Forget Cape Buffalo when we have these monsters at home

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My buddy shot this younger male buffalo in South Dakota about four years ago. The meat was good but a little tougher than corn-fed cattle.

He recommends bringing a very big rifle with adequate ammunition. He had a difficult time bringing this buffalo down permanently. After the first shot, the bull took off and tore down a few low level barbed wire fences. Best of luck with your hunt, TheGrayRider.
What did he shoot it with?
This is an interesting thread. I've had limited experience with bison but I have had some interesting observations.

Their ability to accelerate from 0 to 30 mph is phenomenal. I had one chase me in Elk Island National Park, a federal park east of Edmonton, while i was riding my street motorcycle. As I passed it while it was grazing in the adjacent ditch, it took a strong dislike to my presence and it closed the distance between us dramatically but i just managed to speed up to escape it's charge. Another time while patrolling power lines and riding a Honda ATC 185 and not being aware that there was a herd of bison cows with calves at foot, I was convinced to vacate the rapidly as they were quick to escort me out of the area.
In Yellowstone Park, I had the pleasure of watching a Darwin Award candidate taking pictures of a bull while he skirted around his shiny corvette trying to keep on the opposite side of his car while the bull attempted to convince him to leave.

An acquaintance of mine told me the story of a fellow hunter who was hunting in the far north of Alberta in mid winter, using snowmoblies because of the four feet of snow, shot but only wounded a bison, although mortally, was hooked by the beast and dragged by it for over three miles before it expired, through the four feet deep snow. Both the hunter and the bison were found dead together.
A very good friend of mine took a huge bull, scored in the top 20 of Boone and Crocket, in northern Alberta. Again in over four feet of snow. It took a day to extract the carcass with four of them in the hunting party by boning it out and taking the head and hide with them and it was only a hundred yards from the road. The hunt was uneventful but exhausting. I can attest that the salami, pepperoni and hamburger was very good.

Two years ago I had the good fortune of culling an old bull out of a ranch herd. They are not domestic, When I shot the bull, using a 45-70, it went down almost immediately but didn't expire for a couple of minutes. The scene that followed was utter chaos with the younger bulls attacking and goring the fallen herd bull until he drew his last breathe. Only then did they leave. They may be ranched but they certainly are not domesticated. Treat them with the respect that they have earned.

Sure, the North American Plains Indians hunted and lived off the great plains bison herds but until the appearance of the horses from Europe I can't see that they took many by spears and bows and arrows. They drove them off of cliffs to cripple and maybe kill a few but I would be curious to know the score at the end of the day. Bison ? Natives ?
I will say they are a deceiving animal, here are 2 pictures of the same animal, poor picture in the first, the herd was literally 100 yards away and we were being very watchful as they didn't seem to care for us much
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And then hanging up being skinned and ready for the cooler
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Very large carcass, more like an eland than a cape buffalo.
I bought a bison from Froling Farms in Michigan for its meat. My wife joined me for my bison shoot of a three year old steer. It was a shoot, not a hunt at all...

For this I used my trusty Jim Kobe built Pre 64 M70 in 375 H&H. A 300 gr TSX through the brain, then the lungs, and ending somewhere in the guts, or so the butcher said... Anyway, it is darn good eating!

Bison 2022.JPG
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Very large carcass, more like an eland than a cape buffalo.
Yes, the max weights of bull bison and Cape buffalo are similar but their body shapes are completely different. Cape buffalo have an almost circular body cross section while a bison's body cross section is more elongated. Bison are very tall with longer legs with pronounced hump and have a forward heavy appearance. Their skulls and horns are remarkably different. Old ones of either species are like any bovine for table fare. Bison meat is similar to cape buffalo and both are similar to lean, range fed beef. Flavor is generally good. Younger, healthy animals are better for eating no matter what variety. I guarantee a 15-18 year old bison will be a tad tough.
At the lodge where I stayed there was a head mount of an old bull. Well, a much younger bull than this one wanted top breeding rights. Usually they push and head butt each other. I had seen this behavior from a safe distance with my binos. Anyway, they push and shove and the old timer walks. Well, not this day. It got serious and the young bull gored the old timer in the stomach, his insides fell out. They had to shoot the old bull, he was done for. The young bull was about 8 years old or about. The old boy was 16, he had been born on this ranch. He weighed close to 2400 lbs. I had taken a picture of the head but my camera must have malfunctioned, as there is no pix. That head is HUGE. I would have liked to see him alive! Most impressive.
I've been around both MANY American Bison and a couple of African Cape Buffalo herds.

You don't have to be too concerned about bison. I've walked through several herds to go fishing with no problem.

Cape Buffalo are 1000 times more dangerous! (Please do not kid yourself into thinking otherwise)
In South African game reserves the animals get to see a lot of vehicles. There is a much shown short clip of a buffalo bull sauntering out of the bush across a dirt track, quietly, slowly,no drama. Without even looking down the track he abruptly turns and charges a game vechile down the way a bit with gusto. Although they reverse away he hits it several times before stopping. On foot you would be in big trouble.
In South African game reserves the animals get to see a lot of vehicles. There is a much shown short clip of a buffalo bull sauntering out of the bush across a dirt track, quietly, slowly,no drama. Without even looking down the track he abruptly turns and charges a game vechile down the way a bit with gusto. Although they reverse away he hits it several times before stopping. On foot you would be in big trouble.
I suppose that is true but I walked many miles & up small mountains in Masai Mara with a couple of Masai guys with me & only a Toy Bow, we walked passed Hundreds of Cape Buffalo & they didn't give a Shit, I wasn't so keen on the Lions how ever !!

Most Buffalo will just leave if you don't hassle them, been charged by more Bantang & Scrub Bulls for no reason myself !
A bit out of theme, but not so much.
An acquaintance of mine is culling feral bulls near Rome. The funny part of the story is that he hunts accompanied by cops fitted with a court order allowing the cull on public safety basis.

Cape Buffalo are 1000 times more dangerous! (Please do not kid yourself into thinking otherwise)

I hunted buffaloes mainly in Africa, but also in Southeast Asia and also shot a Wisent, a European bison, in Belarus.

I think that the African buffalo are the most dangerous buffalo species at the time, although I believe that it is more due to their still more or less natural habitat.

The asian water buffalo should not be underestimated in terms of danger, but the populations are hybrids between wild buffaloes and above all, buffaloes that have become wild again. Only problem animals in palm oil or latex plantations in Malaysia were very aggressiv. I had only one time contact with a Gaur, without any problem. This buffalo species is currently extremely endangered and therefore also extremely protected. Nowadays, there will be hardly anyone who has experience with hunting this buffalo species.

The European Bison is heavy managed, so that it is difficult to make a statement how dangerous it is.
For over 200 years these animals were known as the American Buffalo. Now it is trendy to call them by their Latin Scientific name, bison.

In reading the attached article, the first thing that stuck out like a sore thumb was the word "caught" meaning that someone had shot or killed the animal.

Then he writes about the largest "bison" to ever have been "caught" in Montana that weighed 3800 pounds. That is roughly twice as much as the average mature bull buffalo weigh.

He goes on about the plight of the American Buffalo and how they have recovered from the brink of extinction, and he lists wolves as one of the main predators of buffalo. Was he refering to the Canadian wolves that the US Park Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service put in Yellowstone NP for the sole purpose of killing buffalo and elk?

And then he talks about Climate Change as one of the major threats to future of our wild buffalo herds. Since 1978 I have lived about 100 miles north of Yellowstone NP and 30 miles east of Ted Turner's Flying D Ranch where he has up to 5,000 buffalo on it. Our climate here changes 4 times every year.

In the winter we have snow and temperatures down to -40* or more; in the spring the temperatures rise, the snow melts and the vegetation grows; in the summer our temperature can get up to 100* F; and then in the fall the plants quit growing, the temperatures drop and we get snow. Throught those 4 seasons, we get daily temperature changes of as much as 40 to 50 degrees. An annual average temperature change of 1 or 2 degrees that can and does go up or down every year means absolutely nothing to the survival of animal species.

The Giant long-horned buffalo that roamed the North American Continent for 200,000 years died out and became extinct during the last Ice Age because the temperatures went down, not up like the current Climate Change alarmists are claiming will end the world now.

I shot a Cape Buffalo in Zimbabwe and an American Buffalo here in Montana. Both were old, mature bulls and both were one shot kills. We didn't get a live weight of either one. The side by side mounts of them on my wall have the American Buffalo looking bigger, but he has way more and longer hair than the Cape Buffalo has.

I got 405 pounds of burger and another box of backstrap and tenderloin steaks and roasts from my American Buffalo.
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Don’t make the mistake of thinking they cant fk up your health records, be cause they can. But for the most part it’s a bang flop, but there’s aways that pesky sob that just won’t……
I bought an auction tag a few years back and shot this bull on the Oglala Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. The tenderloins were fine, ground most of it and the family enjoyed dining on it for quite a while. For sure one of my all time favorite game meats.

I’ve always wanted to hunt an American Buffalo… but all my research has indicated it’s less hunting and more shooting a bison in a pen. Not quite the “dances with wolves” type adventure i dream of for a bison hunt.

I definitely would use my 45-70 just because of the history.
There are a few wild huntable bison here in the US.

Utah has two different herds. On in the Henry Mountains near Lake Powell, the other is in the Book Cliffs north of I-70 and east of the Green River. There is also a herd off of the Ute Indian Nation that will migrate across the Green River and up into the canyons on the west side. This is a over the counter tag but access is extremely limited.

For the draw hunts you'll be waiting for 25+ years for a good chance. But last year a non resident drew with just one or two points with Utah's hybrid bonus point system.

Non of the above hunts are what I would call a pened in hunt and you will earn every pound of meat if you draw the tag.
If anyone in or near Michigan wants to shoot a bison for approximately 300 pounds of butchered meat, there is an SCI Lansing Area Chapter auction for one today, 2 April 2022 ! The donation is from Roger Froling in Ionia, MI. This is where I shot a bison last year.

They use an Amish butcher who vacuum seals the meat. It should last at least two years in a deep freeze. The catch is the bison must be taken to the butcher the day it's shot to ensure the best tasting meat. Hunt must be taken on May 22, 2023

The Bison “Hunt” (shoot actually) didn’t meet its reserve a couple weeks ago so it’s back up for today. If anyone wants to know what I bid to win one last year, please send me a PM.

For what it’s worth, I figure my 300 lbs of bison meat, with butchering fee, cost me about $11 a pound. I cannot buy good beef for that!

PS: Although I call this a shoot rather than a hunt, I'd sure as heck go do it again! That is, if I didn't have 2/3 of last year's bison still in my freezers. This is a great little outing to take a non-hunter along who may be curious about where all the meat at the supermarket comes from :)

Unfortunately, I only noticed this 2nd chance yesterday. Had I more time, I would have organized a few people to give me a deposit on xx pounds of vacuum sealed bison meat.

2022 Bison Skull3.jpg
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Hard to say but my impression is that American bison are not as impulsive or easily aggravated to attack within their defense perimeter as Cape buffalo. However there is little doubt both can be unpredictable and dangerous under certain circumstances and both could be considered to have hard headed and belligerent personalities. In free range, comparable conditions, I'd be most cautious around Cape buffalo and less so around bison. But still... always watching for behavior clues. Like a stupid, clueless, dumb A tourist trying to take pictures of bison in the rut by the side of the road in Jellystone park. Those bison are generally docile and cattle like, fully acclimated to cars and people but catch a bull in the rut in a bad mood at the wrong time, get a little too close and watch what happens. The same can apply to the elk and moose.
One thing I noticed on my hunt, the second buff we shot, my buddy shot a little low, follow up shot from our third guy eventually put the cow down, the other buff came around and literally propped her up, trotted off with the cow between 2 bulls, she couldn't fall down if she tried being propped up this way.

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