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Bowhunting Bison

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Bowhunting Bison

In Jan 2009, my father, a friend (Chad) and I traveled to a bowhunting only ranch in Texas. They were hunting hogs and I had paid for a multiple animal hunt. To say the least, the ranch was not as expected and the hunting was quite bad. Dad had to leave early and the guide decided to try to put me on a bison on the last day to salvage my hunt. This cow came into 18 yards and I put a perfect double lung shot on her and the arrow had full penetration. We found the good blood trail but decided to give it a few hours and follow up with dogs, just in case. To make a long story short, during the tracking we thought the dog bells were getting louder instead of quieter. Indeed they were as the hunters became the hunted although we did not see the bison on this encounter. When we did actually find her, as soon as the guide (who decided following up a full-grown bison only required a .30-30 with 3 shots...) shot, she charged but didn't get too close. We gave her a while longer and when we cam on her again it was dark. Chad and I were standing about 15-20 yards from her with lights waiting for the guide to shoot for what seemed like a half hour. After another poorly placed shot, she charged hard this time. All I remember is looking back and seeing the glare of her eyes not 10 feet away as we sprinted through the unfamiliar texas brush. The guide was out of ammo and left us in the dark while he went to get more. Needless to say, I made him follow her up and finish her off by himself after being shook up from the charge. After getting back to camp, the guide and ranch owner disappeared as Chad and I, two midwest deer hunters never having dealt with such a huge critter, were left with skinning and processing the bison by ourselves until 4 am. Lessons learned: do your research on your outfitters, call references, then call some more....and NEVER leave your carry guns at camp no matter what the ranch's firearms rules are ha.

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