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Do you have a photograph of a pronghorn you shot on your hunting trip in Wyoming? A story about your hunt? A recipe, a correction for this site, or any other knowledge or anecdote about pronghorn? Then we'd love to publish it!

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Pronghorn buck on the prairieThe same problems that one would have hunting pronghorn with a rifle apply to people who would like to shoot them with a camera. The colors of their hide, the colors of the sage and prairie grass colors on the hills blend together making the animals hard to see. During the months of June and July - when the prairie is actually green instead of brown - the antelope are easier to see. Their brown and white coats stand out against the green, living grasses, and they can be seen from a long distance off.

While pronghorn are frequently seen while traveling along Wyoming's interstate highways, they are more commonly seen along the less traveled state highways. Pronghorn are usually grazing along a rancher's fence line that runs along a state highway, and further out into the pastures, until they are lost over the hills. As mentioned elsewhere on this site, during the Spring, Summer, and into Fall, pronghorn travel in smaller bunches. In the late Fall and into Winter, pronghorn are changing into survival mode, and bunching up into bigger herds.

You can see pronghorns almost anytime in Wyoming. If you are traveling through, or around the state, most likely you will see pronghorn as soon as you leave cities or towns, and are traveling past ranchers' pastures. You won't even need to be very far out of town.

There are also county roads throughout the state. If you get onto a county road it won't be too long before you see pronghorn.

If there are things to hide behind - an outcropping of rocks, a snow fence, a herd of cows - anything that you can use for cover.

To take good photographs of pronghorn, you would need one of the better cameras, especially those that would have interchangeable, telephoto lenses. The antelope's hearing, eye sight, and sense of smell will alert it to any intruder while still a long way off, and the herd will sprint off over the next ridge. The Photographer will need to use the same stealth tactics as the hunter. Perhaps even crawling on your belly until you get to the hill top in order to get your shot (photographically speaking!).

Because of their "nervous" nature, pronghorn are difficult to photograph. It is usually difficult to get close enough to an individual or a herd in order to take a picture of them. Most photos seem to feature "hind ends" because in this position, the pronghorn is most unaware. If you are stealthy enough, you may be fortunate enough to get a good side shot. If your subject happens to be more curious than nervous, you may be fortunate enough to get a good shot with the pronghorn looking towards the camera.

Useful tactics that might work might include those that use some sort of "bait" or distraction. Pronghorn are curious animals, and seem to be attracted to things that are "out of the ordinary". One tactic that hunters use is to put a white strip of cloth or flag on the end of a pole, and raise it over the hilltop enough for the herd to see. If the photographer has a little patience, the pronghorn will eventually come over to investigate what that flag might be. You might want to place your flag where the antelope can see it, then move yourself back to a positions where you can observe the antelope moving around your flag.

Usually you can spot pronghorn in a variety of settings in Wyoming. If you're able to stop your car, get out, and move up to a fence line before the herd spooks, you could be lucky and get a good shot. If the herd is near the highway, you may be able to take your picture while sitting in your car - if the herd manages to stay still while you park your car.

Another method to get photographs of pronghorn is to hire the same guides that take hunters out in the Fall. Many outfitters that guide for hunts also hire out for sight seers and photographers.

(My "dirty little secret"? All of the pictures that I have shot for this site, have been shot from a highway, or graveled county road...so far.)

Photo by David Wheeler


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