71° NORTH – A GREENLAND HUNTING ADVENTURE
A trio of hunters tackle their tundra trophies in the desolate wilds of Greenland. Browning, Outdoor Life and Leupold team up for a wild safari hunting musk ox and caribou.
Some people will go to the ends of the earth for an epic hunting experience.
Browning's own Rafe Nielsen, Shane Meisel of Leupold optics and Andrew McKean of Outdoor Life began their hunt for musk ox among the local herds with guide Frank Feldmann of Greenland Outfitters . “Native Inuits call musk oxen ‘the bearded ones,’ and while they look like modern mastodons, they’re more closely related to wild sheep and goats than to cattle, or to mammoths,” observed McKean. “The herds we hunt are transplants, brought to southern Greenland from the northern part of the island 40 years ago to provide meat for local Inuit villagers.”
Native Inuits call musk oxen "the bearded ones."
“Because southern Greenland’s caribou are nonmigratory, finding a herd is the second-hardest part of hunting them,” explains McKean. “It’s like wild-sheep hunting, Feldmann says. You must cover miles of similar-looking rocks and hanging valleys before finding a herd, and then you must solve the hardest part: figuring out how to get into rifle range in an open, featureless landscape with vegetation no taller than a coffee can.”
“We’re either lucky or good because in our first prospecting hike, we find a herd,” McKean recalls. “The caribou are 3 miles up a gorgeous valley full of musk oxen, and cheerful waterfalls.”
Again, in short order all three hunters are in shooting position and each takes a worthy trophy from the herd.
“As we break down each of our three caribou…we pluck blueberries from the low-slung bushes and fill our canteens with water from the sluicing stream nearby,” McKean recounts. “We lash the capes and antlers onto our packs and turn toward the coast, a couple of miles down the valley. We can just see Feldmann’s boat, which will take us to his warm cabin perched on a cold rock in a lonely bay.”
Shane Meisel, Andrew McKean and Rafe Nielsen pack their trophies back to base camp.
Greenland is a most unforgiving environment for game, guns and gear, and there is little or no room for failure. Each of the three hunters carried a Browning X-Bolt Pro rifle in 300 WSM, loaded with Browning BXC 185-grain big game ammo.
Each rifle was topped with a 3-15x44mm Leupold VX-5HD scope and each hunter carried Leupold’s excellent 10x42mm RBX-3000 HD range finding binos for game glassing, ranging and shot spotting.