Scientific name:

Oribos moschatus 

 

What makes it special:

Muskox releases a pungent smell during the rut season, however unlike most animals the musky smell originates from the male instead of the female. This smell can be detected miles away, even by humans and thus rightfully called the muskox.

 

Recommended caliber:

The recommended caliber for hunting the muskox is the 300mag and the 375 bullet.

Muskox Hunting – Arctic Game

The muskox is an adaptation to the modern domesticated goat and it is closer related to goats and sheep than to the ox family. Both males and females have large curved horns, but the males are longer than the female counterpart, with more than 50 to 100 centimeters.

Hunting method

Though the muskox can be domesticated, aggression is one of its main coping techniques when sensing danger. If they sense danger, they form defensive formations to protect its own kind, this means that several muskox can and does charge at speeds of 60km/hour at their predators, this can completely incapacitate hunters. To successfully hunt it, a careful and steady approach is recommended and distance should be kept to not scare it away. Its pungent smell makes it easily traceable in the rutting season. To get a perfect shot, aim close to the front area of the chest. Aiming at the throat area should be avoided because of the fur coat can exaggerate its size and missing your shot is very easy.

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Know the animal

Appearance

The muskox main feature is the long curved horns that are found in both sexes. As expected the males are longer and bigger as they use them in fights. The overall fur is long, almost reaching the ground and it takes on three different colors with some being either black, brown or gray, the coating makes them seem larger than they are. The muskox with wide hooves is adapted to walking in snowy surroundings without sinking in. Some has white shadings on their horns and foreheads. The muskox has a short tail that is usually concealed and only visible when running.

 

Habitat

The natural habitat of the muskox is the cold mountainous and arctic regions. In regions where it has been introduced to warmer climatic conditions, the muskox has died off as it’s not physically adapted to warmer climates.

 

Diet

The muskox diet compromises of grass, lichen, mosses and woody plants.

                                                       

Predators
the dominant predator of the muskox is arctic wolves and occasionally grizzly and polar bears prey on them too.

 

Life cycle

The gestation period of the muskox is 8 months. Due to hierarchy and existence of dominant bulls, the males have to wait for years before getting an opportunity to mate. The life expectancy of the muskox varies from 12 to 20 years in the wild, depending on environmental factors and predators.

 

Behavior

The muskox forms defensive formations when attacked and they form rings around the calves to protect them from predators. Subordinate muskox is expected to leave greener healthier pastures or risk being charged from the side by higher ranking muskox. The dominant male mock subordinates by sniffing genitals and kicking them as it would with cows during mating season. During the rut season the males fight and evict other bulls from their harems. Exceptions arise when elderly bulls joins a group for protection against predators, in which they are allowed back. Young muskox is offered no protection and is expected to form bachelor groupings for their own protection. After the rutting season, the females are more dominant, especially so during pregnancy and decides how far the group will migrate, where to graze and how to defend offspring during attacks. It gives the offspring a better chance of survival when their mothers make the decisions.

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Animal Facts

Weight

Male: average weight of 410 kilograms

Female: average weight of 280 kilograms

 

Shoulder Height

1.1 to 1.5 meters

 

Habitat

Cold mountainous and arctic regions

 

Diet

Grass, lichen, mosses and woody plants

 

Predators

Arctic wolves, grizzly bears and polar bears

 

Life cycle

Lifespan: 12 to 20 years

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