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Musk Ox hunt tips
I'm leaving for a Musk Ox hunt on the 25th, of August. I think I've pretty much got everything lined out, as far as gear is concerned. I will be hunting The Victoria Island area of the NWT. I thought I 'd ask , from those that have done this fall hunt. Any suggestions of any specific gear that one may need, as stated I think I've got it covered, but I figured it may not hurt to ask . My hope is to harvest my Musk Ox with my recurve. Hopefully the terrain will allow me to get close enough. Comments as to what to expect is welcome.
Ought to be nice weather. PM Kurt, he went last year. I think he’s out sheep hunting now but should be back soon.
Lone Eagle, I did this same hunt a few only in early Sept with a recurve and shot 2 Musk Ox no problem getting in close on them as a lot of the terrain has large rocks and steep hills to allow you to close the distance. Educate your guide and helper to not run them with ATV's nor shoot them with rifles as some may want to. Take a fillet knife 8" - 12" long for caping this will allow you to get the hide skinned between the horn bosses (they usually do not skin this out and just leave it in place. Also on some Musk Ox the horn grows really close (tight) to the side of the head so a fillet knife will help skinning this area out.
Shoot them with the pointy end
You will be experiencing a different culture with the Inuits. They call us "sport hunters" because hunting is not a sport with them. Take Rock's good advice about talking to your guides about what you expect and how you want the hunt to unfold. My experience was they would try to do it your way, but you have to speak up in a friendly way. My number 2 guide was a middle aged woman who appreciated that I talked to them more than most. She said some hunters don't talk to them at all. Don't miss the chance to learn as much about them as you can, because as most hunters say, a muskox hunt is as much about the experience as it is the muskox. Be prepared for a slower pace of things. Be sure to buy some art from the locals and buy directly from the artist. You are in for great adventure, enjoy.
Thanks Guys. I'll have to pack a fillet knife. Never thought about that. I'm not sure if I'll have to cape out my bull, but I'll be prepared to so ,if needed.
You’ll be renting a quad from a local and usually a relative of the guide. Absolutely insist on having a machine with independent suspension, especially if your guide does. They are very easy people to get along with will try to please. They don’t really get “sport” hunting, but they love hunting to, so I think the connection is easy.
You’ll have a great time and a very unique experience, with a unique people, animal and landscape.
I used to say I never want to be an Indian’s horse. But I’ve changed that to never want to be an Inuit’s quad!!
Kurt and I got a lot of great advice from Rock. All bang on.
You should not have to do the caping but if I had had a fillet knife it could have really helped them when they did the caping and ran into problem areas or I could have just done it, which I really prefer to do.
Hey, Ambush. You are right about the quads, but how about the sleds! They just yanked them over dry ground, rocks and all. The sparks made for quite a light show at dusk. The metal finally peeled off the runners and they just left the sled for another day.
I assume you are going out of Ulukhaktok, I hunted Muskox there several years ago. It was one of the friendliest towns that I have ever been in the far north.
Definitely make sure that you rent your own ATV. I agree get an independent rear suspension ATV if possible, after 60 miles of riding you will be thankful.
Yes,I'm hunting out of Ulukhaktok. I will certainly keep the ATV tip in mind. Thanks everyone.
Not advise but an amusing story. The day prior to our hunt, I wanted to have a feel for what to expect regarding the Pope and Young score. When asking the guide what average points to expect. He reported, accurately so; "they all have two points!"
He was exactly right.
I'll have to be careful when asking a similar question. LOL
My outfitter contacted me a couple days ago to inform me that my hunt had to be canceled. Apparently winter has arrive early, in the arctic. The travel conditions are such that the guides / hunters are unable to travel and locate the musk ox. The hunt has been rescheduled for next August. Air flights, to Holman, have been temporarily stopped as well. I'm pretty disappointed , but you can't control the weather. Oh well at least I've got my broadheads sharpened any ready to go for this fall. Thanks everyone for all the helpful tips. I hope everyone has a very successful season.
I was able to get a Musk Ox, even though I had to wait a year longer, after the hunt was cancelled last year . 20 yd shot, only traveled 70-80 yds. Weather had us stuck in camp and I wasn't able to get out until day 3. He was the only one we saw.
Well done!!!! Story? More pics?
My hunt took place out of Ulukhaktok (Holman) on Victoria Island,NWT. We traveled to camp on quads over some very Rocky and water logged terrain. They have had alot of this month, more than normal, making for alot of difficulty in traveling to find the Musk Ox. I was able to hunt until day 3 because of the rain, fog and 30-40 mph winds. We got a late start on day 3 due to fog. We rode for 6 hrs. Before spotting the only Musk Ox of the trip.By using the rolling terrain I was able to get with in 35 yds on my first stalk. Due to the strong cross wind I passed on the broadside shot. He eventually saw me and started trotting off, stopping again about a 1/4 mile away. Again I used the terrain and this time got within 18-20 yds. He gave me a broadside shot. My arrow blew completely through him, but a little low . He ran to the other side of the knoll that was between us. He stopped broadside at about 20 yds. My second arrow hit him perfect. He then ran maybe 70-80 yds. and stopped,turned towards me and went down. It's was over quickly. They sure are a very unique and magnificent animal.
Well done and way to make your chance count. They are magnificent animals that live in the most special of places. I just got back from Greenland and was able to take my third, first outside of the snow. We saw hundreds each day. Literally. The place was crawling with muskox. It never got dark and even at 2am when getting up to take a pee outside the tent you would see ox all over the hills and along the river. it was amazing.
everyone need to go to the places where ox life at least once and experience it.