MUSKOX

Muskox

Body Length: 200-245 cm / 6.6-8.1 ft.
Shoulder Height: 125-135 cm / 4.1-4.5 ft.
Tail Length: 10-14 cm / 4-5.6 in.
Weight: 180-380 kg / 396-836 lb.

The long, shaggy guard hairs are dark brown in colour, and, at nearly 60 cm / 2 feet in length, may almost reach the ground.  Hidden beneath these guard hairs is an insulating layer of light gray underwool.  The lower legs are pale, as is a patch in the centre of the back.  The body is massive – and seems even more so due to the long hair and short legs.  There is a hump on the shoulders, and the head is carried low with no neck to speak of.  The hook-like horns are found in both sexes, and almost resemble an old-fashioned women’s hairstyle.  Pale yellow in colour, they form a large boss on the skull, thinning as they sweep down and away from the head, ending with the sharp tips curving upwards.  The horns are significantly thicker and form a larger boss in males.

Features

Behavior: 

A nomadic species, the musk ox perpetually wanders the Arctic tundra, moving an average of 2 kilometers / 1 mile daily between feeding sites.  Periods of grazing are alternated with rest periods, each about 2.5 hours long.  Contrary to many species, the musk ox migrates from sheltered, moist lowlands in the summer to higher, barren plateaus in winter.  The primary reason for this is food – the exposed plateaus do not accumulate snow due to the high winds, therefore making food easier to find.  The distance travelled between summer and winter areas generally does not exceed 80 kilometers / 48 miles.  The characteristic defence pattern of this species is a ring, with the young hidden in the centre and the adults facing outward.  While this is extremely effective against wolf attacks, it has made them very easy targets for human hunters with high powered rifles.  Conflicts between males occur throughout the year, although the frequency is expectedly higher during the breeding season.  Confrontations generally consist of two rivals rushing towards each other at up to 40 kmph / 24 mph, clashing their horns together.  This may occur up to 20 times in a row over a course of 50 minutes.  Accompanied by these charges are lion-like roars.  These fights merely determine dominance, with the loser remaining part of the herd.  Population densities vary from 0.3-0.45 animals per square kilometer.

Methods of hunting permitted for use:

  • stalking,
  • using wheel transport,
  • ambush hunting.

Permitted hunting tools:

Hunting firearm with a rifled barrel of caliber not less than 7 mm (but not more than 12 mm) and a seating distance of at least 51 mm; hunting fire smooth-bore long-barreled arms, including threaded length no more than 140 mm and the use of bullet cartridges; hunting firearm combined weapons (smooth-bore and rifted gun), including with rebarreling and auxiliary rifled barrels; cold bladed hunting weapon.