Do You Have What it Takes ... Caribou Tracking

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

There are about 5 million caribou distributed throughout the world, and an impressive number inhabit Alaska's interior. This quiz will help you discover if you've got what it takes to identify and track this beautiful (and delicious) game animal.

When you've got a caribou with antlers in your sights, are you looking at a male or a female?

Actually, you may be admiring either a male or female. Caribou is the only deer species (Cervidae) in which antlers are an equal opportunity physical feature. In males, antlers will be larger than in females, though. Male antlers are sometimes massive and are typically more evenly distributed and thicker than in females.


Is caribou another name for reindeer?

Yes. What Alaskans call caribou, Europeans refer to as reindeer.


In Alaska, what's the caribou's most aggressive natural predator?

Although caribou is hunted by a number of species, including man, its most effective natural predator is the gray wolf. Golden eagles come in close second for their aerial effectiveness at killing newborn calves.


About how many wild caribou are there in Alaska?

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game puts the number at 900,000 in 32 separate herds.


Are caribou shy and retiring or bold and territorial?

Caribou are very shy and travel in herds. They prefer a clear view of anything that may be approaching and spend all but the coldest winter months in the open, treeless tundra.


How much does an average adult caribou buck weigh?

Although there have been recorded cases of bucks weighing as much as 700 pounds, an average adult male caribou weighs in at 350 to 400 pounds, and adult females weigh from 175 to 225 pounds.


While you're tracking Alaskan caribou, what other popular game animals might you see?

While navigating the frozen tundra, look for brown bear, bison, moose and Dall sheep. Although you may also see a grisley bear or two, and mountain goats are common at higher elevations, you won't be seeing wild turkey or bighorn sheep.


Caribou hunting is a big tourist draw in Alaska. If you're scheduling a trip, in what season will you be traveling?

Caribou season occurs in late summer and fall, typically from late August to early November.


Which of the locations below are not open for caribou hunting?

National parks and monuments are not open for hunting in Alaska. With some restrictions, Alaskan state parks, private lands and military lands are all open to avid huntsmen.


Caribou have seasonal migratory habits. What triggers a change of residence?

Caribou migrate when the weather starts to change. A herd may cover up to 50 miles a day, and although caribou can change their routes, they typically return to the same locations year after year.


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