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Wildlife Biologist Tells Story Of Mule Deer Doe's Record-Breaking Migration

The doe traveled 92 miles farther than the longest mule deer migration route known.
Wyoming Migration Initiative
The doe traveled 92 miles farther than the longest mule deer migration route known.

The longest mule deer migration route weaves across much of western Wyoming. Twice a year, deer travel 150 miles from the Red Desert over the Wyoming Range to Hoback Junction near Jackson. But in 2016, wildlife biologists tracked one doe—#255—trekking that distance plus an extra 92 miles, all the way into Idaho. Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards sat down with the Wyoming Migration Initiative’s Director Matt Kauffman to hear the twists and turns of Doe #255’s epic journey. The question is, have scientists discovered a new migration route or is #255 just super spunky?

Side Note...#255 isn't the only deer in the limelight. Deer #139 is the focus of a film co-produced by reporter Tennessee Watson and sponsored by Wyoming Public Media. Next week, Tennessee leaves on a backcountry quest, lead by UW scientist Sam Dwinnell, to follow the exact migratory path of #139. This 85-mile adventure requires lots of bushwhacking, pack rafting, and some epic spring skiing. For more information, visit deer139film.org.

Melodie Edwards is the host and producer of WPM's award-winning podcast The Modern West. Her Ghost Town(ing) series looks at rural despair and resilience through the lens of her hometown of Walden, Colorado. She has been a radio reporter at WPM since 2013, covering topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture.
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