Contributors to this thread:
Semi-Live Nunavut Musk Ox hunt
So after 3 years of waiting I'm finally heading up to Nunavut to chase Musk Ox in the Arctic! I leave on March 20th and hunt the 21st - 25th. Once I get out of cell coverage Medicinemann, the kind sir he is, agreed to help me out and "cut and paste" my daily log while I'm in camp. I'll be communicating with him via a Garmin sat phone so pics won't be doable until afterwards.
There isn't much training that's gone into this one other than reps with the recurve which have been going really well. I'll be taking the compound but strictly as a back up.
More to come........
Looking forward to it, Eric! Have fun!
Good luck it should be an epic hunt.
Did that twice with Canada north. Best adventure ever. Not best hunt……… not close …………….but best most unique adventure.
Good luck, take lots of pictures, enjoy the experience
Will be sure to follow this one. Best of luck!
Good luck Eric, bet it will still be cold as heck but at least you will have long days.
Good luck, Eric!! Hope you ordered another freezer!
Going to enjoy the ride!!!!
Hell yeah, man! Good luck!
I hear on these hunts you sleep in an enclosed box sled and eat hot dogs for dinner. Have fun and good luck. my best, Paul
Have fun, travel safe and Pick-a-$pot!
Good luck, Robb
Have a great trip and take lot's of pic's!
Sounds like a great trip, will be following along.
Look forward to it. The "this is Jake checking in from the arctic" reports were the greatest.
Safe travels and best of luck! What's your set-up for your bow?
Best of luck and do your best to stay warm !
Man I'm looking forward to this one!
I’m ready to read about a great adventure!
goelk, I'm shooting a 49@29, 58" Tall Tines with Black Eagle Vintage arrows and a 200grn Iron Will head running point. I've been shooting them pretty straight lately and that's never a bad thing with the struggle stick.
I'm looking forward to following along. Best of luck.
Good luck! The outfitter should go over shot placement with you. Don’t let the hair hanging down mislead you into shooting too low. I put 4 arrows in mine before figuring out that I was shooting too low. They’re tough critters.
Good luck! Looking forward to the results!
yes they are tough critters but they are not going anywhere you can't find them either before or after the arrow strikes!
GOOD LUCK YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A GREAT HUNT AND FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE
Looking forward to this. Ever since I glassed one while Caribou hunting 20 years ago, I've dreamed of hunting one. Good Luck
Dream hunt and happy you’ll get to go! I’ll be following along….enjoy every second!
Been thinking about that hunt. Please recap for us when you return.
Good luck on your upcoming hunt. You can count on it being an adventure. I assume you will hunt with the Inuit natives, so you have a chance to learn about an interesting culture. Ask lots of questions, but respectfully. On my hunt I was told most of the "sport hunters" didn't talk to the guides much. I found some of them are kind of quiet, but would answer questions, if asked. You should have a close shot. Mine was about 20 yards with a recurve. I am very curious how and why you will utilize a compound as a backup. As far as things going wrong with a bow, I am thinking it would be the recurve backing up the compound. Will you carry both out in the field and on the stalk? If you are riding snowmobiles, you are probably going to have to leave the machine a distance from the animals.
I sure you have watched on Youtube, March 19, 2020, titled, Nunivak Island Musk Ox Hunt With Trad bow. While a different place than Nunavut where you will be hunting, looks like an interesting hunt.
Sounds like a blast!
Safe travels and have a great hunt!
@bowonly, I'm really wanting to sharpen my skill with a recurve in real-time hunting scenarios. That's why I chose to run the recurve as primary on this hunt. Plus it'll make for more of a challenge on what is typically not considered a tough hunt. I also want have at least 2 bows in the field incase of a failure of some sort. I'd think less could go wrong with the recurve but who knows. I do plan on taking both out with me on the hunt.
@Paul@thefort I think I've seen every musk ox video youtube has to offer! lol. That trad bow hunt was very cool! I'm just hoping an Arctic Fox makes the same mistake that the red fox did in that video.
are you hunting with Canada North out of Cambridge Bay
I'm booked with Dan Fredrick of Ameri-Cana and we're hunting out of Kuglugtuk. Only myself and 2 rifle guys hunting that week.
On a hunt like this with 3 guys hunting the same group of critters what's the proper etiquette for who shoots first? I'm really hoping it's an arm wrestling match but I assume it's a coin flip/straw draw situation?
It won’t matter you’ll all Kill on day 1 if the guides want you to and they likely will. You will probably take all three from The same herd
That's kind of what I was thinking.
A balmy minus 23 C in Kuglugtuk this morning and mostly sunny. Great day to kill a prehistoric beast with a bow!! Good luck Eric!
Thanks Rod! 16 days and a wake-up.....
Have a get hunt! Love to see the results of your bow and arrow set up.
Have a get hunt! Love to see the results of your bow and arrow set up.
So I was planning on bringing back a full sized cape and the full skull. Any issues getting these across the border? The outfitter is recommending I ship to a guy in Edmonton but I've brought back lots of stuff as luggage without issues. Are Musk Ox different and are they scrutinized more?
Very heavy but it will work
I used Rubbermaid totes and duct tape. Three stacked together and full of clothes .
Better to shoot behind the shoulder, and not too low as mentioned. They are thick animals, but made for bowhunting!
“This is Jake checking in from the arctic!” Haha! Classic!!!
Gear has been sorted, bag has been packed, unpacked, resorted and packed again. I'm sure my OCD will flare up and I'll repeat the process again before I leave. As of now I'm sitting on ready, arrows are coming out of the recurve as straight as they ever have and Jake and I got all the kinks sorted out with the communications via the Garmin. I'm ready.
One week from right now I'll be in the Arctic with trad bow in hand chasing Musk Ox. I'm so excited I could squeal!!!
Ice crystals -17°F°C Precipitation: 1% Humidity: 66% Wind: 9 mph Iqaluit, NU, Canada Monday 8:00 PM Ice crystals TemperaturePrecipitationWind
I'm not even going and I'm getting excited!! The uniqueness of the animal and terrain just sets it apart from any other hunt. Often the locals will have deadheads for sale to. I found a really big one and later one of the guides tried to sell it back to us. Kinda wish I'd bought it now.
Gotta be excited! Good luck! Have fun!
@Rod, did they have any ivory or seal fur for sale? I'd love to get a tusk or some seal fur.
Hope you are joking there, Eric. Somebody will probably try to pedal things made of sealskin to you. Don't try to bring any of it into the US. I was offered all kinds of sealskin stuff. I knew it was not importable. I did buy some tiny muckluk booties like the kind they hang from the rearview mirror or use for a Christmas tree ornament. When I asked if a little strip of fur was seal, they told me it was caribou. At the border, I was glad I declared it, because the sniffer dog found it in my luggage. And it wasn't caribou skin! After detaining me for two hours, they just seized it and let me through. Seal and walrus products are non-importable.
Well shucks! I thought it was kosher to bring back if had been fashioned into a craft by the natives. I must have read that totally wrong. Thanks for clarifying.
Edit: Just did a brief search and I was totally wrong. Ivory and seal fur is a big no-no. Now I wonder what the hell I was reading??
Sandhill crane sculpture by native artist
Sandhill crane sculpture by native artist
I believe you may be thinking of native crafted objects from Alaska, like sealskin arrow rests or shooting tabs that are sold. I am thinking the key is those are from within the USA, not from another country. Anyway, be sure to ask about other native crafts and try to buy them from the artist, not a from a dealer who marks the up in price. They make art from muskox horn which would have a tie -in to your hunt.
You missed it by about 30 years
I have an incredible seal parka with a wolf lining on the hood My wife has an awesome fur seal jacket.
Several carved walrus tusks and a set of walrus handle steak knives
Times change. Probably for the best
@Bowonly, you're totally right. I had to have been reading about Alaska. Glad I brought it up and got taken to school. Otherwise I'd have loaded up and got my teeth kicked in at customs. I REALLY hope I run across something like that Crane. It's gorgeous!!
Today is the day! Wheels up from VA at 4pm. I overnight in Edmonton and then make the push to Kugluktuk at 7:45am with a quick stop over in Yellowknife.
Can’t wait to get this adventure going!
Good luck and have a safe hunt, I will be following along.
Safe travels and best of luck! I'm looking forward to the updates!
Good luck Eric! Do they have a "hunt ends when the animal is down" policy? If so, take your time and enjoy the whole hunt and don't be pressured into taking the first shot opportunity. Otherwise you may end up back in town (maybe at your own expense?) waiting for your plane.
Very sociable people, friendly and outgoing.
That’s exactly how it’s set up. With that said it’s only me and one other hunter. I’ve made it clear that I fully intended to look over plenty of animals. I’m not gonna rush it at all.
Miraculously all my bags made it! Air Canada hates my bow case fir some reason and like to hold it and typically sends it on the flight after me. After some breakfast, and a couple of quick flights and I’ll be chasing musk ox!!
good luck with the quick flights!
Good luck Eric!! Can't wait for the updates and pics that will be coming.
All checked in and through security. Wheels up in 45 mins. Met the other hunter. He’s a guy about my age named Mike. Seems like a good dude.
Good luck Eric, looking forward seeing the updates!!
Air Canada: "We're Not Happy, Untill You're Not Happy"
stay warm and good luck buddy.
Exciting! Hunt of a Lifetime for sure! Kill a good one!
First snag of the trip. Flight out of Yellowknife is delayed….
The polar bear pic is just as necessary to an Arctic hunt as the boot pic is to all the others.
No worries now, you’ll get there. Kill a cranker!!
I have spent some time in that airport and have a few pictures of that Bear. Was delayed there for a couple of days going in on my Musk Ox hunt a few years ago.
Always delayed. Go with flow. No quick flights in the Arctic
Boarded and coming in hot….
Good luck and tell the pilot to upright that plane before he attempts a landing. :)
looking forward to hear how your trad bow did? Good Luck and safe traveling
Flight delays kept us from getting into town with enough time to get licenses and get out on the ice. Leaving at 8:30 in the am.
Good luck Eric! Enjoy the adventure!!!
This should be fun to follow along.... best of luck up there!
Following. Thanks for keeping us in the loop! Good luck and enjoy your trip.
Bowjangles, I shot 2 Musk Ox when I was up there and brought both full hides and skulls home with me along with all the meat. It did cost me a bunch to do so but it is excellent meat.
I just got the following InReach message from Eric (Bojangles)...."MuskOx down and he's a giant!! The guy shooting first shot the smaller one!! Details to come." Subsequent messages included......"We put on about 80 miles and spotted a group of 3. One really good bull and two OK bulls. I thought for sure the other guy would shoot the big one but out of nowhere the smallest one drops. It was game on at that point." I asked about the shot distance, etc and Eric replied "First shot was around 25. Not good. Low and too far forward. Followed it up with another and that got it done. He died 80 yards from the first shot".
Sweeeeeet! Congrats Eric!!!
Awesome! Can’t wait to hear the full story!
Well, that escalated quickly! Congrats to Eric!
SO GREAT to see these Semi-Live hunt threads after all the political nonsense going on right now!
A BIG THANKS to Eric and Jake for posting this to give us all a break from "reality!" ;-)
Awesome! That was fast! Can’t wait to see the pictures!
Anxiously awaiting pictures of Eric carrying the whole musk ox back to camp...
That's awesome. Can't wait for the full recap! Congrats Eric!!
Just got back to Kugluktuk. All my batteries are either super low or dead. I got it done on a great Musk Ox with the stick bow and I couldn’t be happier! Once I thaw out and get some charge in these batteries I’ll give the full story. It’s short and sweet!
As always the support from the Bowsite crowd has been amazing. You guys rock!
Special thanks to Jake for taking his time to relay my messages!
Hell yeah Eric!! Congrats and can’t wait to hear the rest of the story!
That's awesome.... just throw it over your shoulder and carry it out of there Eric!! Thanks for sharing....
Atta boy, Eric! Congrats!
That is a Beauty!! Congrats Eric! Looking forward to the whole story and more pics.
Excellent!! And no back-up needed.
Thanks you for sharing one of my favorite hunts, i love the north country.
what are you going to do with that hard earned beast?
Awesome stuff!! Man those northern hunts look like quite an adventure
Congratulations! Would love to hear about the performance you got out of that setup when you get a chance, Eric! Definitely got the job done! Trying to shoot a traditional bow in that kind of temperature with all those clothes on has to be tough!
Well done Eric...Congratulations!!
Bowsiters “GIT ER DUN!” ;-)
Big CONGRATS Eric!
Congratulations on a great accomplishment!
That landscape looks like you were hunting on the moon. Hell of an adventure. Congrats on your success with a stick and string!
I wake up 30 mins before my alarm goes off, shower, get all my bags and head over to check in. My first flight leaves Edmonton at 7:45 heading to Yellowknife and I'm scheduled to land in Kugluktuk at 2:30. I arrive at the check in counter and see a fella with a Sitka bag and gun case. This has to be my hunting partner. He gets checked in and strolls past me. "Whatcha chasing?" I asked. "Musk Ox" he replied. I introduced myself and told him that we'd be hunting together for the next few days. His name was Mike and lived in Texas. We got along really well instantly. After jumping through all the requisite hoops we board the flight and off we go. We're scheduled to land in Yellowknife at 9:30ish with the next jump to Cambridge Bay at 10:15. The flight to Cambridge Bay got delayed due to icy conditions with no deicer on hand at Yellowknife. Once the plane was set we take off. We wound up getting into Kuglugtuk around 4:30. We meet our contact Gustin, gather up our gear and head over to the Enokhok Inn. We wouldn't be hunting today.
After getting checked in I unpack all my gear, string my bow, pack up everything I won't be needing on the ice and settle in. Gustin is picking us up at 8:30 and I need a good nights sleep.
Gustin arrives right on time. We make a quick ride over to the Wildlife office to square our paper work away and it's off to Mavis's house. We arrive to OJ and Randy gearing up the qamutiik's for the trip. I lost the "who's shooting first" coin toss so Mike was up to bat. We get in the qamutiik's (which was actually really comfortable) and off we go. Jake warned me about the fumes.......he was right. I felt like I was sucking an exhaust pipe for the next 7 hours. Luckily they made frequent smoking/coffee breaks and I was able to walk around and get some fresh air. Riding on the frozen ocean was butter smooth. Once we got inland, not so much. It felt like we was taking me over an obstacle course and I would regularly "get air" on the qamutiik before slamming back down. The riding was pretty rough after that. After 7 hours or so we spot a group of 3 Musk Ox in the distance. We unload and get out the bino's for a better look. One bull looked great! Killer hide, great shape to his horn with a beautiful color. Obviously this is the bull. The other 2 weren't shooters in my opinion. We cirlce around the back side of the bulls while Mike and OJ go at them from the front. We get stopped behind a slope and I throw the bino's on the bigger bull. He's 80-90 yards away and looks magnificent!!. I take the bino's down to get the full view when I hear the rifle pop. To my shock the smaller bull jumped and was clearly hit. What just happened??? I looked over to Randy and ask "did he shoot the smaller bull?" At nearly that exact instant he drops. Did Mike make a mistake? Did he see something I didn't? The bigger bull runs off and he looks just a good as he did when I first saw him. I couldn't grab my bow fast enough!!!!
They run about 100-120 yards and circle up again. I've got an arrow nocked on the Tall Tines and the stalk is on. We played cat and mouse for quite a while. I'd get close to my comfort range and they'd run. I'd get into my comfort range and he would square up to me. I'd try to move to his side and he'd take off. Finally it happens! I close the distance to ~25 yards, pick a spot, draw back, anchor and release.......
Easily the worst archery shot I've ever made! The shot was low and forward and center punched the bull's leg bone. Almost no penetration and the arrow fell out after 10-15 yards. In hindsight all the stalking with my arm up fatigued my shoulder. Once I released I simply dropped my arm. The shot was definitely not fatal. Once again I went into stalk mode. After a bit more cat and mouse I got another opportunity. He was a little further than I'd prefer but after wounding him that was as good as it was going to get. If I had to lay a bet I'd put the distance at 33-35 yards. The bull was perfectly broadside. I took my time, raised the arrow to my eye line, drew back, hit the anchors and pulled cleanly through the shot. The arrow buried 3/4th's deep and around 12 inches behind his front shoulder. The shot was clearly fatal and after 70-80 yards the bull went down! I was still trying to process what happened. I assumed Mike would have shot him and the next day we'd go find more Musk Ox. I was beyond happy with my bull. He looked amazing and aside from totally dropping the ball on the first shot the hunt was perfect. We set camp and start the business of breaking the animals down.
The only downside to the quick success was the shorter amount of time spent in the Arctic. It's like no place I've ever been and the people are the most unique breed that I've ever encountered. I'd do this hunt again simply to get more exposure to the culture.
Great pictures and story…….congratulations on a fantastic hunt.
Hey Randy, looks a little colder than our Greenland hunt! ??
I wake up the morning after the hunt shaking like someone had plugged me into a light socket! The heater had gone out overnight and it was COLD!! I tied my beaver fur hat on and sank down into the Norseman sleeping bag for a couple more hours of sleep. I woke up to the sounds of Randy getting the stove going and breakfast ready. After some bacon sandwiches we broke camp and headed to town. I could go the rest of my life without smelling snowmobile exhaust and be totally fine! We arrive in town around 4 hours later. Mavis had us some Bannock cooking and it was amazing. It almost had a funnel cake taste to it but with a much heartier dough. I really enjoyed it! After that we headed over to the Wildlife office to sign our tags and back to the hotel to check in. Dan had updated our flights to leave the next day at 3. We settle into the hotel and had the dinner they prepared for us.
Before we left we got to check out town. The Kuglugtuk Visitors Center had some very interesting artifacts along with facts about the Inuit way of life. Knowing the land they live and flourish on gave my a huge sense of respect for the people as a whole. Nothing comes easy that far north and to see the casual way they handle such brutal conditions was impressive. After checking out town and the Visitor's Center OJ and his wife Pam made us lunch. This was the coolest part of the trip. They had Musk Ox drying on a rack in their kitchen that we ate with mayonnaise. We had ground Musk Ox for lunch along with caribou tongue, some whale and mashed potatoes with gravy. The whale was a real treat. Gus actually harpooned it last year and shared it with the village. They had smoked whale along with raw whale. The raw whale was easily my favorite. It had a very sweet taste. If I knew how my stomach would react to it I would have had LOTS more. They shared hunting stories and showed pics of their family. Pam told us the story of her 85 year old mother killing a grizzly the previous year. I hope I'm that bad ass at 85! She had a beautiful sculpture in her house that her father had made by hand. Around 1:30 we had to call it a day and head to the airport. The hunt had come and gone way too fast and I felt myself wanting just a little more. This is a hunt I'll repeat in the not so distant future.
Congratulations on a super trophy and adventure. The Arctic is definitely like no other place.
You're going to be glad that you took a lot of pictures to document your adventure. It isn't just a hunt....it's an expedition....and I had completely forgotten about how good bannock tastes!!
Epic stuff, man! Congrats again.
Good times man....congrats!
Epic hunt and result! Congratulations Eric! Amazing how that one just flew by. I could imagine it would have been cool to spend a little more time up there…
Congrats on a great adventure!!!
Congrats on a great adventure! And thanks for sharing!
Thanks again for sharing your adventure. I've said it before and will say it again. This kind thread is what makes Bowsite special (as opposed to all the non-bowhunting topics). Maybe it will inspire other bowhunters to go. But even for those who will never get to experience that hunt, they can share the excitement through your story. If you have any more photos post them up!!
Congrats. Great animal and writeup
Scoring update: Mark Kronyak (Shug) was nice enough to come down to Jim's place on Sunday and give me a green score on my Musk Ox.
He put up a respectable 118 6/8 net and 116 gross. Apparently that’s not too shabby and I’m beyond happy with those numbers!
Great to meet you and your wife congratulations on an amazing animal…be sure to send the first shooter a great Christmas gift
awesome adventure and great write up. Congrats
Excellent write up of your adventures. Really enjoyed it. Congrats!
Holy smokes Bow' that's some big numbers!! Congratulations again!
Between the goat and ox you should change your handle Bow Cha-Ching.
Awesome adventure congrats!
So why did Mike shoot the smaller one?
I'm not totally sure. Maybe he got them confused, maybe the guide told him to shoot a smaller one, knowing that I'd take the bigger bull and the hunt would be over or maybe he just preferred the look of the one he shot. At the end of the day we both were tickled pink with the bulls so it worked out.
He might have gotten excited about the bosses, they look impressive.
The neat thing about muskox mounts is you never see two together so there’s never anything to compare one to the other on. The smallest one around still looks massive to somebody looking at it for the first time on your wall they are just amazed that the thing exists it’s not like dear where people are used to seeing them or looking at five at the same time on somebody’s wall And saying oh that one’s real big or that one’s not as big
awesome story - congrats on the hunt and fine animal