Myth Busting, South Dakota Style

It’s always fun to get a cover.

Whether it’s a brochure cover, website front page or the cover of a major agricultural magazine, it’s a good feeling to know that your image was the editor’s best option.

South Dakota Magazine covers are a particular favorite of mine. I like the magazine a lot, and they do a great job. Over the years, I’ve been honored to have several covers; some of them tied to inside stories and some just to illustrate South Dakota in general. The current issue (below) shows an antelope jumping over a barbed wire fence.

Now, to most people, that may not seem all that unusual. It really didn’t strike me as something unique when I snapped the photo before sunrise on Mike and Lori Norman’s Stanley County ranch last spring. I was waiting on their remote meandering driveway to see what the sunrise would do to the foggy morning, and a pair of pronghorn antelope headed down the road toward me. (NOTE: “Driveways” in this part of the world can be several miles long). The pair simply turned in front of me, shot over the fence, and went on their way to presumably greener pastures.

Supposedly, antelope don’t jump fences. At least that was the myth that was busted by my photo of this guy taking flight. I’ve seen dozens of them scurry underneath fences, but when I searched my memory banks, I realized that I had never seen one leap over the top. So when editor Katie Hunhoff started looking through my antelope photos this winter, this one rose to the top to illustrate a story on busted South Dakota myths.

By my count, this is my 13th cover for the magazine. I hope there are at least 13 more!