Google Real Alaskan Adventures in the Wild of Alaska: Caribou-They Appear to Be Dumb!

Caribou-They Appear to Be Dumb!

Caribou seem pretty Dumb

When Brown Bear or Moose hunting in the high country you come across a lot of Caribou. At first, they appear pretty dumb, that's because many of them in the Bush have just not encountered that many hunters in their lifespan. I have seen wolves follow the herd and the wolves can get pretty close(100 yards)  and the herd, although aware of their presence, don't panic yet. They know at that distance they can outrun the pack. If the wolves range narrows much less than that the herd is off and running!

It's common knowledge in Alaska that most anyone can get their Caribou meat-including our neighbor Sarah Palin! They are indeed the easiest species of game meat to acquire here. What makes our Caribou appear so dumb is the fact that like all deer, they are curious-it's that simple!

Alaska has about 32 different herds totaling about 950,000. To see these herds of thousands is something to behold and it is because of our vast amounts of open land we have here. 

Being fortunate to witness this many times over the years makes me thankful that we still have this much vast and wild country available. It is one of the reasons I came to Alaska over 35 years ago.

Alaskans harvest about 23,000 Caribou a year and they also sustain our increasing numbers of wolves and bears. Without these vast numbers of Caribou we would NOT have the population of wolves we do. In the spring and summer Caribou favor the higher ground as there are more breezes associated with these areas and the mosquito's are less of a nuisance. 

Interestingly, Caribou are the only deer species where both the cows and the bulls have antlers. The average bull Caribou will weigh between 350-400 lbs.