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 Buffalo Hunt/Shoot in Buffalo, South Dakota

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just-a-hunter
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PostSubject: Buffalo Hunt/Shoot in Buffalo, South Dakota   January 20th 2016, 6:02 am

About a year ago I started researching possible Bison hunts as a very good buddy of mine was lucky enough to draw a Henry Mountains Bison tag and it was something I knew I had to experience. I will probably never draw a Henry's tag. It is next to impossible as a non-resident. Anyhow, I found on another forum where Routier Outfitters had replied to a couple of threads through the search function and I started researching them. I found a lot of good and my buddy and I went ahead and booked with them.

I went through a couple different rifles to find the one I wanted to use and settled on a Marlin 1895 .444 Marlin with 325 grain Cast Performance WFNGC bullet pushed about 2000 FPS.

Mike used his Taylors & Co. Sharps 45-120 black powder loads that I worked up for him.  They consist of a 405 grain Miester hard cast flat nose bullet, 90 grains of Goex 2f and a SPG lube cookie in between the bullet and powder.

Anyhow, I just got off of night shifts Thursday (12/10/15) morning and couldn't sleep Thursday night so I gave Mike a call at 11:30p.m. Thursday and we were burning rubber by midnight thirty Friday morning.

It is a full 10 hours of butt time from Rangely, Colorado to Buffalo, Sd via Craig, Co., then North through Baggs, Wy. through Rawlins, up through Casper then on to Gillette, hung a left in Spearfish, SD., North through Bell Fourche then on to Buffalo... I'm glad we left early as we got to Ryan Routier's place at 1:00p.m. on Friday. We kindly accepted Ryan's offer to go ahead and go hunting that afternoon.

Mike won the coin toss so he was the one to get the first shot so to speak. To be totally honest, I didn't have very high expectations to how hard this "hunt" was going to be. I was very surprised to see the buffalo head for the next horizon just as soon as they seen the trucks from 300 yards out.

We went to a vantage point and found the buffalo about a mile and half away. Ryan left me with his brother and my guide Riley and they made a big circle to get to the herd. Riley walked me to a point he thought the buffalo would funnel back through if Mike and Ryan spooked them back north as they had gotten on the back side of them. Riley and I sat there for a couple hours and watched as Mike and Ryan were un-successful in getting a buffalo put down.

Sure enough they spooked back north and Riley and I were able to intercept them in ambush.

The terrain is very hilly and open with lots of bluffs and gullies with ditches and coolies through out. It took a long while for them to get back too us and we lost sight of them over the hill for at least a half hour but Riley told me he figured they would come right back through here. We set up and sure enough they peaked the horizon of the hill at about 150 yards away and they were headed straight for us. At about 50 yards out Riley waved his hat and the lead cow immediately peeled left. She stopped by herself for just a second and you could tell she wasn't going to stick around long so Riley said "There she is"...

I settled the Ghost Rings where I thought her heart would be and let fly. I quickly levered in another that took her square in the shoulder and by that time the other buffalo had surrounded her. I've never seen an animal so confident in it's ability to not be taken down by a square heart shot but her efforts were futile.

Every single buffalo in the herd of about 20 was hooking her trying to get her back on her feet. It was actually very humbling to watch and they stood around once she was down. They are an incredible beast in my opinion. It took a while for them to finally head out and it was right at dark before we were able to get to her.

  

It took Mike and Ryan until about noon the next day to get his. He wanted a bull. His took three shots square to the lungs before it laid down then he shot it once behind the ear 10 minutes after the last lung shot just because he was not liking the fact that the animal would not die.

  

In short, this hunt is a guaranteed hunt. I'm not going to sell it as a tough hunt. If you are equipped these guys will get you a shot at a Bison. That's what they are there for and it's what you are there for. It probably isn't for everybody but it also isn't as easy as one would think. No contact these animals have with humans is a good experience. They don't feed them unless they have to and they only gather them for preventative maintenance. They free roam on huge parcels of low fence acreage and they don't stand around for long once they see humans. If I remember right, the track this herd was in was 17,000 acres. They can't be entered into most trophy books rightfully so but overall, I would bet it's about as free range as you can buy in the States and Mike and I both are 1000% satisfied with our experience. It was way better and more fun than we ever expected. I highly recommend them and they get 5 stars from us.

We were able to put over 1000 lbs of dinner in the truck as well.
  

We also seen lots of great bucks both White-Tail and Muleys in our travels through out all the land they have available.

I will be going back.

Thanks for reading,

Todd

Update: My family and I have been feeding on this critter for a month now. The finest meat I've ever made and I put a solid 400 lbs of boneless dinner in our trophy room (freezer).
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PostSubject: Re: Buffalo Hunt/Shoot in Buffalo, South Dakota   January 20th 2016, 6:41 am

I can't say anything positive about the hunt. I believe everybody accepts bison hunts as meat hunts.

So, i'm curious what it cost you per pound for those 400lbs?

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PostSubject: Re: Buffalo Hunt/Shoot in Buffalo, South Dakota   January 20th 2016, 6:50 am

About $8 per pound, door to door with travel costs. I could have paid a thousand less for a meat "hunt" that was 9 hours and 500 miles closer to home if thats all I was after.

Todd
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PostSubject: Re: Buffalo Hunt/Shoot in Buffalo, South Dakota   January 20th 2016, 7:08 am

That's a good deal for $8 lb. They get twice that online for bison meat.

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PostSubject: Re: Buffalo Hunt/Shoot in Buffalo, South Dakota   January 20th 2016, 7:47 am

It tastes like it should have cost way more per pound.

The most expensive I've ever ate was a doe antelope that cost me somewhere aroun $70 per pound! Loved every bite!

Happy hunting!

Todd
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PostSubject: Re: Buffalo Hunt/Shoot in Buffalo, South Dakota   January 20th 2016, 8:56 am

Congrats!  Meat hunt or not, I bet you guys had a great time.

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PostSubject: Re: Buffalo Hunt/Shoot in Buffalo, South Dakota   January 20th 2016, 9:24 am

Todd,
Great story and a thumbs up hunt! Thanks for sharing.

For cheapskates:
Troy Idaho Lion'c club raffles off a guaranteed bull buffalo every year for a January hunt. Tickets are $5 each.

John
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PostSubject: Re: Buffalo Hunt/Shoot in Buffalo, South Dakota   January 20th 2016, 10:03 am

Hey, I am envious! Those are wonderful looking animals. 
I know you had fun. It is all over your faces. 

All hunts are meat hunts- especially buffalo! 
And, buffalo is just a big hairy cow. STEAK TIME!

I call it a big win, mate. 

I want to come back and read it again in more detail. 
Did you say how much they charged you?

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PostSubject: Re: Buffalo Hunt/Shoot in Buffalo, South Dakota   January 20th 2016, 10:32 am

Hunting (shooting) a buffalo with a Sharps. That's what it's all about. Congrats to your buddy.

Of course a muzzleloader would be even better. A big bull buffalo on the wall is an impressive looking trophy.

I have eaten lots of buffalo meat and to me it tastes the same as grass-fed beef. I won't pay extra for any because it just doesn't taste any different to me.

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PostSubject: Re: Buffalo Hunt/Shoot in Buffalo, South Dakota   January 20th 2016, 10:43 am

Thanks all!

The cow was $3000 for a full 2 day hunt with meals and lodging included, the bull was $3750. Gas was cheap and of course Mike and I split the bill. I butchered it myself (a full two day job) so I saved money there and I did give a tip to my guide so it was slightly more than $8.00 per pound but it was an awesome experience...

Todd
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