Caribou Trails

caribou-0053This was my first view of caribou in the wild. We spotted these just outside Arctic Village. Arctic is north of our home at the very foot of the Brooks Mountains. Caribou are migratory creatures but they do not travel through the area around Fort Yukon. They prefer the higher latitudes along the Brooks. The caribou, like moose, are essential to the Gwich’in subsistance way of life. Isn’t it interesting how they travel single file and cut distinct trails through the snow? And see the nodes, or big pits, along the trails in the upper portion of the picture? That is where they lay down to rest. I have eaten caribou dry meat and it is very tasty. I prefer it over moose. My students have also shared caribou marrow with me. It was smooth & creamy like soft butter.


4 thoughts on “Caribou Trails

  1. I prefer raindeer over moose, always. You saw this from a plane, Dave? It always make my heart jump, I love these animals, but as you say, the prefer the high mountains. Are they hunted? By the way, they travel single file if they can to save energy, since there is very little food in winter. I see they have gone to were there is less snow to look for something to eat…

    • Yes, from the small plane that carries around the Interior. I have only seen one up close in captivity. And yes, they are hunted; both caribou and moose are a staple of the Gwich’in diet for most villagers. We do not domesticate them here.

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