“Delta Bull Caribou”
by Frank Entsminger
This caribou antler is the second miniature bronze in a series of Alaska horns and antlers by Frank Entsminger. The piece represents the antler potential of bull caribou in a herd near Delta Junction, Alaska. The Delta Herd grew rapidly after the two effective Wolf Control programs. 1954, wolves were numerous and caribou scarce when the US Fish and Wildlife Service initiated a Predator Control program. The result was an increase in numbers of the Delta Herd. By 1960, wolf control ceased. Over time, increased hunting pressure and increase wolf predation on the herd caused the herd to dwindle. By 1973, hunting was closed. 1976, the state of Alaska began the second predator control program. By 1980 the herd rapidly increased and hunting was reopened by bull permit only. This sculpture depicts the bull taken by Frank in 1982, representative of the large number of trophy bulls taken after the population increase and seven-year closure. By 1983, the public requested maximum use of the caribou herd. Since that time majestic trophy bulls have become scarce. However, the Delta Caribou Herd remains very healthy with many young bulls. This sculpture not only represents the bull itself but the end of an era when large numbers of Delta Caribou trophy class bulls roam the hills. Cast in 1987, a limited edition of 150 with 8 remaining in 2016. Frank Entsminger is a wildlife sculptor/taxidermist who has roamed Alaska’s wild places and studied her creation since 1962. Entsminger has worked in bronze media since 1976 after losing his home to a fire.