Wild Burros in Sheldon NWR

I went to the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge in Northern Nevada looking for Pronghorn Antelope and wild horses. However, whenever I mentioned to people in the area that I was going there to photograph wildlife, they’d say, “Oh, you’re going to take pictures of the wild Burros.” Strangely, it was not one of the animals featured in the online guide to the refuge. It turns out, that except for a few coyotes and deer, Burros were all I saw there — and I was perfectly happy.

I knew when I took this picture that I was looking at Wild Burros. There didn’t seem to be a person with fifty miles, and not a building or fence in sight. In fact, I’m not sure this isn’t precisely how wild Burros should be seen,

Burros at Sheldon NWR

because it puts them in the kind of environment that they survive in, at least when you see it in a larger scale.

Actually, I felt pretty lucky to see them in my first visit because I never saw any Pronghorn Antelope or Wild horses. A little further down the road, though I managed to see them much closer, just a little ways off like this one,

Wild Burro

and up close and personal when I had to wait for this one to cross the road in front of me.

Wild Burro

They might have been wild, but they certainly weren’t afraid of people, which is more than I can say for this coyote

Coyote Running From Hunters

that went running past me. It was running from a truck coming up the hill, though I’m not sure the hunters in the truck ever saw it. After I saw another coyote across a valley take off when it saw me, I decided that hunters must be shooting at them because the coyotes in Malheur never seemed that frightened.

This adventure reminded me of a long-ago trek to Alaska. Both were wild and isolated, and greatest fear was running out of gas. I carried a 5-gallon tank of gas inside the car, even though I didn’t like doing so. On my way out, I ran into a truck driver who had been stranded for over 12 hours and had seen only one other driver in that time. He had multiple communication devices and none of them worked out there. It’s not the kind of place where you want something to go wrong, but, of course, that’s also part of its appeal.

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