Musk ox success
My 52" sinew backed osage indian bow.
by Ricky S.
by VA Bowbender
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Where's the musk ox forum? Just a quick note as I board my last flight to say thanks to all the Bowsiters that helped me out on my recent musk ox hunt.
I'll post pictures tomorrow.
Let me be the first. CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Congrats! Looking forward to the story & the pics!
Can't wait! Congrats!
Right on! Can't wait to read this one!
Hurry with the pics-- Congrats
Can't wait for the story and pics! Congrats!
Congrats Mike! Thanks for the call earlier. In a couple weeks we can sit down and finish the story. Bet the wife is glad to have you home for Easter weekend.
1 for tonight. More in the morning. Bobby was my guide and towed me around the arctic. Great guy and a wealth of knowledge.
Congrats that is so cool
Bravo Zulu, Mike!
Now get that gear to Tim before your good luck wears off!
Congratulations Mike! That's a great pic. We're looking forward to seeing more and hearing the whole story!
-Matt n Cheryl
great job it was a great trip i am sure.
give us all the details on the adventure when you can. weather, how other hunters did (any other bow hunters, what day did you get him, to you see many, any travel challenges, was CNO buttoned down, gear performance, etc.
Awesome! Looking forward to the story!
Bou, Brenda says she looks forward to seeing you again.
INbowdude: Big congrats! Sharing the experience with your guide is one of the coolest parts of these hunts. So neat to see you mention that! Savor the hunt!!! C
Congratulations! !!! When you come to Cincinnati beers are on me!
It looks like you didn't have to wait 3 days for your gear and bow to show up!
Congrats Mike we knew you would be successful. Have a safe trip back and looking forward to the full story and more pictures.
Congratulations Mike & have a safe journy home. Great photo-looking forward to seeing more.
Way to go!
Awesome Buddy!! Still see the Beaver hat hasn't lost it's luck!!
So I have a question for the experienced muskox hunters here... What advantage do the spring hunts give over the fall? I guess what I am asking is why deal with the cold if you don't have to? Or is it just the adventure element that the frigid temps provide?
"Or is it just the adventure element that the frigid temps provide?"
Yep, it was the adventure aspect, at least for me anyway. When I think of musk ox, I think of that type of environment, so that is when I went, but the fall hunt has its own memorable qualities as well.
Each is different, just a matter of what you want. But that "moon-scape" in winter/spring is something else.
From: T Mac
Congrats Mike look forward to the details!
Fall hunts...........have you really been to the Arctic if when you are there there is no snow on the ground, no ice on the ocean, and the temps are 30 degrees?
Walking out to the plane at Yellowknife. One more flight until we get to Cambridge Bay
Before I start the story (Reader's Digest version), I'd like to thank all the Bowsiters that gave me advice and also shared their adventures and equipment. Bou, City Hunter, BPM, Medicineman, Hawkeye, Clutch, and many more.
Also Mark Buerher of Bowhunting Safari Consultants.
* Just remembered a few more Bowsiters who answered my emails and phone calls about the hunt... Steve H, Bigguy, Steff, Mongold, Expeditiontraders and Loesshillsarcher
So inspired by my fellow Bowsiters who had travelled out to the far north to Cambridge Bay and beyond.
I met up with Mike and Brad Nevis, a father and son team from Texas also hunting at Canada North Outfitters. We finally arrived at the Hamlet of Cambridge Bay and Brenda scooped us up and on the the hotel.
After we got settled in we met Shane Black the VP of operations for CNO. We ate, got acquainted, and then settled in.
The next morning we headed out to pick up licenses and then headed out to camp on the sleds.
The rest of the day we stayed around camp since the weather turned close to white out conditions. Our guides Kevin, Howard, Bobby and Clarence told us that safety was first and foremost. Mike and Brad took the time to bag a few arctic hares.
Tuesday dawned a little overcast and we waited until the weather cleared a bit before heading out.
I was hunting with Bobby and Clarence. We drove/road 35 km before stopping for lunch. As we stopped, Bobby and Clarence spotted a herd of about 20 musk ox over a mile away. We ate, drank tea and then headed out for the hunt.
My mode of travel and my view.
We moved up to the herd of 20 or so musk ox. The biggest bull separated from the herd by about 50 yards. I started getting my gear ready but the bull took off before I was ready. 50 yards later it stopped again, faced us and then booked it out across the tundra. The hunt was on and we were in pursuit. The bull ran another km before stopping.
I kept my bow in the hard case until we were within a couple hundred yards of the bull and when the bull finally stopped he was slighty quarting too.
I do have to say that I was so caught up in the hunt that I didn't take the time to get any pictures until after the shot. Sorry about that but I was hunting anyway...
I took the first good shot I had since the guides told me the bull would not hold still for long. I rushed the shot and hit the shoulder but the arrow drove in about a foot. The bull took the hit like a champion and just stared me down.
I grabbed a second arrow and waited until the musk ox turned broadside. This time my aim was true and the bull ran only 30 yards before expiring.
My guides Bobby and Clarence.
Exit wound. The second arrow passed completely through the bull and was sticking out about 2 feet.
I opted for a shoulder mount. Okay my wife opted for a shoulder mount and I'll just have to visit others with lifesize mounts.
The guys got down to business and skinned out the bull then quartered up the meat. I brought back the backstraps with me and will be sharing them at the Porkapalooza in a couple of weeks.
We fried up some of the meat off of one of the back quarters and it was awesome.
The Texas boys killed their bulls the next day and headed back to the hotel. They talked the cooks into cooking up a huge plate of musk ox and shared it with us and the next group of hunters that were headed to the mainland to hunt musk ox as well. Thank you Mike and Brad.
Close up of the boss.
A little face time! BTW, the wind was whipping up the snow on the ground making an interesting snow storm sideways rather than down.
I spent the night in camp and then CNO helped me make travel arrangements to leave early. Fortunately it didn't work and I got to spend more time in Cambridge Bay at the cultural center, and lots of the people. What an experience! It was a hassle getting back but in the end, I'm glad I got to meet so many people and experience the Arctic in the "spring".
Huge congrats to you--- kevin was my guide up there and brenda is great. That is deffintly one hunt that will stick out in my mind for sure
Kevin was a workhorse. Whatever he's getting paid, it probably isn't enough. I really liked all the guys and it was pretty cool to listen to their stories about life up in the North. I don't think too many people understand the concept subsistent hunting and fishing. To put it simply, when we go to the grocery store, these folks go outside and hunt, fish, gather. Rather humbling but fantastic to learn.
And the hunting is great as well. Next month they will start hunting the birds migrating up and gathering eggs.
Congrats on a fine bull! It's an awesome experience! Thanks for sharing.
Congrats Mike! Thanks for sharing your story.
That is great. Really nice bull. Clarence is the best. If you have any other phots throw them on here. well done Mike.
Congratulations Mike! Sounds like you had a great time and took a fantastic animal. Great job!!
That is such a cool hunt. great job.
Bou asked a couple of questions that I had neglected to answer.
1. Weather--> Actually it was warm (by their standards) the whole time which caused some late starts and delays due to fog. Warmest day was 14F, coldest without wind chill was -2F I believe.
Lost 1 day of hunting because of weather and 2 days of travel delays because of weather.
2. I was the only bowhunter in camp, the other two guys were gun hunters.
3. Travel was interrupted both going up and coming back both by weather in Cambridge Bay and Edmonton as well as a huge hockey tournament in Edmonton.
4. I shot my bull on the afternoon of the first full day of hunting (Tuesday).
5. We only saw the one herd of 20. After I shot my bull it was time to take care of it and then head in before dark. Got in with an hour to spare.
Ran into some guys who were ice fishing. I know, what lure do you use to catch ice, right? The guys were catching lake trout and the ice was 7 feet thick on the lakes. Their auger only went down 6 feet and had to chip the rest by hand.
I also saw arctic hares, fox and ptarmagin.
What an experience! Would like to try it one day myself.
Great for you and enjoy those memories!
I knew you would do it!!!Congrats and thanks for sharing the adventure. Graybeard62
What kind of mount for this beast
Very cool! Thanks for sharing and congrats.
Way to go!!
Congrats Mike. Sounds like an adventure!
Congrats Mike. Great looking bull. The arctic is a wonderful place isnt it?
Congrats Mike...A lifetime adventure for sure.
Wow! What a cool adventure. Congrats!
Way to go Mike!
Congrats on a magnificent trophy and adventure, Thanks for sharing your great experience with us!!!!
Congrats on your bull and your adventure!
Congrats...unique trophy for sure.
Congrats Mike! Sounds like quite an adventure. I can't wait to see pics of the finished mount. Looks like a great bull.
I got the "HAT" Thanks MUCHO!! Congrats again!!
Great job Mike!
A few more pics.
Musk ox tracks.
BPM, some proper motivation from Yellowknife!
Cambridge Bay Airport.
Are u going to tan the back section of the hide !
City, I didn't take the backhide since I was fighting weight restrictions. The horns, hide and 10 pounds of backstraps weighed in at 68 pounds. I had 1 duffle of clothes, 1 hard bowcase and then the dry bag for the meat. Couldn't justify taking a 4th bag, nor did I think I could manage a 4th bag traveling.
Congratulations! The photos certainly bring back memories of my hunt. Glad you had a good time.
Strong work brother.
Those pics definitely bring back some memories for me as well. Thanks tons for sharing.
congrats! the true definition of an "Adventure Bowhunt"
The horns after they was cleaned off and ready for the taxidermist. I didn't realize how much of the boss curls under the front and back of each horn.
Unique tips with the black and yellow meshing together.
Sweet! Congrats and thanks for sharing!
Very cool Mike! Congrats again! What broadhead did you use?
Good job, way to go! It looks like you could have worn shorts up there this year. Ha ha
Glad you had a great bow hunt. BB
Hawkeye, Magnus Stinger 125 grain.
You get to run one next spring. Worth the wait and a very cool trophy.
What kind of boots did you wear? I am thinking about buying a pair of the Mickey Mouse boots... Will those keep me warm? Should I get them a little bit bigger so I can fit a small camp fire in them as well or will one pair of socks do? LOL
I wore my Sorrells that I've had for years and they were fine with a silk sock and then a heavy sock over that. Many of the Inuit up there wear something similar, with rubber bottoms. They mentioned a flexible boot. If you went with the Mickey Mouse boots, you might consider some type of gator to keep the cold air from coming up under your pants. When I was in the sled I also put a pair of boot blankets on my feet and they were perfect. If you have small feet (size 8) and around 5'10", I will gladly loan you my gear. I've got it all except the beaver hat.
Nick I have a pair of Northern Outfitter boots size 11 I'll give you. VERY warm just not the best to walk in, no ankle support, they seem to want to roll?? Again VERY WARM!
Thank you to both the offers! I wear a size 9 or so in boots, but we are the same height. As it gets closer we can figure something out.
Is this hunt going to be fun or what? I know the success rates are 100%, so I am not even worrying about the animal, I am more interested in the Arctic experience, and these threads just fuel my fire.
With that attitude Nick, the adventure is already a success. Lots of folks on here with great stories about the arctic. I contacted many of them to get an idea. The time will be here before you know it. This winter practice with all your gear on just to be sure your string doesn't hit your sleeve.
I smile everytime I think of that hunt.
The tips are really cool. You'll have an outstanding mount. Congrats.
So as far as gear goes and what I plan to wear on this hunt. I have some great snow camo wool bibs and jacket, if layered properly with plenty of base layers and warm clothes underneath and even some KUIU rain gear as the top layer before the bibs (so the rest of my clothes don't get wet from the snow), will they suffice? Trying not to break the bank on the gear needed as I have way to much hunting clothes the way it is.
I plan to buy some nice mittens to wear over a lighter pair of gloves that I will wear when I need to shoot. Along with a face mask.
Goggles? What should I be looking for in a pair of goggles for the snow mobile ride?
Boots, I plan to pick up some mickey mouse boots online.
I saw Brad Mongold's musk ox photo and he seemed to be wearing regular camo clothing, maybe he wasn't but it sure looked that way.
Am I nuts thinking I could get by with what I currently own?
You will be OK.
Have you booked yet?
Congrats INbowdude----great bull
Yes I have. I booked through BSC and am going out of Holman with Adventures Northwest. April of 2014.
Nick you will want Googles! Also it can get DAMN cold on the Kamatuk! I was almost fooled into bringing only heavy winter gear on my Polar Bear hunt, Thank-God Jake talked me out of it! I would rather have the heavy Arctic gear, the weather up there can be brutal! I would advise some Arctic gear. Bring both, you can use the same layering so packing should not be an issue.
What did you wear for the travel up there? Should I be planning to be dressed like an Eskimo from the time I leave for Yellowknife? LOL
Nick, the snow is so different up there that I wouldn't worry about getting wet. I've got the Northern Outfitters Mitts (large) that you can borrow to save some cash. The guys I hunted with used King of the Mountain Wool and were pretty cold. They really had to layer up. They were gun hunting and I'm not sure they could have pulled a bow back with all the gear they had on.
If you don't want to invest a lot of money on arctic gear you may never use again, you can always rent down pants and a jacket from the outfitter.
Make sure you have a good sleeping bag rated -20 or lower. I picked one up rated at -40 and was never cold. In fact, in the cabin, the bag was too warm.
I used polarized snow mobile goggles and they worked great. Again, I've got a pair you could borrow. I also borrowed a spare pair from Jake just to be on the safe side.
When I left Yellowknife I had a think pair of smartwool bottoms under my jeans, a smartwool undershirt, fleece shirt and a midweight jacket plus a pair of warm gloves and a hat. Leather shoes with smartwool socks. Warm enough to wear outside (walking to and from the planes) but cool enough when I was in the terminal or hotel that I wasn't sweating like a dog. Once you load up to go out on the hunt, you slip into your arctic gear anyway.
I wore my KOM bibs to travel up and had the jacket on my pack. Wore some heavy pacs, used crocks once I got on the plane. It was nice that i had my KOM gear when they lost my luggage, I didn't have to stay indoors.
How long was your luggage lost for? Talk about one of the few places on earth that wouldn't be a good thing :)
Only a couple of Days!!
Only a couple of Days!!
Guys, what is the chance this could be done as a small group of friends, say 2-4? We have a group that hunts together for different species. I know we wouldn't be in the same sled but maybe to be in the same camp. This may not be that type of hunt for that though.
Keep, there were 3 of us hunters in camp and there was room for a 4th without cramping anybody. The father/son team traveled together and shot bulls just a few minutes apart from each other.
Nick- I have some boots I wore up there and not again since. You are welcome to use them buddy. Size 12.
Good for you for booking-it is an incredible adventure.
Thanks Mike. It always seems to be more fun when there is a group of us. Travel feels shorter, you have close friends to share the successes with or laugh at you for mishaps. It seems the older it get this becomes as important as the hunt.
Very true Keep, very true.