Where to hunt Muskox
Muskox is the creature of the Extreme North, and if you want to hunt it you’ll have to travel far into the most remote and desolate areas left on this planet. muskox hunting seasons are open in certain areas of Alaska, a number of Canadian provinces including Nunavut, and Greenland. In the second part of the XX century muskox were reintroduced to Russia and can now be hunted there as well.
Muskox habitat is found far away from civilization, and the biggest part of the hunt’s price is travel and camping. Don’t forget that outfitters have to fly in everything from tents to guns and ammo. The most affordable muskox hunts are found in Russia, where if you go with a few friends, the hunt may cost about $3,000 per person. Hunting in Greenland is usually priced at a bit over $5,000. Muskox hunt can often be combined with a Caribou hunt for almost the same money.
When to hunt Muskox?
Muskox hunting seasons usually start in August and finish in October. There may be an additional season in the spring. The best time for muskox hunting is probably in September, when, on the one hand, the mosquitos are already gone but winter colds, snows and polar night not yet in, and, on the other hand, the breeding season usually reaches its peak.
Muskox hunting may seem like a simple spot-and-stalk deal, but it is full of unexpected challenges you’ll wish you knew about before the trip. One is age and sex identification. Both sexes carry horns of roughly the same size; look for a well-developed boss to know a bull. Another is shot placement. The fur of muskox is so long, that if you habitually aim just above the lower border of the body you may only shave a few hairs off the bull’s belly! The center of the shoulder, which is the recommended aiming point, is almost in the middle of the body. Finally, muskox young tend to hide behind the adults; watch carefully for a set of extra legs showing under the animal, to avoid unintentional killing of a calf.
Why hunt Muskox?
Humans hunted muskox ever since the first hunter gatherers colonized the Arctic, and probably never ceased to be amazed by the adaptations of the species to the harsh climate of the tundra. The length of the muskox hair has to be seen to be believed; as one explorer put it, you have a goat-sized animal in a bull-sized cloud of fur. Muskox are herd animals who react to danger by “circling the wagons”, with calves in the middle, and the rest of the herd with their backs to them, and sharp horns directed to the predator. This strategy works well against polar wolves, made muskox extra vulnerable to meat hunters, and presents a challenge to trophy hunters – how on earth are you going to separate the big bull you’re after? Mature bulls feature a great, well-developed boss, that can be as intimidating to behold as any Cape Buffalo. These horns will be a long-lasting symbol of a journey to the wild and beautiful Arctic.
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