Musk ox hunting in Greenland – a hunting report
“When it comes to musk ox hunting, there is an abundance of trophy-size males in our hunting district,” says the outfitter, Thomas Olsen of North Safari in Greenland, emphasising how pleased he was to see a wonderful herd of females and calves on the mountains too. According to the outfitter, this observation confirms that the population seems to be in a good state of health.
Olsen owns the outfitter company North Safari, which offers musk ox hunts from 1 July until the 15 October. The company also offers caribou hunting from 1 August to 15 October. The company is located in Kangerlussuaq (Sønder Strømfjord), which is the cheapest destination in Greenland in terms of airfares.
This year, despite of the slow economic growth in Europe, the demand for the arctic outfitters hunting safaris has still been decent. As a result, the calendar has pretty much been fully booked throughout the season.
During the first week of the season North Safari hosted a group of hunters from Jutland. Here’s what Olsen had to say about the very musk ox hunt of the year:
“According to schedule, we arrived at the camp early in the morning on 1 July. The camp was all set up, and having eaten breakfast before we left home, we were ready to hunt as soon as we got there. We followed the right side of the riverbank into the wilderness and after a short while we encountered a lone musk ox on the opposite bank of the river.
“Crossing the river on foot was not safe, so we walked back towards the camp and crossed the river in a rubber dinghy. Just as we arrived at camp we saw a herd of muskox on the mountain on the other bank of the river,” he says.
They they crossed the river and, after an exciting stalk, they suddenly found themselves exactly where one of the musk ox males had decided to pass.
“Hunting musk ox with Thomas was a great experience,” says Kim Schmidt from Herning, who shot the first musk ox of the year: a strong bull, with beautiful black horn tips.
Schmidt certainly got his money’s worth.
“We were sitting and waiting, while one of the other hunters was trying to get within shooting range of a herd of cows, with a good bull in it. However, the animals suddenly got uneasy as the bull noticed two smaller bulls close by. A fight broke out among the bulls and the biggest bull won.”
Schmidt goes on to tell about how the bull that won proceeded to walk past him and Olsen as they lay hidden in the low vegetation.
“As he closed in on us, he could smell us. He snorted and approached us. I suddenly wondered what he would do once he was closer to us. When the bull was only 20 metres away from us I was ready to shoot. I couldn’t because it wasn’t angled right. Finally, the ox turned a little, and I could fire the bullet diagonally into his front.” Overall, Schmidt was very happy with all the arrangements, the camp life, musk ox casserole cooked over an open fire, the light summer nights and the physically challenging aspects of the hunt.
The muskox turned as Kim Schmidt fired his gun and it ended with a perfect shot and a short, clumsy, but fast, run on the part of the musk ox.
As Olsen said at the beginning, this year’s musk ox has well and truly started – and has been a great success!
Would you also like to go musk ox hunting in Greenland?
What would you say to an amazing hunting adventure in physically demanding and primitive conditions? Then search the available hunts for muskox in the hunting trip catalogue here. All hunts are coordinated directly with the outfitter thus avoiding costly intermediaries.