More Muskoxen on the Thomsen River
In the summer, the
muskoxen love to
play in the water.
Since babies are
born in March or
April, they are
puzzled when they
first encounter
water.

We were fortunate
to get to watch a
herd of muskoxen
come down and
play in the water.
Two calves are in
the middle.
Above, muskoxen resting. Muskoxen are usually on a 90 minute
cycle of eating and resting.

Below, the remains of muskoxen dot the landscape.
We visited several
archaeological sites where
the indigenous brought their
game to preserve in the ice
and snow.  Some of the
skulls may be centuries old.
Right, a muskoxen with exposed
permafrost in the background.

This area of the Arctic is a desert.
Annual precipitation is approximately
four inches. Except for snow drifts
such as those along the banks, snow
is generally not very deep in winter.



Below, muskoxen in front of some
unmelted snow.
Above, and left, mother's with calves. The calves stay
close to mothers because of the threat of wolves.





Below, one of the larger herds we observed.
Below, a group of bachelors giving us a last look before taking off.
Everywhere we looked we saw qiviut, the hair which the
muskoxen were shedding (left).

The people of Sachs Harbour are permitted to hunt the
muskoxen. For the most part, they hunt the muskoxen that
stray from the Thomsen River to the south leaving the
Thomsen River Valley to replenish the muskoxen. Some of
the muskoxen are sold for consumption down south.