One of the main reasons I loved our Western Alaska area so much was hunting the Mulchatna caribou. I have always enjoyed caribou hunting and the scenery during the September season with all the beautiful fall colors. In my opinion the white maned bull caribou is one of the most regal antlered animals.
When we first started hunting around Otter Lake in 1987 we only had a few scattered bulls on the mountain tops. However after the herd started its rapid growth, we would have caribou somewhere in the area by the thousands for two or three weeks during September. The initial population of the Mulchatna herd in ’87 was somewhere between 15,000 to 20,000. By 1990 it was believed to have been around 80,000 and by ’94 it was approaching 200,000. It peaked around ’98 with 250,000 caribou. Some days flying in the area I would see 20,000 to 30,000 and at their peak many clients would see 5,000 plus in a day. That was quite a sight!