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Pronghorn

A pronghorn stands in a field June 21, 2017, southwest of Castleford.

Pronghorn, commonly called antelope or pronghorn antelope, are relative newcomers to the Magic Valley.

In March 1946, 64 pronghorn were rounded up in the Challis area and hauled several hundred miles from Challis to the Grassy Hills area in Owyhee County, southwest of Castleford.

Boise pilot Bill Wood, in a low-flying airplane, herded the animals some 20 miles through mountainous terrain to a fenced trap manned by game officials. Once corralled, the pronghorn were loaded into two large stock trucks and driven to their destination, according to the March 11, 1946, edition of the Times-News.

The March trapping, which gathered equal numbers of bucks and does, was the second successful transplant of pronghorn in the state. Two months earlier, pronghorn were moved from Challis to the Malad area in eastern Idaho.

“Sportsmen as well as the fish and game department have long wanted an antelope herd in south-central Idaho,” State Conservation Officer Grover C. Davis told the Times-News at the time. “The herd has been placed in the finest grass area that could have been picked.”

Game officials had made several failed attempts to trap pronghorn in 1943, the article said.

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Davis said he planned to transplant pronghorn to other areas, and he expected the animal’s population to grow enough to have a pronghorn hunt within a few years.

The Challis area was then the largest pronghorn territory in southern Idaho, he said.

Mychel Matthews reports on rural issues for the Times-News. The Hidden History feature runs every Thursday in the Times-News and on Magicvalley.com. If you have a question about something that may have historical significance, email Matthews at mmatthews@magicvalley.com.

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