Monday, June 05, 2017

Antelope Hunting

Who would have thought I'd become an antelope hunter? My Pentax is my weapon of choice, though someone suggested to me that if I am going to go shooting antelope perhaps I need a canon (pun intended). Antelope hunting started on thanksgiving last year, when we took a morning excursion out to Stansbury Island. On the way back we spotted a herd of antelope, just off of the highway west of the airport. We were quite surprised to see them so close to town, so we started taking regular treks out the frontage road to observe.

Come spring they seemed more solitary, and on the day we found just one shaggy old fellow we gave him a name- Alistair, but eventually his friends showed up.. Alvin, Art, Andy, Archy, Allen, Alice... and more. How fun is to get to visit antelope any evening?

Our new found fascination with antelope led us on bigger trek. There is a major antelope migration corridor in Wyoming, herds that migrate from south of Pinedale up to the Tetons. So many that a special animal crossing bridge was built across US hwy 191. You can read more about it here. Pinedale is about 4 hours away, but we thought it would be worth the trek. As it turned out there were no antelope at the bridge, but we saw so many antelope along the way. It was quite a great day for antelope hunting.

A few antelope facts... they are amazingly fast. We saw some near train tracks by Fossil Butte National Monument. As we watched a train came by and spooked them, and they literally out ran the train. Watching a whole herd gracefully speed over a sage dotted hillside is a breathtaking site. Despite their speed and agility, they are not good jumpers. They actually will crawl underneath a fence. We were pretty jazzed to see one do that. And a third interesting antelope fact - their closest, though distant relative, is the giraffe!

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