The Mighty Ox:
Bob Jubb provides plans for carving a musk ox
The musk ox is really tough, living in the high Arctic through the severest of winters. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, they are also a prey for wolves. When there is a wolf attack, the adult oxen form a tight circle around the calves to protect them from the wolves. I’ve only ever carved one musk ox, which is this one, and it was carved approximately 25 years ago. I managed to track down its owner who has kindly let me borrow it so I could take some photographs. I still like it to this day and I am tempted to carved another, but maybe in walnut (Juglans regia) this time. This carving was carved in elm (Ulmas procera) and the dimensions of this carving are 292 x 165 x 120mm.
Did you know?
• The musk ox has long shaggy hair, which is well adapted to its frigid climate in the Arctic. They have a shorter undercoat that gives additional insulation in the winter.
• The female musk ox carry calves during an eight month pregnancy and calves can keep up with their mothers and the rest of the heard within a matter of hours.
• The musk ox are herd animals and are usually led by a single female.
• The musk ox has a life span of 12–20 years and grows to approximately 1.5m in height.
• They are very protective of their calves and are fed on their mother’s milk until they learn to graze the tundra.
• They can be found on the treeless tundra from Alaska through to Northern Canada and to Greenland.