Pronghorn Antelope

Pronghorn Antelope

Pronghorns live primarily in grasslands but also in brushland and deserts. In Texas the antelope live primarily in the North and West Texas areas. They eat cacti, grasses, forbs, and browse plants.

Pronghorn newborns weigh 5 to 9 lb (2 to 4 kg). Adult male Pronghorns weigh 100 to 145 lb (45 to 60 kg) while females weigh 75 to 100 lb (35 to 45 kg). The main color of adults is brown or tan, with a white rump and belly and two white stripes on the throat. A short dark mane grows along the neck, and males also sport a black mask and black patches on the sides of the neck.

Male Pronghorns have horns about 5 to 17 in (125 to 430 mm) long with a prong. Females also grow horns, though these are relatively small, ranging from 1 to 6 in (25 to 150 mm), and sometimes barely visible; they are straight rather than pronged. Pronghorns have a distinct, musky odor. Males mark territory with a scent gland located on the sides of the head. Pronghorns are commonly called "Prairie Goats", "Speed Goats", or simply "goats" for this reason , as well as their resemblance to domesticated goats.

The Pronghorn is built for maximum predator evasion through running; its speed is surpassed only by that of the cheetah. It can however, sustain high speeds longer than cheetahs. The top recorded speed was 61 mph (98 km/h). The Pronghorn, although built for speed with an oversized heart and lungs, is a very poor jumper. Their ranges are often affected by sheep ranchers' fences. However, they can be seen going under fences. For this reason the Arizona Antelope Foundation and others are in the process of removing the bottom barbed wire from the fences, and/or installing a barbless bottom wire. The Pronghorn also sports a very large set of eyes that are said to be the equivalent of 8X binoculars, and have a 320 degree field of vision.

By 1908, hunting pressure had reduced the Pronghorn population to about 20,000. Protection of habitat and hunting restrictions have allowed them to recover to 500,000 Pronghorns. Wolves, coyotes and bobcats are the major predators. Golden eagles have been reported to prey on fawns.

Pronghorns are now numerous enough that they exceed the human population in all of Wyoming and parts of northern Colorado. The Pronghorn is widely hunted in western states for purposes of population control and food, as its meat is rich and lean.

2012 Texas Pronghorn Antelope Hunting Season

PRONGHORN ANTELOPE
38 Counties   Oct. 4 - 12, 2014

 

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