Sprint-racer Cyrus Harris suffered an injury to his dog team Sunday, when a musk ox attacked his dogs in his dog yard at his residence near Kotzebue.
His dog, Snoopy, one of three that were attacked, suffered a wound in his stomach that appears to be non-life threatening.
Harris was able to bring the animal down with several shots from a rifle.
While the animals are common in the area, Harris said they've never been a problem before. According to Alaska Wildlife Trooper Eric Lorring, musk ox attacks are not rare, especially at this time of year, when they are in rut. His advice for anyone who encounters one is simple - get as far away from it as fast as you can.
Not the First Musher to have Musk Ox Problems
Last fall, 17-year-old musher Mellisa Owens team encountered a herd of musk ox during a training run for her rookie attempt at the Iditarod. While the dog team got tangled up in the excitement, Owens was able to get them into her truck without suffering any injuries.
Photo: Melissa Owens
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
2008 Tustumena 200 Winner Lance Mackey Photo from Tustumena 200 website
Board Gets A New Look
Change is inevitable, as organizers of the Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race surly realize, while they prepare for the 25th anniversary running of the Kenai Peninsula race.
Several board members and officers have stepped down from their positions after several years of extremely dedicated hard work. When the elections were held this past spring, few volunteered to take their places.
Kasilof resident and Iditarod musher Paul Gebhardt stepped down as race marshal, a position he has held the past two years. According to the Peninsula Clarion, Gephardt said, "It just takes too much time away from my own training and racing. I've been shorting myself, but I'd like to win Iditarod and I'm not getting any younger, so I need to focus on my own dogs."
Another challenge facing race organizers is finding a new major sponsor, as Kenai Chrysler Center pulled out after last season.
However, a new executive director has been hired. Tami Murray, a Sterling resident who has volunteered with the Iditarod, raised funds for local organizations, and worked for more than 25 years as a television producer, takes over.
"I'm very excited about the position. I love the sport of mushing and have always thought the T-200 was a great community race and I wanted to see it keep on going," she said.
Artist and musher Jon Van Zyle is the new race marshal. He brings his experience of racing the Iditarod, as well as serving as a race marshal in numerous other races, to the event.
Race organizers are working with local snowmachiners and riding clubs, plus area dog mushers who regularly ride and train in the area, to utilize their knowledge, time and skills in keeping the trail up to standards.
The 25th anniversary running of the T-200 is scheduled to start on Jan. 24, 2009. Details of the T-100 and Jr. T races are still being worked out.
But despite the challenges – the race will still go on.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Four-time Iditarod champion Martin Buser of Big Lake, AK, has entered the 2009 Yukon Quest sled dog race. The fifty-year-old will race against four consecutive-years Quest champion Lance Mackey, also winner of the past two Iditarod races, and the only musher to win both races in the same year.
Among the 23 entrants is newton Marshall of the Jamaican dog sled team.
The race will start February 14, 2009 in Whitehorse, YT and finish in Fairbanks AK.