an easy hike compared to my last trip here.  Only a few steps of knee-deep snow to get through this time.  We reached Cheyenne Flats.  There were no horses, but we decided it was a good place to stop, watch and have lunch.  I did take this photo so you could see what it looked like.  I also saw this horses off in the distance. Anyone want to venture a guess on who they think it is?  I could not quite make out if he was Grullo or Blue Roan.  So my thoughts were either Irial or Garay.  I welcome everyone’s thoughts on this.

Cheyenne Flats, March 18, 2013
Cheyenne Flats, March 18, 2013
Irial or Garay??
Irial or Garay??

After our break we headed down.  We saw Galaxy and his Girls out on another ridge.  Then, we spotted another horses, closer to us.  It was Santa Fe!  He was alone.  Oh great, I thought, I REALLY wanted to see him with Firestorm.  Now I have to wonder where she was.  I was really hoping he would be able to keep Firestorm, his long-lost mare of 2007.  He bred her, and she wanted to join him and his band, but Cloud Daddy would not allow it.  (Thanks Sarah for reminding me of this!)  Where was she now?  Hopefully back with Jackson.

Santa Fe, March 18, 2013
Santa Fe, March 18, 2013

After watching my own horses and these horses for several years, I can almost always read what a horses slightest actions may lead too.  I see a horse move a certain way and say “they are about to roll, or they are about to lie down, or he is going to try to sneak up on  Galaxy’s band”.   Brigitte asked me how I knew these things would happen.  I said ” I have ten horses AND I send over 40 days a year with theses”.   After you spend that much time with them, you begin to read and know their moves.  I am not always right, but most times I am.  I was right this time, and we watched Santa Fe sneak his way slowly towards Galaxy’s Girls.

I was not too worried.  I would however love to see Santa Fe with a mare of his own again.  Since Doc took his band last spring, he has only had Judith, and she was removed last summer.

Galaxy's Girls on the Ridge
Galaxy’s Girls on the Ridge

IMG_9978

Santa Fe heading over to the band
Santa Fe heading over to the band
Galaxy goes over the head him off away from his girls.
Galaxy goes over the head him off away from his girls.
Discussing the action
Discussing the action

IMG_0001 IMG_0003

Galaxy escorts Santa Fe away.
Galaxy escorts Santa Fe away.

Santa Fe retreated and looked up at us.  Then walked away over a ridge.

Santa Fe, March 18, 2013
Santa Fe, March 18, 2013

I decided that the best way to get down this part of the road, was by myself and asked Brigitte to walk down the hill.  It was a good decision, as our time away had caused the sun to melt the new snow and make an ever so wonderful ice rink underneath for me to slip and tip on the way down.  I made it up right and we continued down the road.

Back at the mines, I pulled in hoping for horses.  We caught a glimpse of Mescalero, Polaris and Rosarita on the ridge above us.  Had they moved off without Teton’s band?  I hoped so.

Mescalaro's Band
Mescalaro’s Band

The rest of the way down the road was interesting and exciting in spots with the melting snow and muddy red dirt.  But we arrived to the place in the road where the view of the water catchment was best, without to much of a problem.

We looked down and saw 4 horses.  I got my binoculars out and confirmed it was Doc and his band!  Another great thing!  I had not spent any close up time with this band since last summer, and even then, there was so much action going on around me, that I did not get to enjoy and alone time with this small band.

Doc and his band, afternoon of March 18, 2013
Doc and his band, afternoon of March 18, 2013

We pulled over and started hiking closer to them.  I had not seen this band up close since last September and I have never gotten any really good photos of Doc.  He never wanted to look towards me, or even left his head up from eating.

As we got closer I was able to confirm my earlier thoughts that, yes, Demure is very much pregnant.  No doubt.  Besides her very big belly, she looked thin to me and she was the one who never lifted her head.  I was relieve that the snow had melted down this low.  If it was still knee deep like it had been 4 weeks ago she would be in worse shape.  She was making up for lost time now.

Broken Bow was not please to see us.  She has always been a bit grumpy each time I see them.  Not unlike the 2 Toppers.   But this time I could clearly see why she might feel this way.  There was a mark on her right hip from a recent PZP injection.  She wanted nothing to do with people, and I could not really blame her.  She tried to leave and each time she did, Doc would go and snake her back.

Broken Bow and Mandan, March 18, 2013
Broken Bow and Mandan, March 18, 2013
Broken Bow and Doc
Broken Bow and Doc
Demure
Demure

Doc, however was relaxed with our presents and decided to lie down and nap for a while.

Doc
Doc

IMG_0074

Doc, March 18, 2013
Doc, March 18, 2013

Doc looked amazing, fat really, especially for this time of year.  He is another one of my favorites.

Mandan had grown so much since I last saw him.  He was beautiful.  I had  almost forgotten that he is Santa Fe’s son.  Doc has been the only father he has known.  I was there a few days after he was born in May.  I am looking forward to watching him grow.

Mandan, March 18, 2013
Mandan, March 18, 2013
Mandan
Mandan

Doc was not able to nap long, as a curious and playful Mandan decided to go over and bug his step-father.  Doc was amazing patient and good natured about the disturbance.

IMG_0100 IMG_0101 IMG_0106 IMG_0107 IMG_0110 IMG_0111 IMG_0113

Demure was working her way towards us and I took a few photos before we decided to leave them and hike over for a look of Sykes and Turkey Flats.

Demure, March 18, 2013
Demure, March 18, 2013

IMG_0122

We sat for a while glassing over Sykes and Turkey Flats below.  I saw no horses on Turkey Flats today.  I did see 3 horses up on Sykes.  I believe they were Corona, Waif and Topper, but they were far enough away that I could not confirm that.  I could just make out their colors.

We made our way back towards the water catchment and on the way got to spend some more time with Doc.  Broken Bow was even less pleased to see us.  So after watching Doc snake her in yet again, we decided we should leave them alone.

IMG_0170

Doc
Doc
Demure and Mandan
Demure and Mandan

IMG_0144 IMG_0162 IMG_0175

Broken Bow and Doc
Broken Bow and Doc

IMG_0136

Demure, March 18, 2013
Demure, March 18, 2013

We hiked up a hill for another look around, then returned to the ATV and started to head back down the mountain.  We stopped several times, but did not see anyone else.  I was disappointed that I had not seen Jackson and his band.

IMG_0191

We still had some daylight left and decided to head up the Dryhead to see who else we could spot.

Sandy

Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell