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The Story Of Wild Animals:
 Prong-buck Or American Antelope

 Indian Black Buck

 Addax Antelope

 Swamp Antelope

 Blessbok

 Story Of The Rhinoceros

 Story Of The Musk-ox

 Story Of The Giraffe

 Story Of The Fox

 Story Of The Seal

 Read More Articles About: The Story Of Wild Animals

Prong-buck Or American Antelope

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

Of all the antelope tribe none affords the hunter as good sport and as fine venison as the antelope found west of the Mississippi River, and known to scientists as the prong-buck or the prong-horned antelope. At one time it was common as far west as California and Oregon, but it is now found only in the Rocky mountain regions and on the plains between those mountains and the northern section of the Mississippi. It is a graceful, light-built animal, standing about two feet ten inches at the shoulder.

The coloration of the prong-buck is decidedly handsome and striking; the general hair of the upper-parts and outer surfaces of the limbs being chestnut. The hair on the back of the neck, which is of the general chestnut tint, is lengthened into a kind of mane. The face is brownish black; but the summit of the head above the eyes, and likewise the ears, cheeks, and chin are white. White also prevails on the lower portion of the throat, the under-parts, and half of the flanks, and extends upwards to form a large patch on the rump which includes the tail. Usually the throat is crossed by three russet-yellow bars. The lower portion of the limbs is white. The horns are black, save at the tips, where they become yellowish; and their usual length is about 12 inches. They are shed once a year.

The prong-buck or American antelope is shy and timid and can outrun the swiftest deer.

In spite of their extreme speed, prong-buck are but poor jumpers, and appear unable to leap over any large object that may be in their path. Their inability to leap over high objects may no doubt be attributed to the fact that they live upon the plains, where they rarely meet with such obstructions, and so they and their ancestors for untold generations have had no occasion to overleap high obstructions, and thus from disuse they do not know how to do it.

If a prong-buck on the plains desires to cross the railroad track, when alarmed by the cars, as is sometimes the case, he will strain every muscle to outrun the train and cross ahead of it, as if he suspected a purpose to cut him off from crossing; and thus many an exciting race has been witnessed between muscle and steam. When excited during its gambols with its fellows, or by the emotions of rage or fear, the appearance of the prong-buck alters considerably. On such occasions the hair of the white patch on the rump rises up on each side of the backbone, and remains as erect and stiff as bristles.

There are many stories about the great distance that ostriches can see, but the ostrich is near-sighted when compared with the American antelope. I have never had any difficulty in getting within two hundred yards of an ostrich under favorable conditions, but during my early experience I never got closer than six hundred yards to an American antelope. Even at that distance the animal was wide awake and fully able to take care of itself,

The only antelope that excels the prong-buck in speed is the Indian black-buck. This fact is proved by coursing the animals with greyhounds. A swift and tough greyhound will overtake and pull down a prong-buck, but I have never known one to catch a black-buck in the open.

The hide of the prong-buck is practically worthless on account of the brittleness of the hairs.

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