Physical characteristics and distribution
Body length: females: 210 – 230 cm, males: 230 – 250 cm
Weight: females: 200 – 300 kg, males: 300 – 400 kg
Life expectancy: 15 – 20 years
Distribution: Canada, Greenland, Siberia, Alaska
Type: 25,000 to 30,000
The musk-ox has a stocky, massive body. Above the shoulders is a powerful hunchback. The head is very tall and long. The muzzle is wide, the eyes are small. Both sexes wear horns whose tips are bent upwards. The musk ox’s legs are short compared to the body. They end in broad, round hooves, with the front hooves being slightly larger than the hind hooves. The coat is long, dense and shaggy and almost reaches the ground. From the horns to the withers, the musk-ox has a long, distinct mane. In winter the coat has a dark to black-brown color, in summer it is yellow-brown. The dense undercoat is light. At the back of the musk ox has a so-called saddle stain. At this point, the dark, long hair is not present, and the light undercoat becomes visible.
Reproduction and development
The musk ox’s breeding season begins in June and extends into August. Between the males (bulls) of a herd it comes to fierce rank fights, which sometimes end fatally. Losers submit to the winner or have to leave the group. Only the lead bull covers the females (cows) of his herd. The cow is pregnant for about seven to nine months. Then she gives birth to a baby (calf). Twin births are possible but rare. The calf weighs about twelve kilograms at birth. It is able to follow the mother only a few hours after birth. The mother nurses her offspring for up to 15 months. Nevertheless, at the age of one week, the calf begins to eat grass. As soon as the cow becomes pregnant again, she drives out her calf. However, it usually stays in the herd in which it grew up. Females become sexually mature at about four years, bulls only two years later.
Lifestyle and behavior
Musk oxen are herd animals. In summer they live in small groups of up to 20 animals. In winter, large herds of more than 100 animals join together. The herds consist of females and males. Sometimes there are also pure male groups. In case of danger the herd forms a circle with the heads outwards. Helpless cubs are taken in the middle. During snowstorms, the group migrates with their backs to the wind in a conical formation. The herd is then led by a female at the top, the young are taken back into the middle. Musk oxen are diurnal. In summer, they love to wallow in mud pots. They live in a fixed area and only travel a few kilometers a day.
Musk oxen are pure herbivores. They are very frugal and get along well with the scarce food supply in their home country. They eat mainly grasses, leaves, herbs and flowers. Also seeds, tubers, roots and bark belong to the food of these animals, as well as mosses and lichens. If you can find them, mushrooms, fruits and nuts are also on the menu of musk oxen. They are ruminants. Your day is divided into eating and resting phases. They only eat about two hours and then rest just as long to ruminate again. In winter, musk oxen scrabble for food with their strong hooves under the snow cover.
Hunting style, equipment and countries
Musk Oxen occur in Canada and Greenland but are currently actively hunted only in Greenland. Hunting takes place in spring (March and April) and in autumn. As a hunt is the stalking and rides with snowmobiles and running with snowshoes the rule. For musk oxen, stronger calibers are recommended, such as 300Win Mag ….
Hunting trip Countries
Greenland – If you are currently not in the offer with interest you can contact us
If you have any questions or are interested in a mediation offer for hunting trips, please contact us via email or contact form.
All offered trips are arranged by us and carried out by our partners as organizers.