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Three people carry backpacks with skis on them through the sagebrush and snow along a river.

Mule Deer Science & Stories

Over the last several years, researchers in the Monteith Shop at the University of Wyoming's Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources have been studying the mule deer population that winters in western Wyoming's Green River Basin and summers throughout the Wyoming and Salt River Ranges.

Part of our mission at the Haub School is science communication—that is, putting the stories of discovery and new understanding coming out of this important research into formats that reach beyond the peer-reviewed literature to citizens of the West and the people who are working on natural resource challenges on the ground.

Now the story of one study animal from the Wyoming Range Mule Deer Project has hit the big screen. The Haub School produced a 1-hour documentary titled "Deer 139" that follows research scientist Samantha Dwinnell and her friends Tennessee Watson and Anya Tyson as they hike the 85-mile-long migration path of Deer 139, and gain new understanding about how these animals connect to a rugged and unforgiving landscape.

Our Work

Deer 139

Character from the film Deer 139 wears a backpack with skis attached and a deer costume while standing in a driveway.

"Deer 139" is on tour! The film premiered at the Banff Mountain Film Festival in Alberta on November 3, 2019, and is now part of the Banff World Tour. It has also been accepted into the No Man's Land Film Festival, the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, and the Colorado Environmental Film Festival and community partners are hosting screenings in towns around western Wyoming and beyond.

Monteith Shop

Four researchers carry a blindfolded deer through the sagebrush.

Haub School professor Kevin Monteith, research scientist Samantha Dwinnell, and students in the Monteith Shop study the effects of predation, habitat alteration, climate change, migration, disease, growth, and disturbance on Wyoming's large ungulates. Part of this research is focused on discovering why the iconic Wyoming Range mule deer population has been in decline.

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