Mustangs | Spirit of the Shrinking West, National Geographic Magazine: Cowboy Watches Helicopter Roundup

Bureau of Land Management, Wild Horse Gather,

Hiding behind jute screen fence, a cowboy watches as a helicopter drives horses into a trap. A “Judas” horse trained to run into a corral dupes the frightened horses into following. Then they are captured.

Contractors hired by the Bureau of Land Management gathered nearly 900 horses that competed with cattle for the sparse water and food available in the Nevada desert. After their capture, a few healthy horses were released back into the wild, but most were shipped to Palomino Valley for evaluation. If they are not adopted, they are trucked to farms and ranches where they are housed by the federal government.

Cowboy photograph was featured in the article on Wild Horses in National Geographic magazine.

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