pronghorn antelope

I realize that I’ve been jumping around quite a bit with these posts with images from my recent trip to the PNW. Suffice to say that so many things happened in the almost-five weeks that I was off wandering around that it’s difficult to condense and put it into any order now that I’m back — although I’m working on that for my own journal. Here on my blog, you’re seeing places and things that seemed worth sharing with others — some of the high points. The Pronghorn antelope in these photos seemed to fit the bill.

Before this trip, I had never seen Pronghorn antelope except on tv. I had penciled them in as something I’d love to see if possible, but I didn’t actually expect that to happen as the area where there is a reasonable likelihood of finding them seemed a bit out of our way. However, in the end, our wanderings did take us through the Hart Mountain National Antelope Reserve in the high desert country of south-central Oregon. I have some other photos taken in the same region that I’ll probably post sometime soon. But for today, here are a couple of images of antelope seen from the road as we passed by.

The top photo is of a female and a couple of younger antelope that were part of a little group that we saw wandering not far from the road (but bear in mind that I shot these through a telephoto lens so we weren’t exactly “close”). The lower photo is of a male that was nearby, watching over the group. At one point, a female trotted out towards him and he pursued her for a brief time before she returned to the group. This behaviour was repeated a couple of more times. It is only when you see these animals on the move that you can appreciate just how quickly they move. The antelope we watched were moving at nowhere near their top speed, but they easily flew over the landscape — and it’s a rugged landscape despite the appearance of being flat. Everywhere, there are mounds of sharp rocks concealed among the sagebrush. They’re much more powerful animals than one might suppose — they look to be all muscle… especially the males. It really was special to have a chance to see this group at reasonably close range.

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6 Responses to “pronghorn antelope”

  1. robin andrea Says:

    What beautiful animals, Bev. I have never an antelope and had completely forgotten that they actually roam in our country. They are quite magnificent creatures. Yes, they do look like they are all muscle. Wouldn’t it be grand if there were massive herds of them? I’m going to do a little research to see their range and population. Really beautiful creatures.

  2. Jenn Says:

    Great photos!

  3. burning silo Says:

    Robin – They’re beautiful to see roaming around among the sagebrush. I wish it weren’t quite so far to see them, although there are herds much closer to my area than these. I’d definitely like to spend a bit more time watching them!

    Jenn – Thanks! I feel lucky to have gotten a few good photos of them.

  4. Jude Says:

    Back when I was a seasonal park ranger, we were instructed to say pronghorn, not “pronghorn antelope” since pronghorns are antelope. When I headed to the Hart Mountain National Antelope Reserve site and a few additional NPS sites, I noticed that they used the terms interchangeably. Thanks for the photos.

  5. Pamela Says:

    Great photos, Bev! It is fantastic we’ve got these creatures in North America, I’ve always thought. I got to see a small herd quite close, by the side of the Trans-Canada highway, in Saskatchewan (or just over the Alberta border…) They were quite calm, I was able to get out of the car and approach the fenceline for a better look–after a few moments they responded by slowly ambling away.

  6. burning silo Says:

    Jude – Interesting about the “pronghorn antelope”. I wondered about that but noticed that a lot of the park literature used both terms together, so thought that must be how they were usually written about.

    Pamela – Thanks. I couple of friends have told me of encounters with antelope out in Alberta so I’ve always hoped to see them there. I’m beginning to plan a trip across Canada for next year — a slow trip with much time to stop along the way — so perhaps I’ll get a chance to see them while I’m passing through Saskatchewan and Alberta. Same goes for seeing White Pelicans in Manitoba!