CASPER, Wyo. — The University of Wyoming said on Wednesday that a new documentary called “92 Miles: A Migration Story” features UW Associate Research Scientist Patrick Rodgers’ run along a mule deer migration route.
Rodgers, a Casper native, follows the migration route of one of the animals he studies and “faces the grief of losing his father, Neil, to cancer” in the documentary, according to UW. The documentary was released Wednesday and is available online.
“Migration is a journey of risk and suffering: dodging semis on perilous highways, tearing ligaments in barbed-wire fences, or searching for food while trying to avoid becoming food for a hungry mountain lion,” Rodgers said in UW’s announcement. “Indeed, life is fleeting. Yet, through it all, mule deer seem to possess a transcendental ability to keep their heads up and keep moving, as if their lives depend on it — which they do.”
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“My dad finished his life’s race Dec. 15, 2017. His life inside of me was a huge reason I kept my head up and finished those long 92 miles. Loss is an inescapable part of life’s grand migration and, without a doubt, I will have to grapple with that reality for the rest of my life. Yet, as I navigate this beautiful life, at least I know I’m not alone.”
The film was shot and produced by UW alumnus Benjamin Krashaar. It was produced by Cold Collaborative and is sponsored by YETI and Sitka.
“The documentary started as an idea to give audiences an on-the-ground perspective of mule deer migration through the lens of long-distance running,” UW says. “The film details Rodgers’ journey through grief and the challenges of running 92 miles along a deer migration route in southern Wyoming and northern Colorado in 2018.”
“Along the way, audiences will learn about the science of migrations and the challenges migratory deer face. The half-hour film details the importance of wild, connected landscapes for humans and wildlife alike.”
Rodgers graduated from UW with a zoology degree in 2014 before completing his master’s degree in zoology in May 2020.
“He received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship for his research into the differences in migratory behavior of male and female mule deer, which involved capturing and outfitting 95 buck mule deer with satellite collars near Baggs to track their movements in comparison with does,” UW adds.