Caribou hunting in Alaska takes planning and experience. Count on Alaska Bush Adventures years of experience in big game hunting for Alaska caribou. With long main beamed antlers that are massive and impressive along with their white manes they are remarkable in appearance and will make a great trophy for life.. See our VIDEO.
Alaskan Caribou are the nomads of the far North and are constantly on the move to find new feeding areas with new sources of nourishment. The herd's movement can be far and wide and unpredictable at times. Good bulls are available and Alaska Caribou populations appear to be increasing again our guide areas. With long main beamed antlers that are massive and impressive along with their white manes they are remarkable in appearance and will make a great trophy for life.
Calving areas are usually located in alpine mountain meadows and open areas. Alaska Caribou tend to calve in the same general areas year after year, but migration routes used for many years may suddenly be abandoned in favor of movements to new areas with more food. Caribou movements can be triggered by changing weather conditions, such as the onset of cold weather or snowstorms or by decades of heavy hunting and constant harassment of airplanes from Air Charters, scouting for places to drop off potential hunters. Once they decide to migrate, Alaska Caribou can travel many miles in a day. Unfortunately it now has become a necessary to invest in getting farther away from the urban cities to find the Caribou herds in larger numbers than in the past.
The majestic trophy Alaska Bull Caribou range throughout the northern arctic tundra, mountain tundra and alpine mountain ranges in Alaska. Alaska Caribou in our great state are distributed through out the wilderness in over 30 different herds and ranges. As fall progresses different Alaskan Caribou herds may mix together on ranges into the Winter until Spring arrives, when they will split up into smaller groups and travel to their traditional caving grounds.
Alaska Caribou have large, concave hoofs that spread widely to support the animal in snow, wet bogs and soft tundra. Alaska Caribou are strong swimmers and their feet are very useful as paddles when crossing rivers and lakes. Alaska Caribou are the only member of the deer family in which both males and females grow antlers. The antlers of adult bulls are large and massive. The antlers of cows are a stunted version of the bulls and are slender and irregular in shape. As late fall comes so does the change of a Alaska Bull Caribou's color from mostly brown to a white necked mane with a whiter rump, white feet leggings and white body side stripes. The weight of adult bulls average 300 to 350 pounds or more. Alaskan Caribou in Northern Alaska are generally smaller than Alaska Caribou in the Interior and in Southern parts of the state.
Calving occurs in mid to late May in Interior Alaska and in early June in Northern and Southwestern Alaska. After calving, Alaskan Caribou stay in post calving groups to help avoid predators. Alaska Caribou stay in the high mountains and around snow packs, where the wind and cool temperatures protect them from summer heat and insects such as mosquitoes, gnats, white socks and warble flies.
After cooler temperatures arrive in August, Alaskan Caribou spread out and feed heavily on new willow growth, grasses, sedges and lichens, called reindeer moss, to regain body weight for the Winter.
Velvet on Alaskan Caribou antlers is rubbed off and they acquire a dark brown polish in late August and early September. It is after this period of time that large bulls approach the beginning of rutting season and the start of fall migrations. Mature bulls add thick fat deposits on the back and rump, which is used to provide greatly needed energy during the rut and into winter. Sparring and fighting begins mid to late September, depending on the onset of cooler temperatures. As the fall progresses the rut approaches it peak in late September and early October. When Alaskan Caribou bulls are deep into the rut the meat becomes almost impossible to eat as hormones spread thought out his body and the meat has a foul taste. The large bulls shed their antlers in late October / November, but smaller bulls and non-pregnant cows may not shed their antlers until early Spring. Pregnant females usually retain their antlers until calving in late May or early June.
Each fall Alaskan hunters and non-residents alike harvest over 20,000 Alaskan Caribou each year for food and trophies.
A popular way to hunt Barren Ground Caribou is to combine it with a hunt of one or more species such as Alaska Moose, Alaska Brown Bear, Alaska Grizzly and Alaska Black Bear. Other Alaska big game animals inhabit the same areas and many good and challenging multi species hunts have been successful in the past. We have comfortable base camps established along a series of clear freshwater rivers in Western Alaska to base our hunts from. With the use of our outboard Jet boats, 8 wheel drive Argos, 4x4 ATV's and Super Cub airplane we can hunt for the Alaskan Caribou in the surrounding mountains and valleys. All of your personal gear (70 lbs.) is flown to base camp where we stage your choice of hunt. If you choose to hunt with the use of the Super Cub airplane your gear limit must be dropped down to 50 lbs, including your rifle because of weight and space constraints. All of these types of hunts can be very exciting, highly successful and an enjoyable experience in Alaska's great wilderness bush country.
You will want to be in good shape to have a more successful and enjoyable trip. At our base camps we have large wall tents for dinning and common use with wood stoves for heat and propane burners for cooking. There are generators for power, hot showers, outhouse toilets and sleeping quarters with cots. In these camps we have satellite phones for communications with each other and emergency use. The Guides also carry video cameras to capture your hunt and daily activities for you to have forever to remember your Alaskan hunt.
By using the Jon boats with outboard jet motors on them we can travel up or down rivers for miles to hunt and get into many of the smaller streams that feed the main rivers. From here we can use spike camps when hunting, or we may return to the base camp every night. This is can be very productive, as other hunters cannot fly along the river and land where we are hunting with our jet boats. This allows access to remote areas where mature animals inhabit that cannot be reached any other way. We are the only Guide/Outfitter in this region that operates on these many rivers and streams. Give us 6 inches of water and a chain saw to cut through old logjams and we can get to places never hunted before. Besides using Jet boats we may access the uplands by Piper Cub airplanes, Argos or 4x4 ATV's. This way we can glass and hunt the higher mountain valleys, alpine meadows and open country for Alaska Moose, Alaska Caribou, Alaska Brown Bear, Alaska Grizzly and Alaska Black Bears. With our Guides many years of experience in Moose calling, raking, glassing and knowledge of their habits, we can give you an edge on getting your Alaskan Moose. You can also enjoy excellent Sport Fishing during this hunt for Alaska Rainbow Trout, Alaska Arctic Grayling, Alaska (Char) Dolly Varden, Alaska Burbot, Alaska Northern Pike, Alaska Sockeye and Alaska Silver Salmon on the clear water rivers we hunt.
Beside myself as an Alaskan Master Guide/Outfitter, our guiding crew consists of my Son, Ryan Krank and Roy A. both with Registered Guide and Outfitter licenses along with well seasoned assistant guides who have been part our team since the late 80's and early 90's.
Our River Base camps offer our most comfortable accommodations and offer one a great chance for harvesting Alaska Moose, Alaska Brown Bear, Alaska Grizzly Bear, Alaska Caribou and Alaska Black Bear without having to do the more strenuous type of spike camp hunting. You still need to be in good shape to have a more successful and enjoyable trip. At these camps we have large wall tents for dinning and common use with wood stoves for heat and propane burners for cooking. There are generators for power, hot showers, outhouse toilets and sleeping quarters with cots. In these camps we have satellite phones for communications with each other and emergency use. The Guides also carry video cameras to capture your hunt and daily activities for you to have forever to remember your Alaskan hunt.
We offer many different guided fall and spring Alaska Brown Bear and Alaska Grizzly Bear hunting trips.
Thank you, Master Alaskan Guide/Outfitter Hugh Les Krank and Registered Guide/Outfitter Ryan L. Krank.