My first visit to Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area two years ago

Flaming Gorge in early morning lightFlaming Gorge in early morning light

Two years ago I made my first journey to Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area in Utah and it was an eye opening experience. Gorgeous scenery, bountiful animal life and to be there during an Indian Summer was divine. Two years ago today the sun rose to a cloudless sky and lit up the mouth of the gorge and accentuated the deep blue water of the reservoir.

Pronghorn buck marking his territory amongst RabbitbrushPronghorn buck marking his territory amongst Rabbitbrush

But the main subject of the day? A large herd of Pronghorn being watched over by a very territorial buck. This buck had a harem of about 25 does and young pronghorn that he was very aggressive about keeping away from a lone buck interloper who kept trying to; pardon the pun, horn in on his territory. He was successful for the most part but some of the does thought the other buck was appealing and would try to escape so he stayed very busy.

Pronghorn doe with dark canyon walls behind herPronghorn doe with dark canyon walls behind her

I just liked how this Pronghorn doe seemed to glow against the dark canyon walls. She wasn’t a part of the herd with the very aggressive buck, she was several miles away from him.

Pronghorn does on a hillsidePronghorn does on a hillside

Now these does were a part of the buck’s harem that were close to our campsite at Antelope Flat and though it might look like they were paying attention to me and my long lens that was focused on them… their attention was on the lusty buck!

It is pretty cloudy this morning so I won’t be going out shooting but I can look at these images from two years ago today and still feel the warmth of an Indian Summer day at Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area.


Additional posts you might enjoy:

About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. beautiful photo’s

  2. Incredible series Mia! Love the capture of the does on the hillside!!

  3. I love the Pronghorn – but the scenery in that first photo took my breath away. The colours. The striations in the rocks. The majestic of the hills. Thank you.

  4. oh it s a very nice place, well presented with this nices pictures, thanks mia =))

  5. A lovely series.

  6. Nice light! The territory is stunning and the buck story had me smiling. I wonder how many of the females wil escape ?

  7. What a beautiful place! The pronghorn are neat looking critters. Gorgeous photos, Mia!

  8. Really enjoybale set of photographs and supporting narrative Mia. Loved the first and final shot.. The Does seem to be painted onto the image,.great contrast.. excellent ;)

  9. I love all of this; the landscape and the light; how lovely is to watch the group of pronghorns all together!

  10. Wonderful photos and story. High Country News has an interesting article about the struggles of the pronghorn at this link:

  11. I briefly visited Flaming Gorge about 15 years ago and was overwhelmed by its beauty. Just driving the road from Vernal, Utah to the gorge I saw pronghorn, elk, and a Golden Eagle perched right by the side of the road. I need to go back there!

  12. Fabulous photos! Love the buck photo.

  13. Oh me, what a brilliant photos you have taken Mia.

Comments are closed