Editor’s Note: “I've been wearing Mossy Oak since I was a little girl,” says Nicole Reeve, co-host of the TV show “Driven with Pat and Nicole” on the Outdoor Channel. An official member of the Mossy Oak Pro Staff for 8 years, Nicole’s an admitted adrenaline junkie. “This spring I decided I would take a brown bear with my bow. For many years, I had wanted to hunt a brown bear. I thought there would be a huge adrenaline rush when I got in close to a dangerous animal like a brown bear. I like the excitement of the hunt, and I enjoy making eye-to-eye contact with dangerous game. I’m a certified, bonafide, you can get papers on me, adrenaline junkie. What can be more exciting than getting close enough to a brown bear to take him with a bow and arrow?”
We were hunting in -60 degree temperatures on this hunt - the coldest temperatures I've ever had to endure. I had a medium-weight ScentBlocker merino wool base layer against my skin. On top of that base layer, I added an expedition weight merino wool ScentBlocker base layer and then a second expedition-weight base layer on top. Next, I wore a battery-powered heated vest, a windproof heavy jacket over my shirt, my ScentBlocker fleece coat over the windbreaker and a thin light coat on top of all those layers. I had layered the same way with my pants - and had on both wool pants and bibs.
At this time of the year, our Inuit guides were searching for musk ox on snowmobiles. We knew that when musk ox felt threatened, they would get in a defensive circle. Often their hindquarters would be touching each other, and their heads facing out of the circle. The bigger musk ox would try to huddle around the smaller musk ox. Since I was hunting with a bow and arrow, I had to get in close to a bull I wanted to take.
We had to go after them several different times. When we found a herd, I would get within 50 or 60 yards of a bull I wanted to take. However, when I attempted to get closer, the herd would break and start running. Then, we would have to go after them again. And remember, there was nothing to hide behind out in the middle of a frozen ocean. Finally I was able to get within 25 yards. I picked out the bull that was presenting the best shot and took the shot. Even though I made a perfect shot with the first arrow, I had to take a second shot to put the bull down.
Although I had a ton of chemical hand warmers in my hand muff, my hands were still extremely cold. My hands would almost freeze if I took them out of my muff for 30 seconds to a minute, even though I had on wool gloves with hand warmers inside the gloves. So, I had a really difficult time trying to shoot my bow to take my musk ox and then run the camera when Pat took his musk ox. One of our guides, Big John, took my hands out of my gloves. He took his hands out of his gloves and put my hands inside his hands. I couldn’t believe how warm and even hot his hands were. I asked, “Big John, how in the world do you have warm hands, and my hands are almost frozen?” Big John smiled and said, “I have Inuit blood. The weather today is like summertime for us.” Scott Shultz, the owner of ScentBlocker, was with us on this hunt, and he took a really nice musk ox also.