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Pronghorn

Handsome Pronghorn buck head on

It’s not too often you can get these guys to stand still for a picture as their first instinct is almost always to run. However, they are also notoriously curious, oftentimes pausing initially to ascertain a potential threat. I have learned that if you can do something to get their attention, sometimes they stick around just a bit longer and it also gets them to look right at you.

What do I do?

I have a bright yellow cleaning cloth in my truck that I use just for this – holding my camera in one hand, I wave the cloth over my head in the other. Yeah, it probably looks silly but it does work pretty often and that was the case with me being able to get a pic of this guy south of Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Sometimes mistakenly called antelope, their closest relatives are actually giraffes and okapi. It is believed Pronghorn developed their extraordinary speed when the now extinct American Cheetah was a threat.

A Pronghorn buck stops and stares at the photographer south of Cheyenne, Wyoming.   (© Tony’s Takes)

A Pronghorn buck stops and stares at the photographer south of Cheyenne, Wyoming. (© Tony’s Takes)

Two Great Plains speed demons

I had to go to Cheyenne for business yesterday and while I had little time to spare given the agenda, I did take two minutes to stop and photograph these two handsome Pronghorn bucks. They were standing right next to the road not far inside the Wyoming border. Best of all, unlike my usual encounters with them, these two didn’t instantly run away and instead posed (albeit briefly).

I personally find these creatures fascinating. They are cool looking of course but the mere fact they can run so fast is incredible. Pronghorn (often incorrectly called antelope) are the fastest land animal in the Western Hemisphere and second in the world only to the Cheetah. They can sprint at speeds up to 60mph and run for extraordinarily long distances at slower speeds.

Before the arrival of western Europeans, it is believed as many as 40 million of them roamed the open rangelands of North America – possibly more than there were bison. Hunting and fragmentation of their habitat by fences and human settlements took its toll and as few as 20,000 remained at the start of the 20th century. Thankfully conservation and education saved them from extinction and they now number almost 1 million.

A pair of Pronghorn bucks keeps close watch near Cheyenne, Wyoming.   (© Tony’s Takes)

A pair of Pronghorn bucks keeps close watch near Cheyenne, Wyoming. (© Tony’s Takes)

Pronghorn buck smiles for its picture

I had to go to Cheyenne for work this week and had hoped to see some of these speed demons. I did indeed, dozens in fact on the way up but at that time I couldn’t stop. On the way back, I was only able to find a half dozen hanging out in Weld County just inside the Colorado border. As is typical, they didn’t want to hang around and be observed so I only got a few, fleeting captures.

Sometimes mistakenly called antelope, their closest relatives are actually giraffes and okapi. It is believed Pronghorn developed their extraordinary speed when the now extinct American Cheetah was a threat.

They are in fact the fastest land animal in the Western Hemisphere and second in the world only to the Cheetah. They can sprint at speeds up to 60mph and run for extraordinarily long distances at slower speeds. That speed and endurance continues to come in handy for escaping the threats of today – coyotes, wolves and of course man.

A Pronghorn buck poses on the plains of northern Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Pronghorn buck poses on the plains of northern Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Galloping Pronghorn buck

It’s been a while since I have seen any of these speed demons so this capture dates back to last July. As usual, he wasn’t too willing to pose for pictures but also didn’t take off at a flat out run giving me a chance to grab a couple of shots.

Before the arrival of western Europeans, it is believed as many as 40 million of them roamed the open rangelands of North America – possibly more than there were bison. Hunting and fragmentation of their habitat by fences and human settlements took its toll and as few as 20,000 remained at the start of the 20th century.

Thankfully conservation and education saved them from extinction and they now number almost 1 million.

A Pronghorn buck gallops across the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Pronghorn buck gallops across the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Pronghorn in a post-Christmas snow

The temperature on my truck thermometer said it was 8 degrees when I snapped this image the day after Christmas. That certainly did not make me anxious to leave the warm environs but when a friend texted me to tell me about this herd of speed-demons nearby, I had to go.

Thankfully, unlike usual, they weren’t in too big of a rush to race away and gave me time to hop out and snap a few images. They looked absolutely gorgeous against the fresh snow.

A herd of Pronghorn keeps watch while in a field with fresh snow. (© Tony’s Takes)

A herd of Pronghorn keeps watch while in a field with fresh snow. (© Tony’s Takes)

Pronghorn buck slows down to have its picture taken

One of my favorite creatures of the plains. They usually aren’t particularly cooperative, preferring to keep their distance from humans (probably wisely so). They have extraordinary eyesight allowing them to spot you long before you see them and of course they are lightning fast. Thankfully, this handsome fellow was less intimidated by me than most and gave me a nice pose before running off.

Sometimes mistakenly called antelope, their closest relatives are actually giraffes and okapi. It is believed Pronghorn developed their extraordinary speed when the now extinct American Cheetah was a threat. They are in fact the fastest land animal in the Western Hemisphere and second in the world only to the Cheetah.

They can sprint at speeds up to 60mph and run for extraordinarily long distances at slower speeds. That speed and endurance continues to come in handy for escaping the threats of today – coyotes, wolves and of course man.

A Pronghorn buck among the grasses of the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Pronghorn buck among the grasses of the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Who knew a bush could feel so good?

This handsome Pronghorn buck was out for a lazy walk in Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley. Suffering from an itch on its neck, it improvised and used a bush to scratch its neck.

These guys are usually pretty skittish but this one and I seemed to kind of click on this morning back in June. He was initially laying down on a hillside when I started my hike on a trail going right near him. He wasn’t bothered a bit and gave me a wide variety of poses, never giving me a second glance.

Pronghorn (often incorrectly called antelope) are the fastest land animal in the Western Hemisphere and second in the world only to the Cheetah. They can sprint at speeds up to 60mph and run for extraordinarily long distances at slower speeds.

Before the arrival of western Europeans, it is believed as many as 40 million of them roamed the open rangelands of North America – possibly more than there were bison. Hunting and fragmentation of their habitat by fences and human settlements took its toll and as few as 20,000 remained at the start of the 20th century.

Thankfully conservation and education saved them from extinction and they now number almost 1 million.

A Pronghorn buck uses a bush to scratch its neck. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Pronghorn buck uses a bush to scratch its neck. (© Tony’s Takes)

Pronghorn does and fawns focus on me

Taken back in July, this was the first time I had gotten a decent picture of baby Pronghorn. There were actually three with their moms but the third set was out of the frame. As is typical for these creatures, they didn’t hang around long once they saw me but did check me out for a brief moment.

Sometimes mistakenly called antelope, their closest relatives are actually giraffes and okapi. It is believed Pronghorn developed their extraordinary speed when the now extinct American Cheetah was a threat.

Pronghorn does and fawns keep close watch on the photographer on the Colorado plains.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Pronghorn does and fawns keep close watch on the photographer on the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Off to the races!

These speed demons rarely stand still and pose for pictures and such was the case of this bachelor herd of Pronghorn. The second I brought my truck to a stop, the race was on!

They took off across a field to escape my view but, thankfully, they opted to stay parallel to the road briefly. I managed a few, quick pictures while going at 40mph (my son was driving). It was pretty exciting and really made me appreciate just how fast they can run.

Pronghorn (often incorrectly called antelope) are the fastest land animal in the Western Hemisphere and second in the world only to the Cheetah. They can sprint at speeds up to 60mph and run for extraordinarily long distances at slower speeds.

A bachelor herd of Pronghorn races across a freshly cut wheat field on the plains of Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A bachelor herd of Pronghorn races across a freshly cut wheat field on the plains of Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Pronghorn buck pauses to have its picture taken

My, what a handsome fellow this guy was. He was out walking through a recently harvested wheat field and was kind enough to give me a few captures. Those horns of his are some of the biggest I have seen on one.

Pronghorn (often incorrectly called antelope) are the fastest land animal in the Western Hemisphere and second in the world only to the Cheetah. They can sprint at speeds up to 60mph and run for extraordinarily long distances at slower speeds.

Before the arrival of western Europeans, it is believed as many as 40 million of them roamed the open rangelands of North America – possibly more than there were bison. Hunting and fragmentation of their habitat by fences and human settlements took its toll and as few as 20,000 remained at the start of the 20th century. Thankfully conservation and education saved them from extinction and they now number almost 1 million.

A Pronghorn Buck walks across a recently harvested wheat field in Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Pronghorn Buck walks across a recently harvested wheat field in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)