Elk NetworkPronghorn Plummets off Cliff, Nearly Hits Climbers

General | March 6, 2020

Imagine getting ready to attempt a technical climb up a steep rock face when a pronghorn antelope comes hurtling toward you and slams into the ground from high above. That’s what happened at Hammer Flat within the Boise River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) east of Boise.

According to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) , the climbers reported hearing a “whistling sound” and looked up only to see the doe run off a cliff, fall through the air and land a mere 10 feet away, dying from a broken neck and numerous internal injuries.

So what happened? IDFG maintains dense fog is sometimes responsible for such incidents but there was no fog on this day and skies were clear. Instead, officials speculate that a dog off leash chased the animal to its death. WMA require dogs to be on a leash.

Biologists placed a collar on the antelope one year earlier as part of a seasonal movement study. Unfortunately, upon examination of the carcass, they determined the dead doe was pregnant with twin fawns.

(Photo source: Idaho Department of Fish and Game)