More Pronghorn

Recently I have been doing research and reading personal accounts of early homesteading and town building in eastern Nebraska where I grew up. I ran across a story of antelope (pronghorn) hunting in that area in the 1860s. I had never heard of Pronghorn in that area and I decided to do some digging.

When Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery explored the west in the early 1800s there were an estimated 35 million pronghorn antelope in North America. One hundred years later the population was estimated at 13,000 with extinction coming within the next decade. Today there are nearly a million pronghorn in Wyoming several hundred thousand thrive on the hard grass, yucca, cacti and sagebrush in the high grass prairies of this state.

It took full protection in every state to increase the heard, full protection for fifty years, but it worked. Much of the west has enough pronghorn for an annual hunting season as game managers watch and manage the herds carefully across the west.

Today pronghorn are a tourist attraction in the west, most of the year they are easy to spot and a joy to watch, especially running, up to 55 MPH.


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