140 miles, 1/2 with no trail, in the fog, -38 below, 20 mile MPH winds, 5-1/2 hours


January 3, 2012, 07:13 AM
140 miles, 1/2 with no trail, in the fog, -38 below, 20 mile MPH winds, 5-1/2 hours in the dark.


TO HUNT!!!! Yaaaaaaaaaaaa, thats what its all about!! :D

OK,............we arrived last night, cold, frostbit and tired, riding to the Southern end of the Kotzebue sound, staying with th oldest son, his family and hunted Muskox with two other outragously mellow fellows..
Woke up before dawn,(LOL!!) warmed the rides, ate breakfast, gassed up and hit the trail at Noon thirty (15 minutes before sun up), and had Ox in site within 20 minutes.....

And so , with my Mosin M-39, I caught one today, very very Fat :D
and so did my Friends, Brett
and Vince.
First we hit tracks and looked ahead to the steam rising off so many animals a mile or so away, across a lagoon and meandering channles and islands. We caught them feeding and milling around , as they do at -30, (better than yesterdays -42) out along a river channel that had a high cliff along the end of it and sorta just rode/waltzed/snuck up to the rivers edge, 150 yards across.

After a bit of frustration with our rfile (my firing pin, Vince's aiming apperatus), we sat, fixxed, and carried on. Vince had his choice and the first one was down when the rest had to broadside to us to leave(better target that way) rather than bunch up and stand ground, they didnt like the cliff behind, so they all turned and left lineing up,exiting stage left all a trotting, and I got a nice young bull, then Brett got his as well, but a real 'bulldog' of an OX ----"BEEFCAKE!"---- if I ever seen one ........
If they had been in the open, they would have formed a circle and stood, making it very dificult to shoot them for a quick death and not hit others. Their love of beach grass that grows along the banks and on the little islandsdoomed 3 of them and the other 22 left as fast as Ox trot.

Ill get the rest of the pictures downloaded tomarrow, the wife will get one then. Im sure Illpicyure some blood and lots butchering /skinning pictures. The inter net here isnt much better than home, but well see, I have another day yet.

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January 3, 2012, 07:45 AM
awesome report....i always look forward to your post!! Thank you

January 3, 2012, 07:51 AM
Looks like you all had a blast. Congrats!

January 3, 2012, 10:50 AM
Wow. That's cold. Neat to see musk ox, but ... wow.

You're a lot harder that I am, Caribou. :D

Art Eatman
January 3, 2012, 11:00 AM
What's the processing sequence when it's that cold? Gutting, skinning, butchering, all that?

I saw -25F in Detroit, winter of '62/'63. That increased my dislike of hard water. But, when it's 100 to 110 in my desert, I'm happy as a lizard on a rock. :D

January 3, 2012, 01:34 PM
Great hunting with , Caribou. M 39 did it again. If anyone have doubts of the 7.62 x 54 R capability for big game, let em see these pics.

BTW have you had occasions when your Mosin 39 trigger spring broke due to long use and extreme cold conditions? THe one in my Sako broke three years ago and although its an easy fix, might be wise to have spares in case Mr Murphy comes at the most critical time. A flat screwdriver should always be handy around , too.

January 3, 2012, 09:27 PM
That is just truly amazing!

January 4, 2012, 01:50 AM
Today ws the wifes hunt................as soon as light came, We had the Ox in site from the oldest sons front room window .....an hours warm up for the machine, as its -38 below Degrees, thats quite a routiene.

Soooooooooo we drove the two or o miles there, and parked on the hill crests reverse, so's The Muskox couldnt see us, and started our "stalk".....LOL!!!!
Being Muskox, they do not scare easily, but once frighten, will pile up shoulder to shoulder and a clean, one animal catch is pretty hard then, and Muskox wont budge.
Soooooooooooooowe left out whiteouts at the sons house and wore all black. Walking together, they assumed we were just another Ox.......and we got within 50 yards pretty easily before they were thinking twice and as the fringe ones were starting to be moving tward the middle, the wife took her shot.
That set the Oxto tumbling, running ,falling,running and into the group She tore out its throat, but it made the 50 feet into the bunch, and the wife and I stood there while they formed up. Then we walked apart, each going away and they took us for Wolves (I guess LOL!!) and turned left and took off.
By this time(about 1/2 a minute) the Bull having become tippy and stood there alone, his herd moving away at a trot. A second shot sealed the deal and a perfect Bull Muskox was soon at her feet, 400lbs of FAT Meat :D
Our friend Brett brought my sled and rode Agnes to our ride and she brought it up as I arranged our gear and we gutted right there.
Daylight is breif this timma year , and like yesterday, we brought the whole Ox to the Sons house an skinned inthe yard.




The TROPHY !!!

4 Ox in the yard.....by the pound or by the ton.....


Now to ride home tomarrow......it'll warm up to -26 below, and that will be very nice compared to this last couple weeks

January 4, 2012, 05:36 AM

January 4, 2012, 07:03 AM
Very near report! Thanks!

You guys have some SERIOUS hunting urges to hunt at those temps!

Really NEAT using a M-N as they are known to have been used in COLD climes! Quite an adequate arm/round indeed.

January 4, 2012, 08:56 AM
Great shooting, great hunting, and as always excellent pictures providing a great insight into your way of life and the hunt.

Looks like the Mosin works well on the Musk Oxen. I guess all the stories about needing a .375 H&H or a .458 Winchester to hunt them are very untrue :).

Just my .02,

January 4, 2012, 09:28 AM
That's quite a layer of fat! Guess they need it. Fascinating creatures. Nice pics, and great play-by-play! Congratulations on one heck of a job!

January 4, 2012, 11:31 AM
Suddenly, my motorcycle rides this time of year don't seem so bad.:what: I'm such a wimp, I use an electric vest in 40 degree weather. But, then I'm used to much warmer.

Muskox is an animal that intrigues me. I'd think about hunting 'em, but for the weather they hang out in. :uhoh: Well, that and i ain't got the cash to book such a hunt makes it an easy decision. LOL

I read the title of the thread and thought, "Son, that sounds like my commute to school every morning except that it was up hill both ways." :D

January 4, 2012, 11:36 AM
Another note, I can see why you'd wanna use a Russian military bolt rifle in that weather. My Remingtons would probably freeze up and refuse to go bang. :D I don't know that, and hopefully, I'll never have the chance to test the theory. I mean, I'd love the hunt, but my long johns just ain't up to THAT.:what:

January 4, 2012, 12:57 PM
You Da Man !!!

January 4, 2012, 01:04 PM
Seriously cool stuff. Man, I love your posts.

January 4, 2012, 05:01 PM
Thank you so much for sharing your adventures!

January 4, 2012, 09:39 PM
What food sources do these muskox eat upon , Caribou? With all that deep snow they surely go hungry looking for food .

January 5, 2012, 10:58 AM
I can see why you'd wanna use a Russian military bolt rifle in that weather.

The bolt (and receiver) may be Russian, but the rest of that rifle is all Finn baby.

January 5, 2012, 11:26 PM
I really do enjoy your write ups, I suppose because they are about completely different kinds of hunting than I've been exposed to, thank you very much for sharing.

January 6, 2012, 01:35 PM
Ok what does musk ox taste like?

January 6, 2012, 02:32 PM
dude your mental Awesome but mental. But then again a 110 degrees with 90 % humidity would prolly seem just as crazy to you.

Shadow 7D
January 6, 2012, 02:44 PM
Damn Caribou I haven't like going outside this last week, let alone spend time outside, I dislike the negatives.

Anywho I guess cold and clear beats warm and blowing snow.
Wow, Do you get substance on the Musk Oxes?

I know that tags can be hard to come by, and getting to the herds isn't the easiest thing (don't the know they should graze by the roads...)

January 7, 2012, 10:25 PM
Some great hunting there. I will never complain about being cold in a tree stand after seeing what you have to hunt in. One thing for sure you don't have to worry about the meat spoiling.

January 8, 2012, 04:35 AM
Theres a price to pay, for sure to live and hunt this way. We try and bring as much back as possible, and often spen several days at this timma year to work a load up. Daylight is only 2-3 hours total with dusk and dawn added, but growing 8 minutes a day now :D We carry extra guns, extra gas and an extra large sled when covering this much ground in a hunt.

The need to carry spare cloths and camping gear was nagated by the sons village being smack in the middle of the hunting area.

Gas is a flat 6$ a gallon there , as they have a direct barge and less mark up than that that comes from Kotzebue. Finding parts in a village is fairly easy too, and if we dont come back, some one will track us to where we planned to start the hunt....... so we worried not and still had to deal with frost bite.
Often ,during these cold spells, the wife and I look like we beat each other, and people everywhere have burns and bites on faces, wrists and hands from genneral outdoor activity.
While placeing a spring on my ride , I frost bit mmy finger, and the metal stuck to the skin and I had to tear it off, but it dont hurt till its thawed out...Ouuch...as well as my face with a nip from the wind.
We spit on our jhands and warm the frozen skin, and cover it with spit so it wont blister and swell. Thats what will happen if you dont spit on it.
Anyways, like a sunburn a spit on frost bite will just turn brown and peel, an unspit one will too, but with a patch of skin gone from the blistering and raw skin underneath.

If ever you have been frost bitten, that place will not feel a thing the next time and every time it happens afterward.

January 8, 2012, 08:09 AM
Good on you.

There's being cold, then there's being really cold, and then there's being "are you kidding me?" cold.

What you did is beyond even that.

January 9, 2012, 03:52 AM
dude your mental Awesome but mental. But then again a 110 degrees with 90 % humidity would prolly seem just as crazy to you.


At 75 degrees with NO humidity i am about to die. Lower 48 living would kill me now.

Great hunting story MR Caribou. We're having a heat wave here in North Pole. -31 tonight.

Dr.Mall Ninja
January 9, 2012, 03:57 AM
Man you are hardcore! I had to read your post several times, I cant even begin to understand how cold that is, When it gets near zero I pretty much avoid going outside...

January 9, 2012, 11:36 AM
Dang, caribou, that's hardcore.

I love AZ and our tiny little deer. I will keep repeating that to myself. :D

January 11, 2012, 06:23 PM

I've only ever been subjected to those temperatures and winds one time, and only for 3 days. It was odd, because it was so cold, and so dry that the cold didn't really feel that cold.

Anyhow, I like these threads, especially the pictures. Odd that over the many threads I have read, I never saw the rationale for a Mosin M39. What other type rifles and calibers are you typically taking?

I recall reading materials from Weatherby, Inc back in the 1980s, in which the company detailed a treatment for Alaska-bound hunters. The entire bolt, trigger, safety, etc, would be completely degreased, then lubricated with graphite. Are you using that or similar treatment for not freezing the moving parts?

Thanks for the thread. Awesome reading.


January 11, 2012, 11:48 PM
I clean as normal in winter, qil, wipe off and go. Some use graphite, but usually on auto's, as Mini-14s are popular and so are Ruger 10/22's...anything Ruger, Winchester or Remington, Mossberg is found here, some Savages, but alotta milsurps out of economy of price and bulk ammo.

Reminton 700, Winchester 70, Ruger 77, Ruger 10/22, Marlin Modle 60, Mossberg 500, remington 870, milsurps....... Those are the most common, and not in any sorta order

I use the M-39 simply because it is so Accurate. Before the Rifle Im useing now I sued a K98k for a year or so , an winchester 1917 Enfeild in 30-06, but the rifle before that was a rem700 ADL with a wooden stock I removed the comb, cheek peice, shortend an inch (we wear alotta clothes in the Arctic), lightend up the for end, removed the bead on the front sight , as they all roll, and filed the rear sight flat across with a notch. I hunted and it killed Everything I sent bullets to, .234W with 100grn. Remington Coreloks every time. .

I personally I use a .22LR Romainian trainer, bolt action M-69. Its got indestructable sights and I paing mine all over with Rustoleum, especcialy when were hunting by the Ocean in summer time.
As well I use my M-39 and a 12 gauge 3in. mag Mossberg Mavric.

My "Bear Pistol" is my rifle, so that one shot is a doozy :D

Poular calibers among locals is 30-06, .308, .243w, .270, .223, .22lr 12 Gauge, .410, .22-250 and a few newer.17 rimfires, but they are making the rounds and if guys sell a rifle repetedly 'round here, it usually aint that great
Some guys have keyholeing problems and zip accuracy, and even when accurate the bullet is a bit harsh on Fur.

I use FMJ Czeck milsurp 7.62X54r to great effect, as the rifle and ammmo combo is awsome. Seems Russian 70's light ball is shooting pretty darn near as straight , too, Im gonna practise more with such at our "range' a stump with targets, out on out river, a bend down. shoot as far as I can see :D

January 12, 2012, 02:42 AM
Now I can't wait to get my Mosin sighted and in the woods this year! VA isn't so cold though...
Awesome hunt. What's musk ox taste like?

January 12, 2012, 05:53 AM
Ox tastes very mild, actually the closest to "Beef" in flavor and texture, fats all through...Swan is very close too, the three are very simular in taste.
Now that folks know I have some, its being asked for :D

January 12, 2012, 06:09 AM
Thank-you for the thorough response!! Very appreciated. :) I keep telling my wife that after our daughter graduates, I want to move to Alaska. May never happen, but the dream sure keeps me going. Until then, I can continue to live to Alaskan dream in these posts.


January 12, 2012, 04:35 PM
Where do you order bulk ammo, Caribou? How much total once its shipped ? I think Czech surplus are but few nowadays. Usually they are Russian FMJs in tins.

January 12, 2012, 11:22 PM
J&G sales in prescott AZ shipps ammo here, in bulk, and I bought near 20 cases of Czeck when it was 62$ an 800 rd tin.......mucho more now, for sure.

Shipping to Alaska via UPS is easy if theres not a complete fool on the other end of the line.

January 13, 2012, 11:39 PM
that sounds awsome, except for the negative readings on the temps.
Thanks for sharing look forward to hear about some more of your hunts.

January 14, 2012, 12:16 AM
Awesome post man, sure makes me miss that beautiful cold-azz cold...and I grew up on the Kenai Peninsula, I don't think I ever saw less than 30 below my whole childhood. Nothing as pretty as a sub-zero, bluebird-clear frosty morning and the smell of 2 stroke...Good hunting man! And with a MN, awesome.

January 14, 2012, 03:53 PM
Jealous! lol, looks like some fine eating you have there.

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