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Powell brewery says sipping ‘Mule Deer Pilsner’ will help support wildlife habitat

Mule deer pilsner in a can and on tap at brewery
Steve Samuelson
WYOld West Brewing Company's mule deer pilsner comes in a can and is available for distribution around the state.

Wyomingites can support mule deer conservation when they drink a new limited edition German-style pilsner brewed in Northwest Wyoming.

Steve Samuelson is part-owner of WYOld West Brewing Company. He says he hopes people get to know more about the work the Mule Deer Foundation is doing across Wyoming and get involved.

“The mule deer are near and dear to a lot of the hunters and to keep the habitat and the animal healthy is very important,” he said.

A portion of six pack and draft sales will go towards supporting the Mule Deer Foundation.

Wyoming Regional Director for the Mule Deer Foundation, Shawn Blajszczak, says proceeds will likely go towards habitat restoration in the Bighorn Basin, which could include things like removing cheatgrass and mowing shrubs.

“In the Bighorn Basin itself, we would do stuff like go through an area that has a bunch of shrubs that are big and old and they’re not producing much as far as edible stuff for mule deer, we'll go through and either mow them down into a mosaic pattern, so new stuff grows in and the new stuff that grows in will be much more palatable for deer and other animals,” he said.

According to The Wyoming Game & Fish Department, restoring habitat is key to conserving mule deer, which in recent years have faced challenges including chronic wasting disease, limited habitat due to development, and other stressors. Prior to last year’s harsh winter, wildlife officials estimated 330,000 mule deer in Wyoming, which is around 66,000 fewer animals than in 2016.

The mule deer pilsner comes in a can that is hunter orange and has a hop cone with antlers on the front. It's on tap at WYOld West’s brewery in Powell and taproom in Cody. It’s in some area grocery stores, and is available for distribution statewide.

Olivia Weitz is based at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody. She covers Yellowstone National Park, wildlife, and arts and culture throughout the region. Olivia’s work has aired on NPR and member stations across the Mountain West. She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and the Transom story workshop. In her spare time, she enjoys skiing, cooking, and going to festivals that celebrate folk art and music.
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