Autumn may be officially a few weeks off but the first week of September and the Pronghorn rut starting, signals the start of fall on the sagebrush steppe. Cooler weather, less smoke and more photography opportunities with wildlife are motivation to get out. I was able to make a trip to the Sheldon Antelope Refuge this week and the Pronghorn put on a great show.
Lots of skirmishing and some epic battles took place between dominate bucks. Most of fights are quick and dirty over before they start with smaller bucks running off before they engage. I witnessed the longest bout I have ever seen. It lasted for over 5 minutes. The bucks horns may have become hooked as it looked like they couldn’t break away. One buck received a nasty gash below his eye and is lucky not to have lost it.
The thick part of the horn jutting out below the points are called cutters. The damage they can inflict in a fight is evident in this photograph.