HOME RANGE: They live on the tundra and adjacent forest. The distribution for the barren ground caribou is as follows. Alaska: Most of the state. Yukon: North of the Stewart River and, from the junction of the Stewart and Yukon rivers, north of the Yukon River. Northwest Territories (NWT): North of latitude 66°N and west of the Mackenzie River.
ANIMAL SUMMARY: This caribou is found in Alaska and the northern Yukon and is large and dark-colored. Those from the Alaska Peninsula are somewhat smaller and lighter in color, with the antler beams widely spread and curving sharply forward. Late season bulls have startlingly white necks and manes. Mature bulls weigh 400-500 pounds, with those from the Alaska Peninsula being somewhat smaller.
BEHAVIOR: Barren ground caribou are migratory, with historical migration routes that often cover hundreds of miles. Biologists have separated various populations into so-called herds based on these migration routes. A herd may contain more than 100,000 animals that will cover hundreds, even thousands, of square miles at any given time. Named herds include the Adak, Alaska Peninsula, Beaver, Chisana, Delta, Fortymile, Kenai, Mentasta, Mt. McKinley, Mulchatna, Nelchina, Porcupine, and Western Arctic. During the summer months, caribou will be scattered and fairly resident in a given region. As autumn approaches, they band together into increasingly larger groups and begin their migration to winter pastures. They are on the move constantly during migration, feeding as they go and generally heading into the prevailing wind. Wolf packs are a part of the migration, following the herds and living off them.
Super Ten®/Super Slam®: Information found here contains excerpts from the on-line and printed version of Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book of Trophy Animals and is used by permission. Visit www.scirecordbook.org.
Barren Ground Caribou Range in North America: The map above is used by permission from the on-line Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book of Trophy Animals. Visit www.scirecordbook.org.