The Jackson Hole Pronghorn Migration

Jackson Hole Pronghorn - Spring Creek Ranch
One of the most unique animals within this ecosystem is the pronghorn (frequently called antelope) so it is appropriate that these animals engage in one of the most unique migrations in the entire continent. Jackson Hole’s population of pronghorn leave our valley each Fall moving south in the general direction of Pinedale, WY.

Their migration corridor is very narrow as it is constrained by their habitat preferences, highways, residential development and oil & gas development. As a result, we were able to watch hundreds of these speedy animals migrate during an outing yesterday to observe this phenomena. It was an amazing event to witness. The pronghorn doe in this image was one of about 140 which sprinted across a small county road bisecting their migration corridor. She was running at about 30 MPH so to capture her motion in this photograph, the shutter speed was set slow (1/50 sec) while the lens followed her from right to left.

A Highlight of Our Winter Wildlife

bighorn sheep - Spring Creek Ranch, Jackson Hole, WY
Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep spend summers at relatively high elevations and require some effort for us to find them during warmer months. Fortunately, this is not the case during Winter as we are able to observe bighorns consistently (usually very close.) These agile ungulates are spectacular to watch navigate steep cliffs and seem most comfortable in locations that would intimidate most other creatures.

Most of our other large mammals have been very cooperative on recent excursions including a small herd of pronghorn that looks like it will attempt to winter in our valley. Most of our pronghorn migrate to the south during winter, so it is a little unusual to be seeing them here with snow on the ground.