The dark-coated mare stood out against a blanket of white snow. She was gaunt and had been pawing down the drifts, nibbling at what grass she could find.
The groomer contacted the Shoshone National Forest’s Wind River ranger station in Dubois that day, Dec. 14, and U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer Dirk Chalfant heard about it the next morning. He got on the horn and soon found out the horse belonged an outfitter who’d led pack trips in the area over the fall.
“What I discovered is this horse had probably been in there for six weeks, and at a least three of those six weeks it was probably in about 5 feet of snow,” Chalfant said, “and occasionally 30 below zero.”