Author’s note. Rudy | The Unofficial Novella is comprised of notes found stuffed in a stainless steel shoe box that floated up from what used to be frozen tundra. There will be 25 posts containing random insights into the seasonal saga. They are not in order, but will be when pigs fly.
Rudy’s second cousins in Wyoming do not posses the gift of flight, so each year they travel on hoof, 150 miles across public and private lands.
Amazing, considering the herd’s geographical route is part of their DNA passed from doe to fawn. They settled in the Leucite Hills in Wyoming’s Red Desert, long before humans followed, crossing the Bering land bridge and setting foot on the eastern portion of Beringia, now known as the tippy top of Alaska.
Humans built ranches, fences, Interstate highways, gated communities and recently, Dillie’s bedroom, in their path. The deer – given the unbecoming name of ‘Mule’ – have continued to move from summer fields to winter habitats in spite of obstacles. Click here for National Geographic’s stirring account.
Except for Rudy’s cousin Ralph’s digression into Dillie’s bedroom, their migration went undetected until 2011, when biologist, Hall Sawyer, placed tracking collars on deer that signed non-disclosure documents. National Geographic photographers got into the act. Watch the wonder.