Pronghorn or Antelope ?

Whatever we call them, Antelope, or Pronghorns they are a fascinating animal found over most of Wyoming. It was most likely Lewis and Clark who called this, only in America animal, an antelope, that we owe this misnaming. Antelope are found only in Africa, our Wyoming pronghorn is not related to these true antelope. The pronghorn is related to no other animal on earth, an interesting distinction.

From Clark’s journal—Friday, September 14, 1804
"In my walk I killed a Buck Goat [antelope] of this country, about the height of the Grown Deer, its body Shorter... the Color is a light gray with black behind its ears down its neck

And from Lewis’s Journal of—Monday, September 17, 1804

"We found the Antelope extremely shy and watchful insomuch that we had been unable to get a shot at. I had this day an opportunity of witnessing the agility and the superior fleetness of this animal which was to me really astonishing.”

Still lots of pronghorn in Wyoming, enough to support a very good hunting season each year and plenty to watch. Various states have tried to move and put pronghorn in parks, but it has had limited, at best, success. Seems that pronghorn need a large migratory range, and being fenced, even within the boundaries of thousands of acres has not worked.

Wyoming Cattle

One can see a lot of cattle in Wyoming, if you drive through you will also see plenty of horses and an abundance of pronghorn. But this post is all about cattle and the beginning of the cattle industry in the state.

In 1847 a group of Mormons drove the first herd of cattle through the state. Later these cattle of Durham and Devon type were developed and used to stock western Wyoming ranches, along with the tough longhorn out of Texas.

The first cattle proving that Wyoming grass could support them was a complete accident. Robert Campbell and his partner Seth Ward wintered hundreds of oxen in the Chugwater and Guernsey area as early as 1852. The cattle wintered on Chug Creek and near Seth Wards, Oregon Trail trading post at Register Cliff, near Guernsey on the North Platte River.

The first, poor, tired, sore footed oxen they wintered were expected to die, they really were not trying to start a cattle industry in Wyoming. But to their great surprise, when spring came, the oxen not only survived the winter, but thrived, and were ready to go back to work on the trail.
The rest is easy to see. Take a drive through any part of Wyoming and cattle, fat and sassy, can be seen, enjoying the hard short grass of Wyoming.

Wyoming Super Moon

Read a story about a super moon and had to check it out. Here is what I learned.
 All photos from Guernsey State Park, August 10, 2014.

While I was waiting for the moon, yes, I know, sounds a bit odd. I caught a mighty fine sunset.

And I couldn't resist a sunset in black and white, strange, but it just seems to work.