Friday, January 7, 2011


Western pronghorn antelope are the second fastest land mammal in the world. The antelope outnumber people out here. We have some wander through the pasture almost daily. 

This time of year when they are not breeding and bunch up together we have 30-75+ in our pasture on a daily basis. While there is more to eat in the surrounding pastures that are not grazed by any livestock, they seem to be content hanging around. 

Even thought the antelope are supposed to be very speedy, when they come to a fence they will all bunch up and duck under in single file. They can get their horns hung up in wire and be caught by a predator this way, as well as causing damage to a fence.  There are dug out spots, antelope slides, at frequent crossings. Using a smooth bottom wire and keeping it a little higher than usual off the ground can help them pass through the fence without mishap.

While the cheetah is the fastest land mammal, the antelope have more stamina for running at high speed than a cheetah (not that we have any cheetahs around here). Even though they are related to goats, they are not good jumpers and will bounce off the elk fence if they attempt to jump. They range from Canada all the way to Mexico, mostly in the plains and deserts.

During the breeding season bucks will usually defend their selected fixed territories and court any does that wanter through. Then some lucky bucks will move around with a small harem. 

Most does seem to have single births but some have twins. The offspring are very capable of keeping up with their parents if they feel threatened. And if you happen to catch one they holler loudly for mama who is usually not very far away. 

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