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Thread: Caribou

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    Default Caribou

    Hi all. Just curious to get some information about caribou, si I had 3 questions.
    1) What area (feel free to mention towns or just the regions) are you most likely to see caribou, letīs say, in the center of town or in your front yard in a neighborhood that is not remote? (excluding the Far North)
    2) And what areas are good for viewing caribou herds migrating? (excluding the Far North)
    3) Lastly, do caribou herds in the Kenai Peninsula actually migrate to the far north, or do they migrate elsewhere or just stay in the same region?

    Thanks :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by flopitdown View Post
    Hi all. Just curious to get some information about caribou, si I had 3 questions.
    1) What area (feel free to mention towns or just the regions) are you most likely to see caribou, letīs say, in the center of town or in your front yard in a neighborhood that is not remote? (excluding the Far North)
    2) And what areas are good for viewing caribou herds migrating? (excluding the Far North)
    3) Lastly, do caribou herds in the Kenai Peninsula actually migrate to the far north, or do they migrate elsewhere or just stay in the same region?

    Thanks :)

    All you need to do is....... Google, -[Caribou in Alaska]- it will answer all your questions, and then some.
    TG
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    Quote Originally Posted by The German View Post
    All you need to do is....... Google, -[Caribou in Alaska]- it will answer all your questions, and then some.
    TG

    Thanks. Unfortunately I tried this, as well as tried looking it up in youtube videos. In youtube videos I saw caribou walking in the centers but had no idea which towns these were or if it was normal or not.
    I found no mention in google of which towns caribou appear in regularly, only that someone mentioned in the forum last week they are often seen on a roadway in the kenai peninsula.
    I also did not find in google where you are most likely to see caribou in your yard if you do not live remote.
    So I was hoping to get more information from someone who has had or has the experience and to share it with me. Google doesnīt always give exact or accurate answers to questions.
    Google basically told me what regions are best to view caribou from, which doesnīt really help as it was geared more towards tourists or being broad with their answers (Denali National Park and Kenai Peninsula were 2 of their answers).

    As far as caribou in the Kenai Peninsula migrating, it said the lowland herds migrate to the Kenai River Flats. Being that Iīm not from the area, I do not know where exactly the Lowlands are and what it means with the Kenai River Flats.
    I find the Kenai River in alaska maps, donīt see anything about lowlands and not sure if the kenai river flats just means at the kenai river or somewhere behind it or further away from the river.

    Thanks again.

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    The problem with Caribou is they tend to move a lot and a long way. So you could have 500 standing around you for two days and then they are gone and don't return for a year. Denali Highway region has a lot of Caribou moving around your chances of seeing them would be greater there. The other thing is they can change the migration route and you may not see them back for 15 Years. I see one or two Caribou most every summer in Kenai area, but I don't live in that area so not sure just how much they travel. You may get lucky and find a place that has some resident Caribou but I would not count on seeing them year round. Alpine Creek Lodge on Facebook has some great pics, and is worth a visit.
    DENNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by boneguy View Post
    The problem with Caribou is they tend to move a lot and a long way. So you could have 500 standing around you for two days and then they are gone and don't return for a year. Denali Highway region has a lot of Caribou moving around your chances of seeing them would be greater there. The other thing is they can change the migration route and you may not see them back for 15 Years. I see one or two Caribou most every summer in Kenai area, but I don't live in that area so not sure just how much they travel. You may get lucky and find a place that has some resident Caribou but I would not count on seeing them year round. Alpine Creek Lodge on Facebook has some great pics, and is worth a visit.
    DENNY

    Excellent Denny, this is what I love to hear. That is stuff I could not know not living there :) Thanks.

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    Just a 1.5 hour drive from Fairbanks you will guarantee see them in Delta Junction all winter. But not in the summer. A large number of them winter pretty much on the highway. Wont see a "migration" but will see them.
    Trying to play enough to make working for the money all worth it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kmagers View Post
    Just a 1.5 hour drive from Fairbanks you will guarantee see them in Delta Junction all winter. But not in the summer. A large number of them winter pretty much on the highway. Wont see a "migration" but will see them.

    Interesting. I didnīt realize many spent time on the highway during winter in that area. I would have thought the ones there would have migrated north. But thatīs why I ask, i am clueless about this, Thanks :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by flopitdown View Post
    Interesting. I didnīt realize many spent time on the highway during winter in that area. I would have thought the ones there would have migrated north. But thatīs why I ask, i am clueless about this, Thanks :)
    It sounds like the confusion you have is based on the idea that the caribou migrate north. That really isn't all that common, at least not in Alaska. Many caribou herds tend to stay pretty close to the same area year-round, such as the Kenai Mountains caribou. They don't migrate any more than maybe heading higher in the hills for periods of time. Other herds like the Nelchina herd do a more east/west migration, heading toward Canada in the winter to their calving grounds, then back to interior Alaska around the Denali Highway in the mid-late summer. Some of the caribou further north tend to head north to the coast line more in the summer to get where there is more wind to help reduce the bug problems.

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    There are caribou around Cantwell year round, and depending on where you lived, you possibly could see one from your house on occasion. Seeing a migration anywhere near any town isn’t going to happen though, with the possible exception of Paxson. Paxson is a town in name only - the last restaurant closed years ago and there are no other services.

    You might see a caribou now and then if you live in Kenai, but it will be a few at a time and definitely not a migration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier View Post
    It sounds like the confusion you have is based on the idea that the caribou migrate north. That really isn't all that common, at least not in Alaska. Many caribou herds tend to stay pretty close to the same area year-round, such as the Kenai Mountains caribou. They don't migrate any more than maybe heading higher in the hills for periods of time. Other herds like the Nelchina herd do a more east/west migration, heading toward Canada in the winter to their calving grounds, then back to interior Alaska around the Denali Highway in the mid-late summer. Some of the caribou further north tend to head north to the coast line more in the summer to get where there is more wind to help reduce the bug problems.

    Yes, exactly, it just made sense to me thinking they all head North. Okay, so I understand better now, depending on where they are located, some head into the hills and some go in different directions, depending. Thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    There are caribou around Cantwell year round, and depending on where you lived, you possibly could see one from your house on occasion. Seeing a migration anywhere near any town isn’t going to happen though, with the possible exception of Paxson. Paxson is a town in name only - the last restaurant closed years ago and there are no other services.

    You might see a caribou now and then if you live in Kenai, but it will be a few at a time and definitely not a migration.

    Thanks, I guess I meant a few in town or around where people live.
    From what I understand at certain times of the year there are areas people view the caribou migrating, I found this in google.
    The thing that makes it tricky is I found 2 or 3 youtube videos where I saw caribou walking in town (one time 1 and 1 time 4 of them). I thought it was in kenai, so I thought maybe kenai has that happen more often, than say, Soldotna or Cantwell or Healy. mainly because I do not find any videos of caribou in those towns. That is why it is hard to find info on this, hence why I bother everyone here ;)

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    Quote Originally Posted by flopitdown View Post
    As far as caribou in the Kenai Peninsula migrating, it said the lowland herds migrate to the Kenai River Flats. Being that Iīm not from the area, I do not know where exactly the Lowlands are and what it means with the Kenai River Flats.
    I find the Kenai River in alaska maps, donīt see anything about lowlands and not sure if the kenai river flats just means at the kenai river or somewhere behind it or further away from the river. Thanks again.

    As far as the Kenai caribou go, there are basically three main areas that hold them, and they pretty much stick to wandering around these same areas all the time. Two sperate areas are in the Kenai mountains. One of these being in the mountains between Skilak and Tustumena lakes, with some animals venturing a little further south above Tustumena. On the other side of the highway, it's between Cooper Landing and Hope. These animals are pretty much inaccessible to caribou unless you hike up to them as they stay up high. These areas do however comprise the most caribou on the Kenai. When I was hunting or guiding for sheep I'd often run into groups of 30 to 50+ animals at a time. The last area/s that hold caribou is what we call the "flatland" caribou. These are animals that generally wander between north Kenai all the way down to around Kasilof. These are the caribou that people have mentioned that you may see grazing along the highway. Years ago F&G actually gave out a couple permits to hunt the flatland caribou in the north Kenai area, but that ended a long time ago when the population plummeted do to wolves and wild dogs and really has never regained. Flatland caribou have actually been seen from peoples homes but it's only by chance and will be very few and far between if ever again. A year ago this November my daughter managed to take a photo of a decent lone bull dodging traffic in downtown Soldotna. She actually saw it from her place of work as she was leaving and followed it to the highway. The main areas to (possibly) see a few animals from the flatland herd would be out Marathon road in Kenai, the highway south of Soldotna, Kalifornski (K-Beach) road between Kenai and Kasilof, and Bridge Access road out of Kenai which is the area known as the Kenai river flats.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by flopitdown View Post
    I thought it was in kenai, so I thought maybe kenai has that happen more often, than say, Soldotna or Cantwell or Healy. mainly because I do not find any videos of caribou in those towns. That is why it is hard to find info on this, hence why I bother everyone here ;)
    It could have very well been in Kenai. As I mentioned, probably the best place to get a chance to see caribou would be from Bridge Access rd. out of Kenai. That is probably one of the most active areas to see caribou by tourists in the summer. Understand though that these usually are only sightings of a handful of animals at a time. Your best chance on seeing large quantities of caribou would be up north in the interior. The Denali Hwy is a 100 mile long road where the possibility to see hundreds, if not a thousand head of caribou could happen. It's all about timing. Here today, gone tomorrow.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Back in the early 70's James E Hemming in the ADF&G put together a Wildlife Technical bulletin 1 on the Movement patterns of Caribou in Alaska. I'm not exactly sure how I came to have a copy. I came to the mainland of Alaska compliments of the U.S. Navy and made the rounds of the Extension Office looking for gardening advice, as well as the ADF&G looking for information on Alaskan Wildlife. I don't know if this Technical bulletin is still available or not, or a more updated version is available. I know several caribou herds have shifted their primary migration route or pattern since This Bulletin was printed. you might contact the ADF&G on-line to inquire. If not, I'd loan you my copy, you pay the postage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post

    As far as the Kenai caribou go, there are basically three main areas that hold them, and they pretty much stick to wandering around these same areas all the time. Two sperate areas are in the Kenai mountains. One of these being in the mountains between Skilak and Tustumena lakes, with some animals venturing a little further south above Tustumena. On the other side of the highway, it's between Cooper Landing and Hope. These animals are pretty much inaccessible to caribou unless you hike up to them as they stay up high. These areas do however comprise the most caribou on the Kenai. When I was hunting or guiding for sheep I'd often run into groups of 30 to 50+ animals at a time. The last area/s that hold caribou is what we call the "flatland" caribou. These are animals that generally wander between north Kenai all the way down to around Kasilof. These are the caribou that people have mentioned that you may see grazing along the highway. Years ago F&G actually gave out a couple permits to hunt the flatland caribou in the north Kenai area, but that ended a long time ago when the population plummeted do to wolves and wild dogs and really has never regained. Flatland caribou have actually been seen from peoples homes but it's only by chance and will be very few and far between if ever again. A year ago this November my daughter managed to take a photo of a decent lone bull dodging traffic in downtown Soldotna. She actually saw it from her place of work as she was leaving and followed it to the highway. The main areas to (possibly) see a few animals from the flatland herd would be out Marathon road in Kenai, the highway south of Soldotna, Kalifornski (K-Beach) road between Kenai and Kasilof, and Bridge Access road out of Kenai which is the area known as the Kenai river flats.

    Great, thanks for all of that information.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old John View Post
    Back in the early 70's James E Hemming in the ADF&G put together a Wildlife Technical bulletin 1 on the Movement patterns of Caribou in Alaska. I'm not exactly sure how I came to have a copy. I came to the mainland of Alaska compliments of the U.S. Navy and made the rounds of the Extension Office looking for gardening advice, as well as the ADF&G looking for information on Alaskan Wildlife. I don't know if this Technical bulletin is still available or not, or a more updated version is available. I know several caribou herds have shifted their primary migration route or pattern since This Bulletin was printed. you might contact the ADF&G on-line to inquire. If not, I'd loan you my copy, you pay the postage.

    I appreciate that. Iīll take a look and let you know if I find it. I fīdonīt want people going out of their way to mail me things now, but appreciate that. Maybe in 2020-2021 when weīre in Alaska and I canīt get anything like that, then Iīll bother you haha But thank you, very nice of you to offer.

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