The Caribou, also called caribou in North America, is an arboreal species of big deer with circumpolar range, indigenous to Arctic, subarctic, tundra, and mountain regions of north, central, and south America. It is distributed broadly over Canada, Alaska, northern United States, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Norway, and some parts of central Asia. This includes both migratory and sedentary populations. There are around seven hundred different caribou subspecies, which are distributed in several ecological zone areas. This variety is characterized by different characteristics of hair, coat color, patterns and markings, which enable it to occupy different ecological niches.
Hair is completely brown, with varying degrees of curl and shine. Fur is short and fine with abundant tangle and tangles. Face has a broad muzzle, narrow shoulders, small pointed ears, and large dark eyes. Whiskers are long and narrow. Legs are straight with slightly bent front claws.
Life Expectancy. Life expectancy is around seven years. In the highlands of the calving cliffs the Caribou live for up to sixteen years. At the edge of the tundra the life expectancy is enhanced. Caribou seldom bear live young Caribou.
Winter Travel. Caribou usually travel south during winter and follow the sea ice. Some times they even move along rivers. When there is snow all around, they usually make tracks for snowshoeing.
Hibernation. During summer season the Caribou go into their long winter migratory migrations, accompanied by many other birds and animals. There are fewer hunters during these migrations.
Causes. There are many causes for the migration, some are associated with the weather conditions such as snow and ice, while others are linked to vegetation growth and lichen growth. Caribou have a very seasonal lifestyle; they breed in the spring and spend the winter in calving cliffs and travel around the coast, until the spring comes again. Hunting, however, is not allowed in some provinces.
Hunting. Caribou hunting is often a controversial issue. Many environmentalists and tribal groups oppose it. The hunting is often done only when the Caribou are in their winter migratory grounds. Hunting is usually a well-mannered sport, where hunters know the terrain and can elude hunters.
Involvement. Hunting is not just for fun. Caribou hunting is a serious matter. They are often hunted for their meat and fur, as well as their bodies.
Hunting restrictions. Hunting is restricted in many provinces during the winter. The hunting is often best during March to October. This is to ensure that the Caribou’s migration does not take place in the same area year after year. In addition, this is an ideal time to undertake conservation projects in the region.