Free Range Bison hunting anyone do it?

Discussion in 'Hunting North America' started by davidt, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. davidt

    davidt BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Member

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    Hello,
    I was wondering if any members have got lucky to draw a free range bison tag in MT, WY, or Utah and how the hunt went? One of my top NA hunts is a free range Bison, but I have not lucked out on a tag yet.
     
  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    David, i have not hunted them in the US.

    I have done so in Canada.
    We have a couple of separate herds and of course all the tasty ones in paddocks for filling the freezer.
    I have not drawn a tag yet for the one herd. The other herd no tag is required. They are vermin and can be hunted without a license.

    The east part is killing them.
    They are harder to process than Moose and Elk I have taken. Usually, because you have to hunt them in nasty deep snow.

    There is a school in NWT that takes a class of teenagers out to hunt one. Incredible experience for the kids from start to finish.

    Take a collection of your best friends, not just friends. The friends will leave you to eat it in the woods, your best friends may actually help you get it back to civilization.

    Good luck in your drawing a tag.
     
  3. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Dont rule out South Dakota. Custer state park has a draw and is supposed to be a great free range hunt.
     
  4. lwaters

    lwaters BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Cabela's had one offered on a 55000 acrea ranch. I think it was $4500 for a trophy bull and $3000 for a 3 year old bull. I thought about it just for the meat. It was in South Dakota and I don't think you needed a license.
     
  5. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    OP I have hunted them free range in Alberta (near Wood Buffalo National Park) and in the Northwest Territories. It is a great hunt for real wild bison in those areas and as Brickburn said, it is a lot of work getting a big bull out of the middle of nowhere. Hunts in those areas are typically in the winter as that is the only time you can access some of that country. Long hours on snow machines in -30 or so, covering a lot of wilderness with help a LONG ways away. The Alberta hunt can be done DIY, the NWT you have to use an outfitter. There are also some outfitters who do hunts in northern Alberta for the bison near Wood Buffalo.

    There are also one or two outfitters in British Columbia that have an allocation for wild plains bison up in the NE off the Alaska Hwy in the Pink Mountain/Sikinni River area. Additionally there are outfitted hunts for wood bison available in the Yukon.

    I know guys who have done the Custer State Park hunt and it is pretty much a cake walk. They are no more wild in that park than on most big bison farms. The hunts is done from a pickup truck and there is a crew to come in and retrieve the animal once it is shot.

    I have also talked to a few who have drawn in Utah and from what I have been told the Antelope Island hunt is again, a cake walk, if you want a real hunt you should focus on the Henry Mountains.

    Alaska offer some good bison hunts through a draw. The better areas are fly-in and you are going to work hard.

    I am not familiar with all of the MT and WY hunts, but I do know that some are very easy and others are more of a hunt, so you would have to do your research.

    Cheers!
     
  6. bcarper

    bcarper AH Veteran

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    The Alaska bison hunts are a draw, the odds are less than 1/2 of 1 percent. VERY tough to draw, I have been trying for 20 years. Some draws on native lands, are better, but there is a steep trespass fee. Kodiak Island has some private land hunts as do ranchers near Delta Jct. Prices seem to be $2500.00- 4000.00. For this you get hide, horns and meat. Brian
     
  7. davidt

    davidt BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Member

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    Skyline,
    You peaked my interest on something you said you can do a diy hunt in Alberta. Does a non resident to canada have to have a guide? Would you have more information that you can get me on how i would go about a diy in Alberta? I spoke to SD and it is free range but no different than a ranch hunt. Henry mts would be great if i got a tag. Thanks to all that posted!
     
  8. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Be aware that the Alberta hunt are not for the faint of heart. As mentioned you will be snomobiling a hundred or more miles from the nearest road, cell phone tower or rescue choper. You will be travelling light to conserve room for fuel cans, as such most choose to sleep in a hollowed out snowbank at -30 to -50. Most of the guided hunts are also done this way. Savage encouters is the only outfitter I know of that choppers a comfortable tent camp in. Not to discourage you, just saying. This is certainly not a hunt for everyone.
     
  9. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    +1
    Oh yeah, remember what I said about friends...
     
  10. BnC 04

    BnC 04 TITANIUM SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Remind me about the Alberta hunt when we talk. I think you stay with your plan of drawing out or we head to your other location.
     
  11. davidt

    davidt BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Member

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    Ok yea i will stay with the drawing a tag than. I dont even need to ask why.
     
  12. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thanks Diamondhitch I didn't know about that one put in for the Alaska free range bison for years and never got drawn.
     
  13. davidt

    davidt BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Member

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    Bobpuckett,
    I have spoke with the Ranger in SD and got the information on the hunt in the park. You can put in for a non-trophy bull for 1500 or a trophy for 5000. He said your first year you will not get drawn, but after that the odds go up a lot. He was a great guy and explained everything about the hunt. Besides the hotel and butchering, most everything else they help with. He said that he has had some great feedback from the people hat have done this hunt in the past. If you are interested, PM me and I have all the information yet. The two down falls I see is when you apply you must send the full amount, of which you will get back if not drawn, and two it is not a large of area as the others. I finally decided to hold out for the Henry Mountain hunt if I ever get lucky with a tag.
     
  14. Uintaelkhunter

    Uintaelkhunter AH Veteran

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    If your looking at the Henry mtns look into the book cliffs unit as well it just opened to residents and should open to non residents in a few yrs it should take some pressure off of the Henry unit of applicant as well they transplanted some bison about 10 yrs ago from the Henry's and now have a free range herd there on the book cliffs as well most guys won't know this unit is open and I bet the odds for the first yr will be good to draw
     
  15. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thanks I'd do the non-trophy just for the meat man are they good eating.
     
  16. davidt

    davidt BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Member

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    Thanks I will check into that unit for sure. I appreciate the information. BP I will send you the info I have when i get a chance.
     
  17. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thanks davidt I've taken ranch Bison but never a free range for twenty years in Alaska I put in every year and never got drawn then a guy I worked with put in for the first time and got drawn just goes to show how my luck runs.
     

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