A Wild Wyoming Horse Can Be Yours
Your dreams of taming a wild stallion are here. Or a burro, if that’s more your style.
Though it’s perhaps best to leave the burros be, as Deerwood Ranch Wild Horse Ecosanctuary owner Jana Wilson does, as she’s adopted four in the 11 years she and her husband Rich have owned the sanctuary.
“Burros are guardians of other animals–it’s in their nature. They chase off predators, so I allow our burros to be with the cows and do just that,” Wilson said.
The sanctuary is holding one of its biannual auctions this Saturday at its location outside of Centennial at 599 State Hwy 11 this Saturday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Along with Alibi pizza for lunch, covered wagon tours to see wild horses, on-site vendors, and dogs to adopt, the Bureau of Land Management will be onsite to answer any questions.
Wilson said years ago when the BLM was looking for private land to house excess wild horses, it was an easy decision for the ranch to volunteer; now they have a herd of 360 on their land.
“As horse lovers, it was something we wanted to do. We have the land to provide them a home, and we’re in the hospitality industry as well, so it was a great opportunity,” she said.
Plus, it offers a unique experience for visitors from all around the world, as Wilson said their wild horse tours offered May-September are…wildly popular.
“People come to Wyoming to see wild horses and don’t know where to find them. This is a place they could come and see them, and we get to meet all kinds of amazing people,” she said.
The BLM incentivizes the adoption program by primarily paying people $1,000 to adopt. The organization has come under fire for sending horses to slaughter, which Wilson said is “absolutely a myth.”
The BLM has taken steps to combat that rumor, by better vetting potential adoptees, doing site checks six months post-adoption, and paying half the incentive up front, and the other half after a follow-up review of the horse and its living conditions.
Their website states, “The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management care deeply about the well-being of wild horses, both on and off the range, and it has been and remains the policy of the BLM not to sell or send wild horses or burros to slaughter.”
Wilson said she’s encountered a lot of myths while running the sanctuary.
“There are a lot of myths. We were told by several people that wild horses would scare elk and deer off the land. We have as many elk and deer and antelope as we ever did,” she said.
Bring a trailer, halter, and courage on Saturday to adopt one of these “non-gentled” animals. For more information, visit their website here.