HUNTING Bison

John Wasmuth

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I’ve shot bison with .58 cal ml, .30/30 winchester, .458 win mag and most recently 9.3x62. .58 625 gr Minnie ball goes clean through.30/30 won’t go thru, .458 500 hornady soft or round nose goes thru, 286 gr hornady out of the 9.3x62 didn’t exit. They can be pretty tough.
 

375Fox

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Amazing animals.

There are several types of Bison hunts. For a cow from a herd or a young bull recently pushed out of a herd, sure ear shots probably work great.

If you want a giant trophy bull howerver, don’t bother practicing for an ear shot. You better bring enough gun! The smart, wild, old timers don’t want to be found, or shot. This guy moved fast and was very elusive, no chance for ear shots. Hours of stalking and miles of hiking, finally got close enough.

Shot him on a full run, three times from 60-125 yards. His lungs and heart sucked up .375 cal 300gr A-Frames like a sponge. No exit wounds. Bullets never made it out of the organs and the old bull never flinched. Eventually took three more to knock him down. None exited. None hit the other side of the ribs. Penetration was 12-18”. Big old bulls are dense. Bigger, heavier is better. Though given the shots I brought the right gun. Low magnification optic helped my suddenly aging eyes. View attachment 453623
View attachment 453625
View attachment 453626
Where was this hunt conducted? Sounds like a great hunt.
 

Phil Giordano

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I shot my bison with bowhunting gear, and I spent a lit of time in reserching for proper shot placement. It is absolutely true that is easy to shot it too high, and this can be absolutely a nightmare. Also I add, bison can have a lot of loose skin and fur in the bottom end, so is also easy to shot it too low. In this pic is very clear where I shot mine - the result was a super clean shot in the top of the heart and both lungs, very quick end. My bow is "only" 70# @28", I use a fairly heavy arrow with a Slick Trick 125gr ViperTrick, distance was 29mt. Hope this can help.
IMG-20161207-WA0018.jpg
 

Tanner Lee

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I have been putting in for a while for bison here in Utah. I hope to one day draw the tag and get a chance to hunt one. I have a CZ 550 in 375 H&H that needs something to do.
 

RTG

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I shot my bison with bowhunting gear, and I spent a lit of time in reserching for proper shot placement. It is absolutely true that is easy to shot it too high, and this can be absolutely a nightmare. Also I add, bison can have a lot of loose skin and fur in the bottom end, so is also easy to shot it too low. In this pic is very clear where I shot mine - the result was a super clean shot in the top of the heart and both lungs, very quick end. My bow is "only" 70# @28", I use a fairly heavy arrow with a Slick Trick 125gr ViperTrick, distance was 29mt. Hope this can help.
View attachment 464795
Beautiful bison. Where was this hunt?
 

MarkB

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This post was started in 2011, here we are in 2022 and I still have not had a chance to actually attempt to shoot a bison. 35 years in draw for wild free range BC bison but still no success. Fingers crossed maybe this years draw for 2023 will be the "one". I will review shot placement in detail before hunt, "if it happens" this year.

MB
 

dobber

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My buddy went to some hunting show and decided he wanted to do a bison hunt, and what kind of friend would i be if i let him go by himself. So booked for the end of September for a cow hunt, knowing it will be more a shoot than a hunt, but a freezer full of meat and to walk some new ground is always welcome.
 

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crs

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I shot my first Bison in heart lung area and it went right down.
My second bison was running left to right at about 45 yards and I shot it in the shoulder and the front end collapsed and the rear fell forward -- bullet destroyed both shoulders and kept going, and a finishing shot was required.
full
 
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crs

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The 1886 above is a 45-90 and bison #2 was taken with African DG loads - NF 450 grain FPS with MV of 2150 fps.
 

fourfive8

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I really hesitate to post here but here goes... I have shot and killed quite a few, mostly old bull bison. I had the luxury of trying a couple of different methods to find what worked best. In a pasture or pen not much to it obviously. But in large free range situations- a completely different ball game. I see a lot of interest in neck shots... well my experience is it is very dramatic and quick when it works... not so much so when it doesn't. Too much variability of angles, too much neck thickness for identifying the exact spot and too much hair... all making exact placement difficult. Precisely placed small bullets of very tough construction can do it but the the neck shot leaves almost no margin for error. The best, most certain area of bullet placement remains the largest lethal zone which BTW is almost identical to other buffalo like the Cape buffalo. The hart-lung is not as dramatic as a perfectly executed brain or neck (spine) shot but greatly reduces the chances for the "oh crap" follow up issues fumbling around trying to follow one up and filling it full of holes at odd angles while trying to put it down. The best method IMO remains: use enough gun and tough bullet and hit the largest lethal target... aim for the top edge of the heart - not the heart itself.

Took the liberty of using the posted OP AH bison photos and added red circles with white centers as my recommendations for shot placement. The correct neck shot target is a lot smaller than the heart-lung and not what I would recommend under regular hunting conditions. I included a pic of the only one I have at the house. Which has nothing to do with correct shot placement but seems to be a prerequisite for such postings. :)


bison skull.jpg


bison-hunting-vitals.jpg


bison-vitals-hunting.jpg
 

nyatii

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I really hesitate to post here but here goes... I have shot and killed quite a few, mostly old bull bison. I had the luxury of trying a couple of different methods to find what worked best. In a pasture or pen not much to it obviously. But in large free range situations- a completely different ball game. I see a lot of interest in neck shots... well my experience is it is very dramatic and quick when it works... not so much so when it doesn't. Too much variability of angles, too much neck thickness for identifying the exact spot and too much hair... all making exact placement difficult. Precisely placed small bullets of very tough construction can do it but the the neck shot leaves almost no margin for error. The best, most certain area of bullet placement remains the largest lethal zone which BTW is almost identical to other buffalo like the Cape buffalo. The hart-lung is not as dramatic as a perfectly executed brain or neck (spine) shot but greatly reduces the chances for the "oh crap" follow up issues fumbling around trying to follow one up and filling it full of holes at odd angles while trying to put it down. The best method IMO remains: use enough gun and tough bullet and hit the largest lethal target... aim for the top edge of the heart - not the heart itself.

Took the liberty of using the posted OP AH bison photos and added red circles with white centers as my recommendations for shot placement. The correct neck shot target is a lot smaller than the heart-lung and not what I would recommend under regular hunting conditions. I included a pic of the only one I have at the house. Which has nothing to do with correct shot placement but seems to be a prerequisite for such postings. :)


View attachment 492106

View attachment 492107

View attachment 492108

Kind of like this?

Neck Bone Shot Placement 3.jpg
Neck Bone Shot Placement 2.jpg
 
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TERMINATOR

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I really hesitate to post here but here goes... I have shot and killed quite a few, mostly old bull bison. I had the luxury of trying a couple of different methods to find what worked best. In a pasture or pen not much to it obviously. But in large free range situations- a completely different ball game. I see a lot of interest in neck shots... well my experience is it is very dramatic and quick when it works... not so much so when it doesn't. Too much variability of angles, too much neck thickness for identifying the exact spot and too much hair... all making exact placement difficult. Precisely placed small bullets of very tough construction can do it but the the neck shot leaves almost no margin for error. The best, most certain area of bullet placement remains the largest lethal zone which BTW is almost identical to other buffalo like the Cape buffalo. The hart-lung is not as dramatic as a perfectly executed brain or neck (spine) shot but greatly reduces the chances for the "oh crap" follow up issues fumbling around trying to follow one up and filling it full of holes at odd angles while trying to put it down. The best method IMO remains: use enough gun and tough bullet and hit the largest lethal target... aim for the top edge of the heart - not the heart itself.

Took the liberty of using the posted OP AH bison photos and added red circles with white centers as my recommendations for shot placement. The correct neck shot target is a lot smaller than the heart-lung and not what I would recommend under regular hunting conditions. I included a pic of the only one I have at the house. Which has nothing to do with correct shot placement but seems to be a prerequisite for such postings. :)


View attachment 492106

View attachment 492107

View attachment 492108
I am with you in this debate.

I will use the same gun and bullets I used on my Cape Buffalo last July and will shoot for the top of the heart.
 

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