National Geographic : 1953 Aug
reputation. Built for park personnel, it had recently been subjected to a series of house wrecking raids by a hungry grizzly. Repairs had been made, but huge paw marks, printed in mashed chocolate, still formed patterns on the floor, and perfect nose prints showed on window glass. Fortunately, the bear left us undisturbed during our stay in the cottage. Caribou, Nomads of the Arctic Early the next morning we set out afoot to stalk those handsome relatives of the domesti cated reindeer, the caribou. No product of an artist's license, page 253 shows caribou as Walter actually saw them silhouetted against the dramatic backdrop of Mount McKinley. Caribou are restless, migratory animals. The pattern of their wandering is uncertain. It may be the same for a period of years, then it may change drastically. Alaska has several caribou herds. One herd spends part of each year in the park. In spring the animals enter from the west and northwest, usually in relatively small bands of 100 to 200. After traveling across high glaciers to the south side of the Alaska Range, they recross in late July, when they gather and stream westward again. I have counted as many as 4,500 in a single band, a large part of the entire park herd. We found many small, scattered groups of caribou. Once we stalked two fine bulls with sweeping angular antlers. Both were adults, but only one had attained the glistening white neck, low-hanging white mane, and the white ness spreading over the shoulders and along the flanks that are characteristic of the fully developed fall coat.