Johnson Mesa Pronghorns

pronghorns east of Raton

Close encounter just off the road

We came upon them suddenly at the top of a hill, clustered at a waterhole just twenty feet from the road. I immediately stopped. They immediately started walking away. The buck stood guard between us and them, forcing me to choose which ones to photograph. By the time I’d gotten out and aimed my camera (Pentax K-x with 55-300 lens), he was gone, and the females trotted on.

I love encounters with these animals. They’re truly wild, unlike the deer that come out of the woods to graze in your backyard, something the North American “antelope” [coll.] would never do. Every sighting boosts my mood. These were just off Rt. 72, about twenty-five miles east of Raton on Johnson Mesa. I drove back from Capulin on the same road in hopes of seeing them again, but there was no sign that they had ever been there.

  • Peter August 11, 2016, 10:58 PM

    Beautiful photograph!

    • JHF August 11, 2016, 11:05 PM

      Thank you, sir. I think so too. The one on the far right knocks me dead.

  • Rita August 11, 2016, 11:08 PM

    Wow! And the sky! And how you can see the blades of grass against it!

  • Joe August 12, 2016, 12:35 AM

    When I was a kid the family traveled from Texas to Colorado frequently on vacation and those things were all along the route between Clayton and Raton. Beautiful critters.

  • Judy Copek August 12, 2016, 7:48 AM

    Remember seeing the antelope from the Santa Fe between Chicago and the West Coast and also crossing Eastern Colorado by car back in the day. Their white butts are so distinctive. Sounds like a great trip!

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