Saturday, October 15, 2011

Odocoileus and Cervus and Antilocapra, oh my!

Back east, our hoofed rats come pretty much only in the one flavor: Odocoileus virginianus.

Out west they apparently come in all kinds of sizes, from little bitty ones...


...all the way up to honking great things that'll seriously mess up a Crown Vic.
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16 comments:

Darrell said...

Most places out west you're lucky if the pronghorns let you within 500 yds of them. Oddly enough, down at the NRA Whittington Center in New Mexico, you can get within ten feet of them, they graze near the cabins and such.

wolfwalker said...

"Back east, our hoofed rats come pretty much only in the one flavor: Odocoileus virginianus."

Down south, that's true. Come northeast a bit and you'll find a rather larger variety, Alces alces, an argument with which can seriously mess up a loaded eighteen-wheeler.

LabRat said...

The pronghorns are bright, they know where people are going to shoot at them and where not, and whether they'll do it from a vehicle or not.

Fun fact: the reason the little bastards are so damn speedy is that they didn't evolve to outrun the predators on the landscape now, they evolved to outrun the ancestors of cheetahs, whose family tree originated here but did not remain.

Wayne said...

We must have had the stupid branch of antelopes in South Dakota, you could plant a red flag in a snow field and they would walk up to it. My college roommate had an antelope tag and shot one on his farm. Missed the first shot and the critter stood there and looked at us. Third shot put it down. Smelled like a goat, the butcher said the only thing to do with it was turn it into sausage.

Tango Juliet said...

Antelope jerky is good. We have quite a few racing goats in western Nebraska.

the pawnbroker said...

Those bitty ones are big compared to Fla whitetail...takes about six of 'em to make a mess for dinner.

Dumb as dirt too...they'll stand beside the road until you're on top of them and then attempt their bounding getaway right in front of you. And even a 70 lb. doggie deer can still play hell with a windshield and your plans for the evening...ask me how I know.

Old NFO said...

Meh... I'd TAKE a 500 yard shot at one... :-)

Joe in Reno said...

Coincidentally in today's rag...

http://www.rgj.com/article/20111015/NEWS/111015006/Rash-accidents-involving-abandoned-horses-prompts-removal-Nevada?

"Nevada Agriculture Department spokesman Ed Foster says his agency is taking the action after more than 30 horses were hit by vehicles over the last 50 days on U.S. Highway 50 between Dayton and Silver Springs, Alternate Highway 95 near Silver Springs and State Route 341 near Virginia City."

800lb+ rats can really screw you up!

Stingray said...

No you wouldn't, NFO. You'd get out to the prairie, and the trophy-lookin'-est of the lot would wander up and say "Hi. I heard you were going to shoot at me so I figured I'd just save myself some trouble and get this over with," and then commit antelope-seppuku.

Robin said...

Antelope around here are not real shy most of the time. Often a hunt for them resembles an SUV of gangbangers looking for a driveby.

You get up at 8AM and have a leisurely breakfast. You drive around, spot a herd with a buck among 'em, and bail out the opposite side of the slowly moving truck into the roadside gully.

LabRat said...

Perhaps it's the antelope still running from cougars and wolves that manage to stay bright... :)

David said...

"Smelled like a goat"

That's why we call them prairie goats. They are pretty good eatin' if you drop them before they can move. They heat up pretty fast and then even the sausage isn't very good.

Prairie goats got me through college. Roommate and I ran our expenses one year and realized that we were gonna go broke about a month before the end of the school year. So we picked up a couple extra tags at half price after the season opened. Did our own butchering and filled up my sister's meat locker. Then when things got really tight at the end of the year we were flat broke but eating steak three meals a day. It got pretty old after a while so we had pretty good trade network working with friends and professors - a package of antelope for a pan of lasagna, or a bag of potatoes, or veggies and fruit, etc.

Just My 2¢ said...

Pronghorn are pretty funny. I once watched an Oklahoman try to photograph one. He'd walk 10 yards closer - the critter strolled 11 yards away. After an hour, the guy was half a mile away and the antelope was farther away than ever.

Antelope chili and jerky are pretty good, but people need to remember that they're not related to deer, elk and moose. They're basically cardiovascular systems with hooves. Running will pump the meat full of stress hormones and lactic acid. They also have scent glands all over their body, which affect the taste of the meat. It takes a lot of work to make a tasty antelope!

Regarding the elk accident - we drive very carefully this time of year! Last fall, some poor soul on a motorcycle went flying through Hoback Canyon (south of Jackson, WY) and hit a moose. End of vacation.

BobG said...

David is absolutely right. Stink goats are good eating if they aren't heated up and you skin them immediately after dressing and cool them down fast in a cooler of ice.

Firehand said...

Son's unit did some training in the White Sands, NM area, and one of the things they were warned about was kudu; some escaped from a game farm decades back and made themselves at home.

They saw several calves and a big male alongside a trail one day, Big Daddy made believers out of them.

Robert said...

Up in the North West, occasionally during really hard winters a whole herd of antelope will be taken out by a single 18 wheeler, as they will sometimes congregate on the highways since there isn't as much snow on the road. Makes for a pretty big mess.