GREEN RIVER— Researchers with the University of Wyoming are continuing to capture and study mule deer near Superior, Wyo. as part of the Red Desert to Hoback Migration Project.
“These captures will take place during the peak of the elk rut and in Elk Hunt Area 100,” said Mark Zornes Green River Wildlife Management Coordinator. “The pilot will be specifically briefed about avoiding parked vehicles and hunting camps, so they will not interrupt an archery elk hunter. We are notifying people early-on that researchers will be using a helicopter to complete these important mule deer captures.”
“We are planning a two-day deer capture near Superior on September 26 and 27,” said Anna Ortega, graduate student and project lead from UW. “The Sublette Mule Deer Herd spends the winter in the Red Desert, east of Rock Springs. This unique herd exhibits three migratory behaviors, including long-distance migration (~150 miles), medium-distance (~70 miles), and short-distance migration (<30 miles). Although these different types of migration have been observed for several years, little is known about the costs or benefits associated with each migratory strategy and how a diversity of migration behaviors may benefit productivity of the overall herd. For the past two years, only one collared medium-distance migrant has arrived in the Red Desert before September 26th. Our goal is to capture 40 new adult female mule deer in the Red Desert on September 26th to increase our odds of collaring only residents or short-distance migrants.”
This research is a collaborative effort between the University of Wyoming, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and the Bureau of Land Management. Results of this work will have applied benefits for conserving mule deer migration and advancing the management of mule deer herds across Wyoming and the American West. For questions or concerns please call the Green River Game and Fish Region Office at 307-875-3223.