A "True Subsistence", "Fair Chase" Hunt



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  • A "True Subsistence", "Fair Chase" Hunt

    This hunt, as many do, began months before. Unit 22 was now having a registration Ox hunt. Meetings were attended to partake in how this hunt took place. Other hunters were conversed with, and discussions with bio's were held. Once a hunt area was chosen, i.e. registration permit gotten, just as hunters have for eons, information was gathered on where animals were located. In this case, area pilots were consulted to locate potential Ox herds to hunt. As hunters have done before me, weather was watched and a hunt time was chosen.
    The day of our hunt dawned somewhat cloudy, but the potential for sunshine glowed on the horizon. Here is a pic of our destination country:

    In keeping with the "subsistence" theme of this hunt, our equipment was specifically chosen for this type of hunting in this desolate country. Look closely at the snowmobile to see the array of items suited to comfortable travel long distances, the sled to carry equipment and safety gear. The sled to carry the animal was on another machine.
    Not to far out of town, we run into our quarry:

    Unfortunately, these animals were not in our legal hunt area. Back to the trail. That's the hunter(huntress) in the pic.
    My herd info was over a week old. Poor weather conditions had negated recent aerial obs of Ox in our hunt area, so to some extent, we were going in blind............but hey, that's the norm most times.
    Just after leaving the first herd of Ox, the sun came out. Wind was very light as well. Here's a shot of the huntress (the girlfriend) looking around. Our intended hunt spot is marked in the pic behind her:

    Once we reached an area close to where I suspected Ox would be, we began some serious glassing/looking around. Like hunters long ago, we utilized elevation to aid in our looking. Ox prefer windblown ridges so one is best to do his looking from the same types of spots. Didn't take longand we found a herd, tho not in the place I first expected them to be. A short snogo ride and we were facing about 25 or so Ox. This was the huntress' first real shooting opportunity. She had been on moose hunts, but hadn't had a shooting solution..........so to speak.
    Tho Ox do not run away much, they do present their own type of hunt difficulties. Since the tag was good for only one Ox, and a male Ox to boot, we had to wait her chance for a safe shot. Indeed, the past hunt in another hunt area this year resulted in 5 illegal harvestsd (cows) which some were likely shoot thru's where a second animal was killed by one bullet. Identifying sex of Ox can also be problematic (man I'm getting good at writing)! Young bulls and cows are somewhat difficult to differentiate. For that, and other reasons, we were after a large mature bull. Their dark, heavy, horn bases make them more easily identifiable.
    Without too much of a wait (maybe 20 minutes) a suitable bull, I think there were 4 in this herd, presented himself in a space, and at an angle, for a safe killing shot. Being only 50 yds from the bull helped too! I told the huntress where to aim and take her time and shoot. The shot was made and the Ox stumbled, tried several times to stay on his feet, then rolled down and died. I'd say he died in around 15 seconds. Here is the huntress with her dead Ox and the herd, in the background...........I told you they don't run much:

    She shot from the tuft of grass to the side. Appropriate hugs and kisses(you know women) were made and we returned to the snogo's to ready for the trip home.

    I'll end this here and finish in a reply. Please don't comment until I get this finished.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  • #2
    More true subsistence

    Our quarry was down, now it's time to get it home. First we inspected it and took pics. Here's a pic of the afternoon glare on the ocean ice behind us:

    As you can see, we were not far from the coast and the Ox herd still hasn't moved far away. For inquiring minds, if you get out the map, we were near a place east of Nome called Bluff. Here's the happy killer with her prize:

    And here's me with the same:

    As you can see, both of us our dressed for the conditions. Clothes specific to this hunt were selected. Some were custom made, like my white, polar bear ruff trimmed parka cover. As subsistence hunters have always done, attention to proper attire is necessary.
    We removed the guts and then tipped the sled up against the Ox and rolled it all over. Covered it up and cinched it down.
    Now I have to post this pic a second time as it is really is from the trip home:

    You can see the horn of the Ox in the sled. The kill site is marked in the back ground.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!


    • #3
      Excellent story, pictures, and hunt - thanks for sharing!


      • #4
        Even more.

        I want to deviate here. We recovered the bullet during butchering. It's a 270 WSM. Here's a pic:

        I guess it performed OK, it's a Nosler Partition. I'm not too sure it will be all that good for moose and bear tho. The front lead part is completely gone. I've been more satisfied with the trophy bonded bullets in my 300 WSM. The 270 is OK for Ox tho.

        So, back to the trail home. Here's the country to cover to get there:

        This is the last 40 miles of the Iditarod trail, tho at this time of year it is just a travelling trail. Our total distance, one way, to where we killed the Ox was 56 miles. Here's a shelter cabin 40 miles from Nome (this pic was actually taken last spring):

        It's a public use cabin would make a good shelter for spring bear hunting.

        Like hunters before us, we had to be prepared for problems with out equipment. Sure enough, as the partner raced off ahead of me, a spring on my suspension broke and stuck itself in a drive space in the track. I came to an abrupt halt. Took a little figuring, and a little baling wire and I was back on the trail. Here's a pic:

        You can see the curve of the bent spring. Had to bend the end of it to get it out of the way of the track.
        I'll post this set of pics and have one more to finish.
        I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
        I have less friends now!!


        • #5

          Pretty long day. Left Nome at 10 am. Back at 7 pm. Here we are just before dark, about 10 miles from home:

          Gonna have to do something about the reflective tape on the huntress parka, I think.

          Great weather. No other hunters. Excellent traveling conditions...........and the Ox were easy to find. Couldn't have asked for a better hunt.
          In keeping with the true subsistence theme, this animal will provide both food and money for us. Horns and hide have value and I will take full advantage of that. As to fair chase.......this hunt was conducted completely in accordance with all applicable regs. I believe that qualifies it as "fair chase".
          This hunt is open to all Alaska res. Hopefully it will continue to be so.

          200 lbs of prime, fat Ox meat.....1000.00
          One set of trophy horns..........several hundred dollars
          Ox hide...............................well over 100 bucks
          The ability to use moronic catch phrases on the internet to describe my hunt...PRICELESS!
          I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
          I have less friends now!!


          • #6
            Right on!


            What a great story. Thanks so much for sharing it and for posting the photos. Well documented and very sporting. People in the lower 48ís would just fall over themselves to watch this stuff. I just wished I could get this kind of stuff on tape for TV.:cool: This is the real Alaska for sure and true hunting. Congratulations on your Ox. Yummy. You didn't shoot any video did you

            Alaska Outdoors Television ~ Outdoor Channel


            • #7
              Thanks for sharing you and your girl friends Ox hunt martentrapper! I am glad to hear she had a successful hunt and both of you enjoyed it so much, looks like a fun time.


              "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell

              Before taking any of my advice for granted on here research the legal ramifications thoroughly I am not the Troopers nor am I the Judge that will be presiding over your case/hearing. Please read the hunting and sportfishing regulations and feel free to interpret their meaning on your own.


              • #8
                Way cool, Martintrapper.

                I wonder if You caught one this year?

                In a previous thread you mentioned the"Rush" of hunters heading out to "get their' Ox-on", something we fully expected in Unit23 as well, so me and my sons did it in one day, actually the second day of the season, though I had a crew, and each took about 1/2 hour to skin, gut, butcher and put in the boat.
                Next year it will be the wife and a daughter or two, as we just take turns, and they want in on the fun as well.

                Really, a much better write up than my blitherings.:rolleyes:

                Way Cool.
                If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.:topjob:

                "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....


                • #9
                  Cool story Martin Trapper, that's worth sharing with some freinds. Dont git frost bit eh
                  "You will never know how much it cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you make good use of it."
                  ~ John Quincy Adams


                  • #10
                    Hanging on every word

                    Thanks for sharing. Haven't had them myself but a few friends have said Ox ribs are the best. Good eating!


                    • #11
                      I love a good story

                      Thanks for shareing your story. I love hearding a good hunting story about unique hunts here in Alaska, congrats and enjoy that ox meat!


                      • #12

                        Tell the misses "job well done". And great story by the way.


                        • #13
                          Can anyone tell me why I can't view the pictures?


                          • #14
                            man MT, alaska muskox has been a dream of mine for years! that only makes it worse! closest to you i ever got was unalakleet playing B-ball back in high school, not sure if i could see you on a clear day or not...lol One of these years.....man i sound like everyone else...lol
                            great write up and great pics..in the first pic was there some sorta kill on the side of that rock pile?
                            Master guide 212


                            • #15

                              Very Impressinve. And Muskox is mouthwatering. Good Job!
                              No amount of education can help those who want to remain permanently ignorant of facts, which includes those whom have been educated.


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