20th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
A herder culling reindeer on Nunivak Island

Since being introduced in 1920, reindeer have freely roamed Nunivak Island, where the lone native village of Mekoryuk (population 300) is situated. Each winter, reindeer are herded by snow machine to corrals, where they are harvested to provide food for locals as well as for export. Strict population management methods are imposed, as the herd size can fluctuate wildly from year to year based on weather and food resources. This photo is of a herder on his snow machine, picking out which reindeer to shoot as they run past.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 01.2019
Date Uploaded: 11.2022
Photo Location: Mekoryuk, Alaska, United States of America
Camera: ILCE-7RM3
Copyright: © Kris Cheng