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Special film on migration of mule deer to take place Friday in Etna

There will be a special film on the migration pattern of mule deer that will be featured at the Star Valley Community Center in Etna on Friday at 6:00 PM.

The film is called Deer 139. It is all about three women tracking a doe and following its winter to summer migration pattern. The film’s website says the trail was 85 miles in all.

Wildlife Biologist Gary Fralick says this film is a result of the Wyoming Range Mule Deer Project which came as a result of concern for the species’ population in the state in 2007.

“In the process of all this a film was made,” Fralick said. “It’s going to get international exposure because it is going to be featured in the Banff Mountain International Wildlife Film Festival.”

Fralick says one of the graduate students that assisted in the project, Samantha Dwinnell, became interested in tracking one GPS collared doe. Following its path in its winter range in La Barge to its summer range just east of Etna in the Salt River Range.

“We are absolutely delighted to bring this research to this research, this aspect of unprecedented mule deer work right here in Star Valley,” Fralick said. “We think it’s going to be shown in such a way and gain continued public support as it proceeds through the showings.”

Fralick says this research is important because it shows how far the mule deer travel in its migration in the Greys River in the Wyoming Range.

“I think the exposure that we are bringing with this film is the importance of mule deer in the area,” Fralick said. “But it shows the durability and how resilient mule deer can be.”

He says through the tracking they were able to see that this specific doe and other mule deer come off winter ranges in very poor condition. Many does are pregnant and then have long distances to travel to get to its summer ranges to give birth.

He says the film will show the terrain and all the mule deer goes through to migrate. Fralick also says it shows the passion these three women have in the movie to track this doe the entire 85 miles.

Though the program starts at 6 PM, the doors will open at 5:30 PM.