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Pronghorn Antelope Range MapPronghorn antelope live in open areas of flat to rolling country, with very little cover. Their diet consists mostly of forbs (herb like flowering plants) and sage brush. This is an area where the prairie grasses stay brown and dry for most of the year. In Wyoming, the plains will turn green in about mid-June, and stay green until late-August or early-September. Even though Wyoming gets it's share of Winter snows, the prairies won't turn green until the snows melt, and the Spring brings the rain.

Pronghorn Antelope are native to the plains of North America. Their range extends from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains, and from Central Canada to Mexico. Pronghorns are one of the most unique animals that live in areas that are most commonly associated with the American buffalo (bison). It is believed that pronghorn, at one time, outnumbered buffalo on the Great Plains. The “great slaughter” of the 1800s not only affected the buffalo, but the pronghorn antelope as well. In 1915 it is estimated that the number of antelope had dropped to around 12,000. In the present, there are over one million pronghorn, with the greatest number of animals living in Wyoming and Montana.

Pronghorn BuckToday, pronghorn are frequently seen while traveling over the freeways and highways in the western plains and Rocky Mountain states. Larger herds are seen in the Fall and Winter months. These herds seem to disband in the Spring and Summer, into groups and herds of less than twenty, then regroup in November and December.

Pronghorns live on grasslands, brushland and deserts. They eat a wide variety of plant foods, often including plants that are unpalatable or toxic to sheep and cattle, even though they also compete with these herds for the available grasses. Their diet consists of forbs (herb type plants that are not grasses or sedges), shrubs, and grasses. They have also been known to eat cacti.

The areas where pronghorn live are prime range land for cattle and sheep. The fences that keep in the herds of cattle and sheep also block the migration paths of the pronghorn. Pronghorn can jump these fences, but they usually choose not to. Instead they find an opening near the ground and crawl under the wire.

The prairies of Wyoming are also home to fuel production. Oil, coal, coal bed methane, and wind farms dot the landscape. The least invasive seems to be the turbines on the wind farms. Despite the human activity, the antelope don't seem to mind the presence of the turbines. They graze and sleep in the shadows of these great machines. Coal mines, especially those on the surface are the most invasive, as they can remove several miles of migration paths.

Efforts are being taken to preserve the pronghorn population through restrictions on both hunting and energy production.

Easement deal opens pronghorn migration route - By The Associated Press - Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pronghorn Passage - By Shauna Stephenson, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, Feb. 22, 2010

Conservationists help protect ancient antelope migration route - By Ruffin Prevost, The Billings Gazette, Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wyoming's scenic Red Desert garners attention - By Jeff Gearino, Casper Star-Tribune Saturday, August 21, 2010

New study targets long antelope migration in western Wyoming - By Mead Gruver, Associated Press writer trib.com, Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Winter Killing Fields - Outdoor Life, Photo Gallery by Andrew McKean, Uploaded on February 01, 2011

Sportsmen leery of oil and gas development in pristine southwest Wyoming mountains - By Christine Peterson, Casper Star-Tribune, Jan 23, 2013

A herd of pronghorn relaxing and feeding next to a wind turbine shaft
on a wind farm outside of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Photo by K. Wheeler


Herd of doe pronghorn antelope
Photo provided by Out West Safaris

A herd of pronghorn under Canady Peak, near Saratoga, Wyoming
Photo by Adriene Wheeler


Photo by K. Wheeler