Cover art

Bibliographic Information
Title: Touching the Wild, Living with the Mule Deer of Deadman’s Gulch
Author: Joe Hutto
ISBN:Hardcopy: 978-1-62636-213-0
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Copyright: 2014

Book Details
Formats: Hardcover
Page Count: 306

Plot Summary
This book describes a seven-year period of living with a herd of mule deer in the Wind River Range of Wyoming. Joe Hutto has spent his life seeking out wild creatures. “I am compelled to seek out and explore the lives of other creatures — not to know simply what these animals are biologically but, more interestingly, to know who they are and how their biological affiliation, as a member of a species, instructs them as individuals.” (preface p vii) Hutto works to maintain a balance between science and sentiment, while being an advocate for whatever species he is focused on. The book describes individual members of this herd, provides more generalized information about mule deer, and tells about the ever growing hardships of these mules deer in the wild.

Critical Evaluation
Joe Hutto once again delivers a compelling read of our biological word that most of only catch a glimpse of from the roadside. His daily patience in becoming a member of the herd is delivered to readers in personal stories. We too learn the details of his experience – as if we too were there to meet these deer. He brings nature to every individual in very tangible and touching ways.

Reader’s Annotation
Touching the Wild is an introduction to a mule deer herd living in the Wind River Range of Wyoming. Joe Hutto works to build trust with this mule deer herd, identifying members as individuals and sharing his experiences through as a compelling read.

Information about the Author
Joe Hutto has a long history as an observer of nature and author. He is the author of two previous books: Illumination in the Flatwoods, about a group of wild turkeys that imprinted on him, which received very positive reviews and The Light In High Places: A Naturalist Looks at Wyoming Wilderness–Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, Cowboys, and Other Rare Species, nearly as well received. Joe Hutto is a gifted naturalist and writer. We have the luxury of fast forwarding over years of time he sat waiting when we read his books, but the time he spent is always delivered to us in a very worthwhile way as we too see and experience what he does.

Nonfiction: Mule Deer Behavior

Curriculum Ties

Booktalking ideas
The Science of Ethology
Wildlife Management
Wyoming Geography and Wildlife

Reading Level/Interest Age
Interest Level: 14-18+
Reading Level: unknown

Challenge Issues
None anticipated

My Life as a Turkey, Emmy award-winning documentary film.
Touching the Wild, PBS documentary
Illumination in the Flatlands.
Movie Trailer:


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