We are aware of the whereabouts of the herds, and do our best to put you into the general vicinity of the animals. If you’re not seeing any, cover some country (which isn’t easy in the tundra) in search of the animals. It’s quite possible to be in a situation where your particular area is empty of caribou while dozens and dozens are passing through just a few miles away. Here are a few caribou hunting tips.
Caribou don’t like hot weather or bugs.
If you’re hunting during a period of warm weather, particularly in the mountains, it’s wise to glass around snow patches and glaciers during the warmest part of the day. Caribou will lie directly on the snow or ice and stay there for hours. They also hate biting insects. Caribou can often be found in the vicinity of large lakes and at the feet of glaciers when bugs are bad, presumably to take advantage of the breezes generated by these features.
If you see a group of caribou traveling in the distance, make a note of the exact route they traveled.
Other groups will usually come along, and they’ll have a tendency to follow that exact same route. Try to position yourself near natural funnels. Setting up between lakes and on river crossing and saddles along high ridges can all work well. Try to identify the land features that are directing their travel, so that you can establish a good glassing point.
Sometimes they will stop moving to feed.
If you glass a way-off bull that’s feeding in one location for an hour or so, it can be worthwhile to head in his direction. It’s quite possible that he’ll still be there when you arrive, or you might run into more caribou while you’re walking in his direction.
When it comes to caribou that are on the move, though, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’ll catch animals that are walking away from you. It’s not gonna happen. Instead, you want to concentrate your efforts on caribou that are moving toward you.
When you get out in front of a herd, just hunker down into the vegetation and hold still. Sometimes they’ll actually come over to check you out.
Even though caribou aren’t easily spooked, be patient when you’re stalking them. One bull might let you crawl within bow range across open ground, while the next might decide to run over the next three ridges at the sight of your head poking up above the horizon a couple hundred yards away. That said, they are not as wary as say elk or deer, you can often make a much quicker approach with caribou.