WILD HORSES OF MISSOURI
ROCKY CREEK HERD
The Rocky Creek herd is probably the most elusive and difficult to find for all the herds.
I had to search for two years to find them for the first time and I live within 15 to 30 minutes of areas they have been known to frequent. The terrain is difficult and the horses are very aware of people in their space.
You can view the photographs of the current and historical members of the Rocky Creek herd below this paragraph.
The members of each herd changes over time because of several factors. Lead stallions are known for visiting other herds and bands to steal mares. Yes, that is correct, the stallions literally swoop in and steal mares from other herds. Also, because of the monitoring and management of the herd per the law, sometimes members are gathered up to keep the size of the herds within the bounds of the legal agreement.
ROCKY CREEK HERD
Last Sighting: July 5, 2020, Unverified number of horses in the Mark Twain National Forest
Note: reported sighting via friend near Klepzig Mill (August 26, 2020 and April 21, 2021)
HISTORY OF THE WILD HORSES OF MISSOURI
Shannon County is home to an extraordinary herd of wild horses. Located in Southeast Missouri in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways on public land about 130 miles from Springfield and 150 miles from St. Louis.
Ozark National Scenic Riverways is the first national park area to protect a river system and the only place in the state where wild horses still roam free. It hasn't been an easy path for the wild horses over the last 100 years and it would be foolish to think current conditions couldn't change and put the horses back in danger again.
During the 1980s the National Park Service announced a plan to remove the wild horses, and people were outraged.
In 1993 the U.S. Supreme Court denied a final appeal to protect the horses and gave the National Park Service the right to remove the horses from federal land at their discretion.
The national park service started the process of removing the wild horses in a way that was profoundly upsetting to local residents and horse lovers around the country. The people of Shannon County and horse lovers around the country rallied together and the Wild Horse League of Missouri was formed.
Luckily, by 1996 the Wild Horse League of Missouri, which formed in 1992 to save the wild horses, received help from the people of Shannon County, Congressman Bill Emerson, and Senators Kit Bond and John Ashcroft.
Their tireless efforts paid off, and President Clinton signed a bill into law on October 3, 1996, to make the wild horses of Shannon County a permanent part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.
Now, people from around the world visit Shannon County in hopes of seeing these majestic wild horses.
The Missouri Wild Horse League works with the National Park Service to capture some of the horses when the herd exceeds 50. The captured horses are taken into care and evaluated before being adopted by loving families for permanent homes.
It is important to remember that these horses are wild. When looking for them, be sure not to approach them or attempt to feed them. It is essential to keep these animals wild and free, and for you to be safe. The horses are big, strong, and unpredictable and for your own safety as well as theirs, keep a safe distance of 100 yards or more between you and the horses.
The Wild Horses of Missouri are generally organized into 4 herds and 5 bands to include: Shawnee Creek, Broadfoot, Round Spring, and Rocky Creek. You can click on each of the herd names and review the latest information about each herd. If you would like to get more information on where to find the Wild Horses of Missouri, review my detailed online guide for the latest information.
ROCKY CREEK HERD TRACKING HISTORY
April 25, 2021 Did not find the herd (KM, NN-A, NN-B)
January 16, 2021, Did not find the herd (PR)
December 21, 2020, Did not find the herd (PR, NN-A)
November 21, 2020 Did not find the herd (PR, NN-A)
September 01, 2020 Did not find the herd (PR, NN-A)
August 02, 2020: Did not find the herd today (PR)
July 5, 2020, found unverified number of horses in the Mark Twain National Forest
July 4, 2020, found unverified number of horses in the Mark Twain National Forest
July 3, 2020, 14 horses spotted deep in the Mark Twain National Forest
April 17, 2020: Did not find the herd today (NN-A, NN-B)
April 09, 2020: Did not find the herd today (NN-A, NN-B, NN-C, RC-A, RC-B)
April 06, 2020: Did not find the herd today (NN-A, NN-B)
April 05, 2020: Did not find the herd today (NN-A, NN-B)
March 06, 2020: 12 members spotted in the Rocky Creek herd at NN-B