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A Bummer Antelope Kill
This is a bummer mishap....
Train collides with 64 pronghorn north of Hamer NewsEngine | February 9, 2020 | Assorted Outdoors | No Comments
On the morning of Feb. 3 the Fish and Game office in Idaho Falls received a report from railroad employees regarding a train collision with a herd of pronghorn north of Hamer. About 45 pronghorn were reported killed by the collision and another 19 were severely injured and had to be dispatched by F&G staff. There are no reports of any human injury.
Conservation Officers and other staff have responded to the scene to salvage any edible meat and dispatch the injured animals. Any edible meat will be distributed to needy families and food banks throughout the region.
“We have had these sad situations happen before during big snow events,” says Curtis Hendricks Wildlife Manager for the region. “These pronghorn are unable to cross the freeway fence as they migrate west and unfortunately they ended up on the tracks where the snow isn’t as deep.”
Animals unwilling to cross Interstate 15 in the area often congregate on the plowed railroad tracks that are in close proximity and parallel the freeway. Fish and Game identifies Interstate 15 as a likely impediment to east-west big game migration between traditional winter and summer ranges.
Pronghorn are built for speed and often choose to duck under fences rather than jumping over them.
What a shame....but at least efforts are being made to salvage the meat and give it to the needy.
+2 on Train Ban.. Only wolves are allowed to kill indiscriminately..
That’s really unfortunate.
Might me a good location for a highway overpass designed to funnel wildlife over the highway. Colorado and a few other states have done this to allow wildlife (deer, elk, bighorn sheep) to migrate from A to B, without crossing the physical highway and then lessen the possibility being killed by auto traffic.
I think Pronghorns are the worst around traffic, especially when they get in between fences along side the road. They tend to freak out and will inexplicably dart in front of you even when they are a safe distance away from the road. I once had a big buck ram the REAR tire of my pickup as I drove by at 70 mph. I have no idea what he was trying to do, but he paid for it with a snapped neck.
I would think the goats would be smart enough to get off the tracks when a train is approaching but I guess not.
The snow on either side might have been too deep for them to easily get out of the way.
I have seen elk killed on the tracks here in Colorado, with high snow banks on each side. The elk are forced to go up and down the track but not able to get off in time.
It happens a lot to pronghorn and other critters during the winter with big snows. Big bummer when a bunch are killed
Once got a RR killed cow moose in AK. The RR kills a bunch in bad snow years.
Pronghorn migrate from deep snows, pronghorn are forced onto roadways/railways, barbed wire hinders their migrations more than anything and these open pathways become a place they can get some rest and relief from trudging through the deep snows. I’m a locomotive engineer and have seen them run straight ahead of me down the track until I run them all over, it sucks.
You need a better goatcatcher on there.
Not uncommon at all - This happened last year near Walden Colorado
Our son is an engineer with BNSF out of Minot and has worked out of Glasgow, Glendive, and Forsyth also. Like tradmt said, happens a lot in Montana in big snow years.
I probably know your son Bow Bullet.
Trapper, I wish we did have a better goat catcher, I hate hitting all the wildlife we do! We really hammer the pheasants. I have roasted partridge on the sidewall heater though so it isn’t always wasted. Lol
I imagine it does bother you, it would me. It is tough to avoid for sure. Good thing it ain't bison! It might be if the American Heritage thing intro's bison back to the Breaks though.
That incident above, 47 goats with one vehicle???? I wonder if he was able to drive away... ;^O
Having bison back on the prairie might make it easier for Pronghorns in the winter and less likely to be forced onto tracks/roads to get away from and feed in the deeper snow.
This is about the only good thing about feral horses in some places, they break trail and make it easier for deer to forage in some winter range. Of course I would prefer buffalo over the horses.
Corridors of fence free ground is about all that will help, pronghorn have been around here longer than most and are pretty good at staying ahead of the heavy snows, it’s the fences that get them, they go under them because their bodies are not designed to jump like a deer can so you put a couple feet of drifted prairie snow at the fence line and they look for alternative routes.
Their browse is often trapped in ice due to cycles of snow/thaw/freeze so that puts them on the move as well, any way you slice it, Mother Nature can be a bitch.
my brother hit 14 on I80 the other morning headed to work.