I wish I had better news to ring in the New Year but, sadly I received a report on the afternoon of December 29th, 2018 that a well known herd family was shot dead on Peason Ridge, Louisiana.
It appears as though the 5 horses were shot by what is being described as possibly a “high powered rifle”, from a gravel road that runs through the area. It is obvious this was a malicious act, as it appears a whole herd family was massacred in an area they are known to frequent. Initial reports, from a source who wishes to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation says, “Hunter found the killed horses possibly Dec 27 or 28 and Ft Polk was contacted. General Frank was briefed and he sent Wildlife personnel to Investigate the circumstances after he was briefed.”
On December 30th I went out to document and witness for myself the 5 horses that were gunned down. As I made my way out onto the clearing I saw 2 horses in the distance, grazing (pictured below). I spent a few moments here, collecting my thoughts and preparing to see the sad scene where the 5 lay.
Nothing could prepare me for what i was about to see. This was a gruesome, cowardly, sick, and absolutely deliberate hate crime! I truly can not fathom the spiteful evilness of this act.
Among the dead were; 2 mares, a stud, a filly, and a yearling. What’s interesting is that all these horses were shot pretty much in the same location on their body except for a mare who was also shot in the face, point blank range. I walked to each horse to document their wounds as best I could. Below are graphic photos of the 5 horses killed.
After looking over the youngest and final horse of the 5 slain, I could feel a presence behind me, I looked over my shoulder and down the road I could see a few horses watching me as I looked over their deceased friends/family (see the 2 photos below). These animals were grieving the loss of their family members.
The most important thing to a horse in the wild is their herd families. They are just gentle creatures who want nothing more than their freedom and find comfort and security in their herd family members. These horses are so loved that some have photos of them from years back.
While accidents happen during hunting season, this most certainly was INTENTIONAL and DELIBERATE and not a case of “mistaken for a deer”. These actions should NOT be viewed as a reason to remove them, rather criminal actions such as these should be taken seriously, investigated, and perpetrators be held accountable. This intentional malicious behavior must not be tolerated. No true hunter would do something this reprehensible. Local and federal authorities in the area should make it clear that killing horses is not allowed.
On December 31st Fort Polk issued the following statement, “Fort Polk personnel found the five horses in the northwest portion of Peason Ridge and immediately reported it. The Directorate of Emergency Services Game Enforcement section is actively investigating.”
On January 1st, 2019 I received another report that the #Peason5 had been buried in the middle of the night on New Year’s Eve. “The site of the horses bodies has been cleared and the bodies buried in various locations. Hunters late Dec 31st, 2018 heard heavy equipment working in the area where the horses were killed. The heavy equipment worked until after dark burying the bodies of the horses then left the area.”
The herd running along side the bus in this video, is the same horse as the black mare with the white rear sock and blaze, which gunned down last week of December.
I videoed this herd in march 2018.
She had no human name, none of them did …. as they were as wild as the wind and as free as any spirit could be, no matter if man knew them by name or not they were loved by the very earth they roamed, and those who knew them will never give up the battle for their rightful protection.
You can see the black mare and her family at 58 seconds into the this video from March 2018.
Links to initial media coverage of this incident:
- 5 Polk Ponies found dead by gunshots 12-31-18 by Lauren Blankenship of Beauregard Daily
- Fort Polk responds to reports of horses shot at Peason Ridge 12-31-18 by KALB
- Five horses shot and killed near Fort Polk 12-31-18 by KPLC
- Five horses found shot dead in military training area near Fort Polk, officials say 12-31-18 by CBS News
- Shooting of five wild horses near Ft. Polk under investigation 01-04-2019 Louisiana Radio Network
Read more about the ongoing legal battle for their rightful protection. LEGAL