Mountain Wildlife – February 2014

The Circle Ranch contains the southeast corner of the Sierra Diablo Mountains. These rise 2,500-feet from the floor of the Chihuahuan Desert to an elevation of 6,500-feet. Here are photos of pronghorn, bighorn and mule deer in the high elevations.  These were taken in February, 2014.

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A buck pronghorn at 6,000-feet. Most people think pronghorn do not like these elevations, terrain and cover. We see ours in the high mountains all the time.  

The dead trees and yucca are remnants of a range fire that burned through 20-years ago.  Our deserts are so dry that dead plants – grass included – will stand, unrotted for decades: a physiological reality that has broad implications in proper range management.

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Three pronghorn does in the pinyon-juniper woodlands.

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Pronghorn bucks, does running with mule deer at 6,000-feet.

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Mule deer buck and doe.

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Young mule deer buck.

 

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Here we see a group of pronghorn on open grassland. This is where pronghorn are usually seen in far-West Texas. The tree chollas are an important source of pronghorn food.

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 This is an old buck.

 

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Young buck, probably 4-1/2 years old. He is using a pinyon pine for cover. 

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Another young buck using pinyon pine for cover. 

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Pronghorn in high mountains. 

 

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 Mule deer does and bucks in pinyon-juniper mountain woodlands.

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 Desert bighorn sheep – using pinyon and juniper –  at 6,400-feet.

 

 

Posted by Chris Gill

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