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UW’s Monteith Honored by Pope & Young Club for Wildlife Research

August 9, 2021
man in the woods with fawn
Kevin Monteith, a UW associate professor and Wyoming Excellence Chair, records information about two fawn mule deer temporarily captured for a research project in the Wyoming Range. Monteith received the Pope and Young Club’s Lee Gladfelter Memorial Award for making a significant contribution to wildlife conservation and bowhunting. (Tayler LaSharr Photo)

Kevin Monteith, an associate professor and Wyoming Excellence Chair in the University of Wyoming’s Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, recently received the Pope & Young Club’s Lee Gladfelter Memorial Award.

Established in 1961, the Pope & Young Club is one of North America’s leading bowhunting and conservation organizations. The award is named for Lee Gladfelter, a prominent wildlife biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and a dedicated bowhunter. The award recognizes a wildlife professional who has made a significant contribution to wildlife conservation and bowhunting.

Monteith leads a team of researchers working to better understand the ecology and associated conservation implications of most big-game species of North America. Some of the group’s work has included first-of-its kind analyses of data collected by the Pope & Young Club Records Program.

The club maintains a universally recognized repository for measurements of big-game animals harvested in North America with bow and arrow. Those data were used to address questions associated with the merits of such long-term data collected in a citizen-science fashion, and whether they can hold insight to measuring the success of conservation for big-game animals once thought to be headed toward extinction at the turn of the 20th century.

Since 2013, the Wyoming Range Mule Deer Project -- led by Monteith and his team of researchers -- has worked to answer critical questions regarding mule deer. The team’s goal is to meet the important research and management needs identified by both citizen stakeholders and those responsible for managing the deer populations -- the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. The work primarily has centered on tracking mule deer throughout their lives, while assessing their nutritional condition, movement, habitat use and survival of all age classes of mule deer.

“Through these efforts, this research team is uncovering previously unknown aspects of mule deer behavior, life history and population dynamics that have direct implications for the conservation of mule deer in the Wyoming Range and beyond,” says Neil Thagard, Pope & Young’s conservation chair. “Their discoveries are being used to inform real-world decisions made about on-the-ground management, conservation and policy while providing solutions for immediate management concerns, as well as answering foundational questions in wildlife ecology.

“This outstanding research is truly helping to bridge the gap between science and policy, and is a project that the Pope & Young Club has been a multiyear supporter of through our annual Grant-in-Aid Program.”

Thagard also notes that Monteith “is not only a great wildlife scientist, but is an avid bowhunter and talented taxidermist.”

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