Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/705

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PLANT-EATERS OF NORTH AMERICA.

thick hair. Its color above is yellowish-brown; the rump and under parts white; the horns, hoofs, and the naked part of the nose, black. The white hair covering the rump is very long, and seems to be under the perfect control of the animal, and is at once made to stand erect when he is in the least excited; and it is wonderful to see this patch of hair rise and fall with his varying emotions. About half-way up the horns of the adult there is a branch or prong, and from this fact the animal gets its popular name.

The prong-horn is often seen alone, more frequently perhaps there are several together, and in some cases herds of one or two hundred

PSM V10 D705 The prong horn antelope.jpg
Fig. 5.—The Prong-horn Antelope (Antilocapra Americana).

are seen. It is not an uncommon thing for the traveler on the Pacific Railway to see several of these beautiful animals while he is crossing the Plains. One has been seen to run along for a mile or two parallel with the moving train, as if determined to keep up with it. Its speed is very great, and is only equaled by that of the fleetest of the deer; and hence it is almost useless to pursue it. It is not, however, difficult to secure these animals. They have great curiosity in regard to any objects which they are not accustomed to. The hunters well know this fact, and turn it to their own advantage. When the experienced hunter sees a prong-horn, or a herd of them, he does not pursue them, but keeps his ground, or little by little advances very slowly. The antelope soon advances a little toward him. The hunter waves his handkerchief, or a rag; the animal approaches still nearer and nearer; and in this manner he is soon within easy range of the hunter's rifle. It is stated that the Indians have the habit of lying flat upon their backs, and kicking up their heels with a rag or something fastened to them; and that by this process they entice the prong-horn to within such a distance that they kill it with their bow