92 Miles: Ultrarunning a Mule Deer Migration

Wildlife biologist Pat Rodgers runs the 92-mile mule deer migration for a lot of reasons. This fabulous film weaves the personal with the educational in a way that’s both moving and awe-inspiring.

Mule deer are migratory. In order to propagate, breed, and survive, the species requires space and corridors to safely move through different phases of life.

Part of Pat Rodgers’ job as a wildlife researcher is to better understand these corridors. The stressors and obstacles that mule deer currently face are not just a few.

And in order to dig into their journey, Rodgers decided to turn the route into an ultrarun to both bring awareness to the many issues mule deer face and to inform human decisions about land use and management.

But, Rodgers also battles personal loss along the way. His father — a wildlife filmmaker — supported this idea of running along the migration route, but he passed too soon to see it come to fruition. Rodgers honors that journey of personal loss against the journey of better understanding the country that mule deer travel through.

“We too often try to change places like this, instead of letting ourselves be changed,” Rodgers says along the run. “And that’s what migration is. It’s moving from a hard place where you’re suffering and struggling to somewhere better.”

If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration combined with a lot of aspiration, check out ’92 Miles’ from Cold Collaborative. It’s not one to miss.

Nicole Qualtieri
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Based in Montana, Nicole Qualtieri is GearJunkie's Hunt + Fish Editor. She also serves as a Board Director for Orion the Hunters Insititute, a non-profit promoting fair chase and hunting ethics nationwide. A DIY hunter, she comes from a non-traditional hunting background and began hunting and fishing in her 30s. She's been a voice for hunting, fishing, and conservation since 2014, when she got started working on the television show MeatEater. She's an avid horsewoman, bird dog aficionado, snowboarder, hiker/backpacker, food nerd, and all-around outdoorswoman. Find her online at @nkqualtieri.

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