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Choices: An Alaskan Musk Ox Hunt

August 25, 2016

by: Paul Atkins, Bowtech Pro Staff

When summer ends and I get ready to head back to Alaska each fall, decisions have to be made on what to pack and not to pack. It’s a big undertaking and at times can be quite cumbersome. Clothes, food, and everything else that must sustain me for the year must be included.  Hunting essentials and more specifically archery gear play a huge part in that planning and packing process.

Past years have found me packing two bows for my long season in Alaska, but now days I only take one. This is primarily due to the fact that the new “smart bows” produced by BowTech are some of the most accurate, universal and shooter friendly bows ever made. Now I can rely on one bow and it’s pretty much all I need for hunting the variety of species I hunt here in the Arctic, or as far as that goes anywhere my bow hunting adventures take me.

After a very successful trip to Africa with my BT-X this summer where I was able to fulfill my dream of taking a Cape Buffalo, I knew the BT-X would for sure be one of the bows I considered packing in my bow case. I also thought of my Prodigy, a bow that I truly enjoy shooting and for me personally one of the most accurate bows I’ve ever had the pleasure to shoot. Both of these “smart bows” are incredible. They’re super easy to adjust, they’re forgiving, have solid walls and they’re fast whether set in high speed mode, comfort mode or my personal choice, the classic setting. Both are smooth, dead on accurate and easy to adjust if needed. After careful consideration I packed the Prodigy primarily to give it a go in the Arctic backcountry and because it is pure joy to shoot!

Last weekend my good friend Lew and I took our first trip up river to scout for moose and bear and if we were lucky maybe fill the musk ox tag I had in my pocket. Compared to winter, finding a musk ox in the fall is hard. The odds of seeing a bull, let alone finding one that’s accessible can be extremely tough. The barren tundra goes on forever and without snow for transportation it can only be accessed by foot using spot and stalk hunting tactics.

Not long into our journey we got lucky, spotting a bull and a cow cruising the shoreline along the river. Grabbing my binoculars I got a good look. He was a great bull, worthy of my tag and it was then I had to make a choice, much like having to choose the right gear or certain bow to take on a particular hunt.

After exiting our boat we pushed up the bank hoping to sneak close enough for a clean shot. It was lengthy stalk, but the dense willows and downed driftwood provided excellent cover, plus we had the wind in our favor. At 26 yards we could go no farther. The Prodigy felt great when I came to full draw and the unexpecting bull had no idea of what was about to happen next. The Gold Tip arrow equipped with a Wasp Drone broadhead found its mark and completely went through this huge bull. He didn’t go far piling up on the tundra. It was an incredible event!

Choices are important in life, but for the bow hunter it’s especially true when it comes to selecting their equipment. You have to have the “right stuff” at the right time, whether it’s bow hunting cape buffalo in Africa or in this case musk ox in Alaska. My choice is BowTech and with the smart technology it will continue to be so!