Dec 22, 2022
Artemis is revisiting one of its most popular series ever: A deep dive into ungulate biology with the scientists of the Montieth Shop. Mule deer are remarkably faithful to the geographies they were raised in... until they're not. Ungulate ecologist Rhiannon Jakopak talks with us about rogue individuals, migration fidelity, the rose petal hypothesis, and more. Plus, the emotions of harvesting your first animal (slash ANY animal).
4:00 From vegetarianism to wildlife science to becoming a hunter with your sci-pals in tow
6:00 Taking a life... you process it while you're literally processing it. The complicated feelings are normal; they don't need to go away
12:00 Those hunting mentors who make you feel encouraged, not pressured
14:00 A first-time mule deer harvest: Watching an individual deer for weeks before getting a shot on it at 28 yards.... and just like that, a life is changed
17:00 Knowing your local mule deer as individuals... so much so that you recognize certain animals in friends' harvest photos
19:00 Transition from bow- to rifle-hunting... there's a different feel to the hunt
23:00 The Rose Petal Hypothesis - this idea that female deer establish home ranges that are adjacent to and overlapping those of the female parent and sisters in a manner that looks like the petals unfolding on a rose
24:00 Mule deer have high fidelity (faithfulness to preferred geographies) and philopatry (those places near where they were born/reared)
28:00 Because of high site fidelity/philopatry, mule deer are especially slow to fill habitat vacuums... if we inadvertently remove them from a landscape, it can take a long time for new deer to show up
31:00 Combining knowledge from the science world with the place-based experience of hunters, ranchers, and other intimate land users
32:00 Rogue deer do colonize new habitats! They completely buck the fidelity/philopatry pattern, especially with their winter range
36:00 The first year of an animal's life is crucial for establishing the behaviors that'll govern behavior later on - rogue deer go rogue as yearlings
39:00 Mule deer have generally low fawn survival... but they also typically have two fawns per year
41:00 Scientist #facepalm: when all 50 collared fawns in your study die
45:00 Why is it so fun to pick on bird people? Jokes aside, they have some SOLID science on taught vs. inherent migration
48:00 Do relatively common species lose their mystique for us? Heck no. Next time you see a deer on the side of the highway, ask yourself how many mountain ranges it crossed in the past year
52:00 Those big antlers on your buck? They're a symbol of an intelligent species on healthy, connected habitat... be reverent, everyone!
57:00 How do we tell compelling science stories?
1:02 We're in an unprecedented era of everyone caring how we communicate/reach each other
1:06 The good news: Everyone cares about mule deer. The bad news: We disagree what's going on with them
1:08 Scientists as arbiters of information for policymakers