Pronghorn Antelope (Antilocapra americana)

Like deer and desert bighorn sheep, pronghorn was a valued prey for the native peoples of the Trans-Pecos. These fleet, hooved creatures favor wide-open terrain where they can easily spot predators and make use of their best defense—their speed and sharp eyesight. Their natural curiosity for unknown objects, such as a waving piece of cloth, has been used by hunters, perhaps prehistoric as well as modern, to lure the animals closer for the kill.

Pronghorn remains have been recovered from both lowland and upland prehistoric sites in the Trans-Pecos, as well as later mission sites. Antelope are also depicted in pictographs, such as a painted image at Hueco Tanks that is interpreted as representing a pronghorn mask.

photo of Carmen deer in the Chisos Mountains
Pronghorn race across a grassland at the foothills of the Davis Mountains. These fleet, hooved creatures favor wide-open terrain where they can easily spot predators and make use of their best defense—their speed and sharp eyesight. Once common throughout much of the state, pronghorn are now found only in the Trans-Pecos and the Panhandle. Photo by Steve Black.
photo of a mule deer in the Davis Mountains
Like deer and desert bighorn sheep, pronghorn was a valued prey for the native peoples of the Trans-Pecos. Their remains have been recovered from both lowland and upland prehistoric sites in the region, as well as later Mission sites. Photo courtesy Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.