I dared not move..
From my experience with Woodland Caribou the females are the nervous ones and are always on the watch for predators. If she gets spooked then game over. As I stood there in the middle of the barrens doing my best tree impression I slowly turned my head side to side scanning the barrens to try and spot any nearby Stags keeping tabs on her. Sure enough two males grazed along the side of a ridge to the right and behind her.
The first one I spotted was this male with a similar size rack as the first caribou I photographed earlier.
But then I spotted the alpha of the group slowly making his way from out behind a bush.
It’s truly impressive that these animals can carry such large racks (and yes I know there are plenty of other images out there showing much large racks but hey I was impressed by this guy)
By now two females had circled around me to the right still trying to figure out what this odd looking tree was in their way. I dared not move and my attention was on the largest male so I wasted no time trying to photograph the females. As they made their way down towards the lake I made my way up to the ridge closer to the two male still feeding on lichen.
By the time I reach them they were on the move as they didn’t want to lose sight of their ladies.
So for the next 30-45mins we walked side by side.
It truly amazes me that these large mammals allow me to be in their presence at such close range with no fear. It can be unnerving at times when a large males pauses and starse at you as you stand in the open staring back at them.
Caribou from my knowledge are not known to charge or attack humans but it is always in the back of my mind that if one did…boy I would be finished
As the group headed down to the lakes edge I decided to head the other way and get that much need drink as by now the light was too harsh for anything good. Of my 8 years photographing Caribou this was by far the best experience I have ever had and I am so grateful to have been able to capture it and share it with all of you.