Met the other non-resident tagholder, Jim ( can't remember his Bowsite handle). I suspect he is going to arrow a Whopper, with the effort he is giving.
So many have asked, so in advance, here is the setup details.
43 yards, arrow broke in offside shoulder. Bone Broadhead 125 grain. Full Metal Jackets with total arrow weight just under 500. BowTech Realm at 60#. Black Gold Ascent with three pins (20, 30, 40). Tightspot quiver. Ripcord rest.
Four amazing guys in camp to make it one of my most memorable hunts ever.
Video on our YouTube channel in the next few weeks.
Wishing Jim great luck in the days ahead.
Congratulations! For those of us who don't know the backstory, could you give us the state and area details, how long it took to get the tag, etc? This is #1 on my bucket list. Thx.
The other NR is Jim Willems. JSW. He has already had a dream season and this one will just put it over the top! He is definitely a hard core bow hunter!
Hopefully get the chance in a year or two... Got a pile of bison points and should be getting close!
Look forward to the YouTube!
Did you shoot any grouse:)?!
Kevin from PA also has a Utah Bison Tag! Good luck guys!
Did you get to witness the herd “circling” the injured animal?
Looking forward to watching that hunt.
Anyhow, to answer a few of the questions.
I drew with 19 points. There were three of us at that point level and I was the lucky one of three. Jim told me he had 17 points, so it seem I drew the bonus tag and he drew the random tag. When we post the day-by-day videos on YouTube, I suspect you guys sitting at 20+ points will consider burning those points.
The peculiar part is that this bison came off the top of the ridge line that is around 10,600'. He traveled with three other bulls, down the ridge, using the same trail as two bulls I stalked the night before, so I had a pretty good idea of where they might go.
We left the truck and started hiking up to the top of the aspen grove where the trail entered. Unknown to me, while we were hiking, the bison had been moving faster than expected and caught us off guard. Thankfully the camera guy saw one of them staring at us through the aspens. Knowing something was not right, they started moving to our left into some pinions above us.
We shadowed them as they sidehilled, finally being presented a shot as the trailing bull (fortunately the biggest of the four), stopped to see where his buddies were heading. That gave me my chance.
At first I thought I had a complete pass through. It was a slightly uphill angle and slightly quartering away. End result was an angle higher than I anticipated, taking out the near-side lung and burying into the shoulder blade on the opposite side.
The bull traveled over 400 yards in the time he was on his feet. Ironically, we had brought four llamas for packing out a bison we thought would like be taken on a high ridge or down in a canyon. The bull expired just above one of the many roads that terrace the Henry Mountains, resulting in no need for the llamas. So, the pack out was not even a true "pack out."
We did the gutless method, but that requires some serious adaptation for an animal the size of a bison. We did an entire YouTube video on this process, but here is the quick detail. First came the top-side front shoulder, then the hind quarter, then the ridiculously long backstrap, then all the trim from that side, including neck meat. We then opened the flank and took the huge flank steak, giving us room to get the tenderloins, caul fat, liver, and kidneys. Then we used my friend's sawsall to cut the ribs and brisket off the top, allowing us access to the heart and more trim on the neck. We now rolled over the remaining half of the bison, repeating the process on the other side, leaving nothing but a spine and pelvic bone (and one huge gut pile).
Camera crew is sorting/editing over 2,000 images of the hunt, so when they are done I will try to find a front-view image to post.
Here is the image of the broadhead extracted from the opposite shoulder blade. He broke off most the shaft and I never did find it. Too much meat to get taken care of to spend a lot of time looking for broken arrow shafts.
Good to see you're feeling better than you were on your Dall hunt. That looked pretty rough.
Big Fin's Link
Sorry to see that headache you encountered with the snow up higher. We were hoping to get a request for our llamas to come and help haul your bison out.
We bailed late Sunday afternoon, due to the huge downpour on Saturday night/Sunday morning, as some locals camped next to us were able to get a forecast of three more days of rain/snow. They told us how impassible things get when that much precip comes at one time. They were packing and scrambling in such a frantic manner, it caught my attention and we did the same.
It was 24 miles and 4.5 hours of muck and slime, until we finally were stranded down low where the canyon crossing was flooded to the point we couldn't go any further. It was about 8:30 pm.
Sunday night it cooled enough to slow the runoff and the water level went down a little bit. I was one of six rigs that spent the night waiting to cross down below us. Given how fast the water was rising, we stayed up on the bench. We didn't know until daylight, but some guys down below shoveled for most the night to make the washed out banks borderline passible. I was the last of the six to cross. By the time I went across with the truck fully loaded, the four horse trailer, and a lot of prayers, the bank had mostly washed out again.
I had the chains on when I came into the downhill approach at the highest speed I could get in 4-Low and chains. As quick as I left the bank and water was up to the hood, I knew I had misjudged things and it was about to get more sketchy than it looked from the approach. I almost missed the exit mark when the current pushed me downstream a few feet, causing my impact to hit a higher part of the bank. Momentum, chains, and redlined RPMs allowed me to climb out and win the battle with the current that was pulling the horse trailer downstream.
Thankfully, the camera guys had held the llamas and crossed with them separately. When they crossed, the water was above their beltline and the current was pushing the llamas downstream pretty fast. Then getting them out on the high washed banks was another challenge.
The crossing cost me my skid plate, which probably saved my entire front end by deflecting me up onto the bank rather than direct impact into the bank. It also cost me some of the plastic up in the wheel wells as the truck bottomed out from impact and the chains giving even less clearance.
In retrospect, it was a stupid idea to do that. Sometimes we do things and because it worked out, we think it was a good idea. To take a half-ton truck, as heavily loaded as mine was, along with a four horse trailer across was just stupid. But, I was worried about getting the meat cared for, I had a camera guy whose pregnant wife was in the hospital, and you get a bit stir crazy with the idea of being stuck there for another three days or so.
The video link shows just one of many places where we almost couldn't get one of the trucks/trailers through. This is my friend, Ray, and his 27' 5th wheel trying to get through a flat area of gumbo muck. The downhill stuff was the worst. Coming down the mountain he hit a spot where the entire rig jackknifed while gravity and grease took over the navigation. That put huge dent in his cab where the trailer smashed into it and also a huge dent in the side panel of his truck box where trailer tongue wrapped into it. He also lost a window in the trailer, most the leveling jacks, and separated the outer siding from the trailer on the back left corner.
Serious "pucker factor." The slog out with fully loaded trailers is why the chase/shot might not have been the pinnacle of the "adventure."
Hope you have better luck when you return. You will probably have the place to yourself.
Glad you came out of it still residing on the topside Randy!
Jim, Good luck and can't wait to see your story!
Nothing like pushing the edge for some good adventure!!!
Keep at em Jim.
Glad it all played out well Randy
Keep the Faith Jim!!!!!
Good luck, Robb
One interesting note on my hunt, was the morning I shot my bull, I waited about 10 minutes after the shot before beginning to follow the blood trial. I was with a friend, and we decided to just go a few yards on the trail, just to get an idea of what we were up against. We went about 15 yards to where we saw him turn down hill, and looked down the hill and there were about 10-12 bison, standing in a circle, much like you see muskoxen, other than all their heads were facing into the circle.
With our glasses we could see blood going into the circle and so we slowly headed down that way. The bison took off as we approached, and there on the ground, lay the dead bull I had arrowed. I will never forget that sight. Again good job Randy!
Have a great bowhunt. BB
I'm fairly certain I will draw the early spring bison hunt on the north rim of the Grand Canyon this year, and I'm a little nervous of the possibility of such weather issues as well. You guys have NOT done a lot to minimize those fears! I'll have to make sure I watch your video on the gutless method for bison.
Best of luck on the rest of your hunt Jim,
The third Bowsiter (Kevin from PA) with a Utah Bison Tag is in The Books Cliff Wild Horse Bench.