Pronghorn are one of my favorite animals. What's not to like about a cute animal that's also the fastest land animal in the western hemisphere and is related to giraffes. They have an extensive range from Baja Mexico to Saskatchewan. They are one of the rare conservation successes, at one time down to approximately 12,000 but now back up to over 500,000, although the Baja and Sonoran subspecies are almost extinct Unlike deer, pronghorn have trouble jumping over fences. Instead they go under/through fences. It helps if the bottom wire is barbless or removed.
Driving north on Highway 93 from Ely (bypassing the endless metropolis of Salt Lake City) we passed a large group of pronghorn lying in a field quite close to the road. Shelley was surprised I didn't stop, but I didn't have my camera ready and was already past by the time I recognized them. But I started having second thoughts so when I found a turn off I pulled over and got my camera and long lens out. Coincidentally, there were a few pronghorn across from where we stopped so I photographed them first. But there were only a few and they were quite far from the road. Still, one of them (a male) stood up and watched me closely.
I turned the car around and drove back to the large group. Of course, as soon as I stopped they started to get up and move away. Like hawks, they will sit peacefully if you drive by at 100 km/hr, but if you stop they get skittish. At least they had the courtesy to run somewhat parallel to the road. Usually they'd run directly away from you and all you get are butt shots.
They were a long way from the road and moving, and I was handholding a 900mm equivalent lens, so the photos aren't as sharp as I'd like. But it's still nice to get some shots of them.
This is one of the reasons I prefer not to travel on the interstates. You might see some pronghorn from the interstate, but stopping and turning around would be next to impossible. I enjoy Highway 93 from Las Vegas to Twin Falls, with it's wide valleys and low mountains. Of course, in bad winter conditions you are probably better on the interstates. We ran into a snow storm just before Twin Falls and followed a snow plow past several people in the ditch. Thankfully it was only a short part of our drive.
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