Prairie antelope

Joined
Oct 28, 2006
Messages
3,473
Location
Wyoming, USA
Went out again today lookin' for the goats. Crawled around the drizzly wet prairie for a few hours and was only partially successful.

The first group I spotted took one look at my mug and headed for the next zip code :)

The second group managed to keep an unattractive BLM fence in the background.

The third group had a nice buck so the stalk was on. It was a bit windy so the animals were spooky but the wet ground helped keep my noise down as I approached.

Here's couple of the ladies:

420mm, f7.1, ISO 900
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420mm, f7.1, ISO 1000
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This youngster didn't care for the predatory photographer and decided to make its exit:

420mm, f7.1, ISO 1250
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And this is the fellow I really wanted to photograph but I was never able to get on him from a position for a nice pose. Another day :)

420mm, f8, ISO 2800
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Joined
Sep 1, 2008
Messages
972
Location
SW Georgia
Love those suped up billy goats! They were my favorite animal to see when I was out in S. Dakota and Wyoming a couple years ago.
Great shots!
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2006
Messages
3,473
Location
Wyoming, USA
I love the first shot. She's a beauty!

Thank you.

Many of the goats are quite rough looking coming out of winter. Some of the pictures I have are pretty hard to look at without a grimace. They do not lead an easy life. When photographing them its important to know when to walk away to avoid stressing them further.

Love those suped up billy goats! They were my favorite animal to see when I was out in S. Dakota and Wyoming a couple years ago.
Great shots!

Thank you.

They're one of my favourite subjects... and rather challenging ones at that :)

Our herds here in central Wyoming are doing nicely again as we seem to have broken out from the drought the region was caught in for several years. Speed goats everywhere :)
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2006
Messages
3,473
Location
Wyoming, USA
Very nice. I wonder how a lower F stop and less ISO would have looked.

Thank you.

Hard to say - I stopped down a bit as the animals were quite distant. The light was lower than the images impart and I was shooting from an unsupported position so I needed to keep my shutter speed high. I'd probably benefit most from a monopod which may have allowed me to cut the ISO values in half by using a slower SS.

What I really need is a 600mm VR and a porter to assist me in the field :)
 
Joined
Nov 29, 2007
Messages
1,047
Location
St. Petersburg, FL
Pronghorn are very interesting. The 2nd fastest land mammal on the planet. Smart animals with some of the best eyesight on the planet. Their head ornaments set them apart from deer and elk whose branched, solid antlers are shed each year, and from goats and cattle whose hollow horns are made from hair and are not shed. Pronghorn have branched, hollow, hairlike horns that are shed annually. They are the only animal with this combination.

During the summer months in South Dakota (Wind Cave and Custer State Parks) I can usually walk right up to them:

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934717732_mYoLb-XL.jpg
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When I hunt them in October in Wyoming...I am lucky to stalk within 250 yards. They are anything but stupid. I have got out of my truck and glassed them at 600 yards and as soon as the door closes I see them turn and stare directly at me. Unique animals.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2006
Messages
3,473
Location
Wyoming, USA
Nice shots! I cannot imagine a prairie goat allowing you get this close :)

They are a truly unique animal and one of the aspects that drew me to Wyoming 30 years ago.

I love to photograph them, hunt them and eat 'em :) I enjoy hunting solo and pronghorns are a good quarry for such endeavours. Small enough to pack out alone and easy enough to butcher at home.

Makes great jerky, nice small roasts. I add a little buffalo tallow to my goat burger since its so lean.

Now I've made myself hungry so its down to freezer to set out some meat for tomorrow!
 
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