All About Hunting Muskox On Your Own


Published: September - 2000

My son, Morgan, and I hunted muskox without a guide this past March on the tundra plains of Alaska's Nunivak Island. This Arctic isle is located in the Bering Sea off the delta of the Kuskokwim River and is home to more than 600 free-ranging muskox. Alaska annually issues about 45 drawing permits for bulls and another 45 over-the-counter permits for cows. Morgan, who is now 13 years old, successfully drew a permit for a bull after applying for about four years.

When you draw your permit, a biologist from the Alaska Department of Game and Fish will contact you and send you a Muskox Hunter Orientation Packet. This is a comprehensive information kit, including a list of Inuit guides and transporters on Nunivak, maps and instructions on judging trophies, plus color photographs and suggestions on how to plan your hunt. The department really wants hunters to get their muskox, and they are quite helpful. Philip Perry, the biologist I spoke with, was very knowledgeable. He called us to make sure we were going to go on the hunt and to discuss how to plan our trip and conduct the actual hunt.

We decided to use a transporter for our muskox hunt. Abe Davidson had good references and took good care of us. For $1,500 he met us at the Mekoryuk airport and took us to his home, where we stayed with his family throughout the hunt. Each day, he would take us by snow machine 60 miles across the island to the hunting area, about a two- to four-hour ride depending on the weather. Once we got there, we could see the muskox herds on the horizon, and Morgan and I were on our own to hunt while Davidson waited for us. In Alaska, transporters are not allowed to guide in any way, but they are valuable to have on this hunt because they know the area and can keep you from getting lost or stranded. You may need to spend a couple of days in the field, and Davidson knows where all the old fishing cabins and........(continued)

 
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