Contributors to this thread:
Bison with Northern Plains Outfitter
Leaving for Athol, SD in the am for my first Bison hunt with Northern Plains Outfitters. I've seen several good reviews of these guys so we're gonna put them to the test. I'm hoping like hell to get close enough to stick him with my trad bow. I'll have the Mathews backing me up in case they're being too spooky. I'll get some pics and hunt details up as things happen.
Cool.....nothing better than a primitive weapon buffalo hunt.
Good luck! Look forward to hearing about it
Buff and sticks just go together! Good luck man!
Dang! You’re starting 2020 off with a bang! First, a successful lion hunt, now this! Good luck and be sure to take lots of pics!
What size bull are you after?? Or cow ??
We did a lot of bison hunts when we were outfitting in eastern Wyoming
We did our hunts on the dances with wolves ranch. Good times
You will have fun.
You won’t believe what it is to walk up to a downed bison until you do it. Like a pile of 12-15 average deer
T-roy, I like to stay busy! lol. I expected to have the Cougar hunt knocked out late 2019 but it didn't work out that way.
Bison tomorrow, Musk Ox with Ameri-Cana March 22-28th and Cape Buffalo with Ken Moody in late August. I'm after the Bison and Musk Ox with trad gear but I'll have the Halon 32 backing me up.
RK, I'm after a trophy sized Bison. Shannon says he's got several old bulls as well as a plan to get me into recurve range. Fingers crossed!!
Medicinemann loaned me what seems to be the Bowsite Family Musk Ox Suit (Thanks Jake!) and I'll be taking it out to SD tomorrow. I've been shooting with it on and figured there's no better place for a Musk Ox dress rehearsal than a SD Bison hunt.
Yeah, cause its fricking cold here right now. Good luck and post picks please.
Good luck, take pics, type story !
Good luck on you Muskox hunt. You’re going to love putting your hands on one of those beasts. Good luck on your Bison hunt!
Best of luck to you! What a year you have planned!
Good luck and can’t wait to hear the story. Enjoy the adventure!
Good luck and great hunting Lewis
Will be looking forward to the report.
Good luck look forward to hearing about your hunt.
Wish I had your play money. TMBB
If I want to improve on my story telling skills I’ve got to make these hunts last a little longer.
I landed at 12:30, after the ride to camp, checking my gear, shooting a few arrows and a quick bite to eat we were off to chase bison around 2:30. We spotted 1 giant that they hadn’t seen during the morning hunt and a smaller bull. I was hunting for a trophy bison and my buddy and his girlfriend are after a young bull and cow respectively.
After a 10 mile drive into a landscape of snow covered fields with more pheasants than you could shake a stick at we spotted a Bison. He was HUGE! They hadn’t seen him during the morning hunt but he had it all. Great ‘fro, beard, leg chaps, the works! Shortly after that we spotted a smaller bull in the tree line quiet a way from the bigger bull. We threw a plan together and headed after the bulls.
Jason and I were going to head to the big bull and Shaun and Shannon were going to head toward the smaller bull. I had a small hill for cover and Shaun had a thin stand of trees to work through. The snow was deep and crunchy. We were making a pile of noise. The small hill allowed us to close the ~1500 yard distance we started with to 200 yards. The bull just stood there grazing and occasionally looking around. He didn’t seemed too concerned with us so we decided to try and work in on him slowly but not directly at him.
The snow was deep in certain spots and you’d sink up to your knees which made the stalk very awkward.
With all the noise, very little cover and the unpredictable snow we managed to make progress. We’d walk 40 yards and he’d go 35. This could happen!
Around the 75 yard mark he squared up and didn’t budge. Once I eased inside 60 yards he started pawing the ground! No bueno!! Ae held our ground and let him settle down.
2 things I noticed about him at this point: his colors were totally gorgeous and that he was an absolute giant!!!
I mwpt working in slowly at an angle until I had the sun out from behind him and was at a comfortable distance. At this point I had 42 yards between me and a 1900lbs beast of an animal. I came to full draw, settled everything in and touched off the release. My green nocturnal buried right behind his shoulder a disappeared. He ran out to 40-45 yards stopped briefly and collapsed! I had my bison down inside of 3 hours and he was gorgeous.
This mount is going to be epic and I’m officially done buying meat for 2 years!
I wish I had more fluff or drama for the story but this one was pretty straight forward.
You’re not getting off that easy. We need more pictures of the area, lodge, guides, etc. Congrats on your bison. Hope you have enough wall space.
I hope that you have some serious wall space (and a big freezer) available!! Well Done!!
Nice, congrats. Nothing wrong with those first day finishes!
How did your partners do?
That's awesome. Lucky that it went that quickly. Awesome bull
I hope your partners were as lucky. Let us know with pictures
I walked upon one bedded down in a creek bottom sleeping. When you’re about 5 feet away they look really huge.
Congrats on a great bull. You need to hunt mountain goats or sheep:)
You need to work out deals with your outfitters to pay by the day! Congrats on a monster.
Thanks guys! As always I appreciate all the support.
Bowboy, I hunted mountain goat this past October and never got 750 yards from the truck. I could have buckled and picked up the rifle and had my goat but I’d never look at him on the walk with the same admiration so I ate the hunt cost and I’ll live to bowhunt another day.
Sheep is booked for 2021 with Stan Stevens and as hard as it would be to eat that hunt cost I will if it doesn’t happen with the bow. I’m very stubborn and one dimensional with my hunting.
Great job. Bigger than you even imagined huh?
Very cool buffalo hunt. They are awesome animals to take with a bow. But, I'm confused by the last post. "I hunted mountain goat this past October and never got 750 yards from the truck"? What does this mean?
Congratulations on a great buff! As others have said, need more pictures!
Nice! Just curious-how are you going to get all of that back home?
Wow, congrats on a massive animal!
buffalo make moose look small
CONGRATULATIONS... how cool is that. That thing is a tank.
Lots of great meat there! Congrats!
Great bull !! A real trophy their. Congratulations.
Hopefully, the stars will align for your buddies and they too will score.
You now have a 2-year meat supply. Enjoy.
I miss my bison meat, congrats on a great bull.
Bison with a Bow...………………………..about as COOL as it gets! : ) Congrats!
This is a hunt I would like to do some day! I think with a 2 yr supply of meat, I might just be able to justify the price! ;-)
8th heaviest land mammal on planet earth. 9 is water buff, and 10 is cape buffalo. Congrats on a beautiful beast. Definitely the best eating of the top 10!
So Awesome!! Congratulations
Where do they hunt a wild herd? Pretty cool ..
Atta boy! Congrats on a great bull!
Ground Hunter, Utah has 2 wild herds, Book Cliffs and Henry Mountains. I could be wrong, but I believe the Book Cliffs was a transplant herd from the Henry Mountains.
Buffalo are huge when you 1st come up to them. My buddy's dad got one in the Book Cliffs a couple years ago and I ranged it at less than 100 yds from where it fell to the truck and it still took 5 of us 4-5 hrs to get it all cut up and loaded in the truck. Caping was a lot of that time, because we're not very good at it and nobody had done anything close to parting out a buffalo.
Also free range (Pope & Young eligible) in Alaska, Arizona, British Columbia & Wyoming.
Draw tags are long odds anywhere and the BC option is pretty steep.
Lots of ranch hunts, some Indian Reservations and some in the West are on huge ranches that can be very much like hunting a free-range herd. Just can’t enter them in P&Y.
How did your buddy do today Second bull down??
Shaun connected on his bull yesterday. It was feeding on a wind blown section of grass down a tree line. He was in a perfect spot for a stalk since the tree line made a wall of cover. 38 yard shot!
We went 3 for 3! Kristen got her cow 1 hour into her hunt. It came within 12 yards of her bale blind and she smoked it!!
Looks like a good time Eric...congrats!
WOW- Congrats! So your buddy shot a young bull? That thing still looks pretty big!
Just curious, looked on the website but it didn't say...……………………..how many days was this hunt?
A great trip for all of you! Congrats again!
Wow you guys did great! Congratulations on a successful hunt!
As a side note on AZ Bison hunts, there are two herds. The House Rock herd currently occupying the Kaibab plateau are Free Range and eligible for P&Y/B&C. The cow tags are not anywhere near as hard to draw as the bull tags. I got drawn with 3 points, the first time applying for cow. Send me a PM if you have questions about AZ. Mature cows will often make P&Y.
Thanks guys! Obviously we’re all excited and have a full day of breaking down bison for the trip home.
Perry, there really isn’t a set hunt duration. If I came out and either didn’t see a bull I wanted or couldn’t get on a bull I was welcome to come back and try again. They’re very laid back and the accommodations are 5 star. I can’t say enough good things about Shannon and his outfit. Once I get all the loose ends tied up here and get on a PC I’ll type up a detailed run down.
As always I appreciate the hell outta the bowsite crowd. Being able to share this experience with other people that love this stuff as much as I do just adds another element of enjoyment to these trips.
Thanks for all the support fellas!
Pics and details to come.
what was your gear set up
Halon 32 6, 70/31, Black Eagle Carnivores, 100grn G5 CS Montec’s. The head was literally pack sharp after a complete pass through. I got lucky and didn’t hit any bone so the head took very minimal if any damage. I’m still in awe at the size of this thing as I’m breaking it down. The gut pile is bigger than any animal I’ve ever killed.
Like 12-15 deer stacked up like Cordwood. Insane biomass
Thanks for the clarification Eric. Sounds like a great outfit there!
I can’t imagine how much work is involved in breaking down a bison! (Let alone 3! ;-)
Good luck with that and the trip home-looking forward to the “details” when you get a chance.
I talked to a guide one time, who was guiding on a ranch hunt, and the buff ended up in a large water hole..... He told me it was an ordeal getting that out,,,, Pics look like the hunt was a lot of fun.....................
Have been around some buff here in KS, the sizes are jaw dropping. How did the old natives on horse back do it? Had to be almost suicidal.
Congratulations! I’m jealous in a good way!
Congrats! Looks like a great trip!!
....and you still have to make room in your freezer for a Muskox!!
Congratulations to the whole crew! Buffalo are very cool...
Is that really surprising. aren't all private herd buffalo hunts basically guaranteed. You know you are going to get one. I don't recall seeing any that did not provide for that level of certainty.
These are fun to do and are great experiences, and I have done two, but there is not a lot of drama in the outcome. The rules of engagement and the risk of coming home empty don't exist on these hunts like they do on all others.
Bou’, I didn’t think that needed to be stated since a quick look at the outfitters website would spell that out. This was a chance for me and some buddies to spend time in camp together, share a few days afield, have a few laughs, knock out my grocery shopping for the year and have a cool mount.
Is the outcome surprising? Of course not, its a ranch hunt. That being said it’s not guaranteed. You may or may not get one. However you only pay the trophy fee once the animal is down.
I’m with you. My response was directed at tdvorak’s seeming surprise or doubt that your story was not exaggerated
I’m with you as well! I was just expounding on your response. This def wasn’t a high pressure hunt on a drawn Bison tag. It was a pile a fun though!
Here are some snaps of the accomadations at Northern Plains Outfitters. These guys have their act together.
Geeezzzz? Bowsite in January eh? How long before archery elk? :)
Bowjangles, Congrats on what looks like a great hunt! Also thanks for sharing it here.
So you say you saw tons of pheasants? That has my interest.
any more field photos pre and post kill.
Tdvorak, are you connected with the buffalo outfitter noted below or is the very common last name just a coincidence?
Jim River Guide Service Willie Dvorak 432 Railway Avenue Mellette, SD 57461
Quinn, thank you. We all had a hell of a good time! As far as birds the place was filthy with 'em. I'd guess I saw between 100-150 while I was there. Which might not be that many but to me seemed like a pile. This time of year they were very skittish after being pressured all season, but lots of birds nonetheless. Shannon invited us back in October and it's gonna be hard to turn that down.
Thomas, the fact that the animal didn't have to be paid for unless harvested and being able to come back was something that came up in conversation with Shannon. I have no clue why that isn't laid out on the site and clearly I wasn't going to complain. I don't think this was a "special promise" for me and would apply to anybody using their outfit. I never thought any of my story would be construed as exaggerated.
It's like Grant said, "is it really that surprising?" It's a private ranch hunt and pretty much guaranteed. They see these Bison doing the same thing day in and day out so telling guys they can come back if they don't get anything, knowing good and well they will, doesn't seem like anything special. If I was saying things like that about a Stone Sheep hunt I'd be tempted to throw out the word "exaggerated" but on a private ranch Bison hunt? Not likely.
All that aside I'm not on here to book hunts for NPO or speak to their business practices, only to share my experience. If the operating guidelines for my hunt seem suspicious or "exaggerated" I'd suggest anyone with questions contact the outfitter directly, which I'm positive any Bowsite'er worth his/her salt would do prior to booking any hunt.
This guy was flying around blasting coyotes from his Super Cub......solo!
He said he shot 1300 last season but he might be exaggerating....who knows? lol
This is awesome Eric, I hope that guy shoots 1500 coyotes this winter! 100-150 pheasants isn't unusual for this time of year, you can easily see that many on public land at times during the winter months here. We are not the pheasant capital of the world for no reason. :-) I have no doubt that these guys offer a first class pheasant hunting experience. If you don't, you don't last long in that business in SD due to competition. Sounds like these guys are outstanding outfitters in all areas based upon your experience and review and that you had a great time. They certainly don't seem like the type of outfitter that would clutter up a guy's cool thread about a buffalo hunt with innuendos and half truths and twisted words like the outfitters/guides at Jim River Guide Service apparently feel the need to do. Congrats again on a great experience! I hope everyone gets a chance to make it to SD for a bow hunt at some point to see our great state! Enjoy that buffalo meat!
Looks like great fun was had by all! Thanks for sharing the story! I am interested to hear how the meat was from all 3 animals. The assumption may be that the young bull and cow were tender while your bull may be a bit....Chewy...
How important was meat quality vs. trophy quality for you when you booked the hunt? No wrong answer to that question, I ask only out of curiosity. The hides must be incredible this time of year! The hide itself would be a tremendous trophy to me.
Looking forward to following along on your future adventures! Looks like you have a heck of a year planned
Congrats!! Cool hunt for sure. Good luck with the musk ox!
Really cool hunt!!! That looks like a blast to do with your friends. Thanks for sharing and adding the additional pics.
Great pics. Looks like a blast. Thanks for posting. Looks like Bou killed the troll. Haha
Ki-ke, for me Bison is something I initially only intended on doing once so the trophy was a bit higher on the priority list. That being said, as fun and as the experience was I'll probably go back for more. If I do a younger, more tender and less costly animal will likely be taken. I understood going in that I would sacrifice meat quality if an older bull was taken and was ok with it. If the prime cuts are rubbery I'll make jerky or burger out of the rest. The hide was super thick and the color was amazing. I never knew how beautiful these animals were up close. Shaun and I are doing shoulder mounts and Kristen is doing a euro and a rug. I can't wait to see how it turns out!
Thanks Brotsky! Seeing pheasants like that was a first for me and was definitely very cool. I got my first taste of the outdoors in dove fields back home in NC so naturally I'm a sucker for some wing shooting. SD hasn't seen the last of me!
Bou def called out and killed the troll....lol
Thanks a lot for sharing BowJangles! I just finished a book about Comanches and other plains Indians and the role buffalo played in their lives and I find the brutes just fascinating.
Good shooting Bou!
Sounds like a fabulous experience and a ton of fun! Great pictures!
Good stuff. "I'm hoping like hell to get close enough to stick him with my trad bow." How long did you think about that statement? I shoot traditional but I think I would have to have my .54 cal black powder for back up. That would be neat either way. The American West is the the American Bison. Congratulations to all three of ya'll.
Thank you! I discussed my desire to use the recurve with Shannon and best case scenario would have been in a blind near known travel routes. Shaun got to camp a few hours ahead of me and told me how weary they are about being approached. Knowing that I opted to take the Halon 32 out for my first spot and stalk hunt. Had that not worked out like it did I was going to blind hunt with the recurve and use the Mathews if it came down to it. Once I saw the bull I took I made my mind up instantly to take him with the compound if he allowed me a shot. Though it wasn't my preferred method it's hard to be disappointed with a bull like that with a bow and I was tickled pink at the outcome. Getting into recurve range would be a task. Kristen's cow walked to 12 yards of her blind so it does happen. The bigger bulls might be a different story though.
What a gorgeous sunset. If it doesn't seem like an exaggerated statement ;)
Td, first of all whether or not Bou or anyone wounded a moose and kept hunting had nothing to do with this thread and secondly that’s something that’s up to each individual hunter. Yes it is an ethics decision, but it’s not illegal one way or another and I don’t see it as a reason to judge someone..
I probably won’t ever go on any outfitted bison hunt like this tho I think it’d be fun! I have no reason to doubt that you run a good outfitter business, but the fact that you come to a public forum to pick apart a competitor would have me 2nd guessing. If I would be looking, I would definitely consider this ‘chaff’ outfitter as it seems legit and reasonable to me!
In 2004 I hit a moose high in the hump at 28 yards. I Did unsuccessfully continue to hunt for two more days. The Animal was totally fine.
In 2000 I fatally hit and could not recover a woodland caribou that I know was killed and we called the bush plan in at my choice to fly me out the next day . I was done after one day of hunting. The outfitter was upset I was leaving early
So what does this have to do with anything
Webster defines trolling as:
: to antagonize (others) online by deliberately posting inflammatory, irrelevant, or offensive comments or other disruptive content.
Wow, Willy... nothing like ruining a thread for BowJangles. Are you able to just offer congrats and move on or is that too hard for you?
I thought it...Nick said it. ;). I try to shoot a Bison for meat every two years. I know where I WON’T go next time. Congrats Bowjangles...Looks like a great hunt. I’m putting these guys on my short list for my next “meat bull”.
If you wouldn't mind sharing where you do you your Bison harvest, I would be very appreciative! I am looking at the outfitter featured in this thread as well. Do you target a "meat bull"or a cow? I am interested in meat quality 1st, with a bit of a "hunting experience" thrown in to make it more of an adventure than going to the grocery store.
Kiki...I’ve done a couple meat hunts locally at small bison ranches and have done a couple formal outfitted hunts with Brandon at High Plains Adventures in Colorado and Justin at Spring Hill Meadows Hunting in Nebraska on one of Ted Turner’s ranches. Both formal outfitted hunts were good but they are what they are. For me, these hunts are to fill the freezer with meat for a couple years. This hunt with Northern would be close for me to drive, thus the appeal.
I'll be hauling the thing back to NJ......SD is a good bit closer than Colo. Although I have a connection through Denver that allows me to fly home meat rather cheaply. I'll look into High Plains...
I have bowhunted bison three times. If there is one thing that has been a constant on three different hunts, it is that they are considerably more wary than most people give them credit for.....granted, I have never hunted them out west.....only near Pink Mountain, and Wood Bison National Park. They aren't the "slam dunk" that some might believe....
They were not a push over in the Henry Mts in UT 20 years ago either. They lived a long way from the road in rough "sheep" country the week I hunted them. Of course they were not fenced either and at the time one of the few areas P&Y accepted entries from. Mine missed by 1/4" so that was irrelevant.
Thanks Cory! The whole crew had a hell of a time.
I'm in the same boat as you as far as refilling the freezer with a meat bull or cow. I didn't expect the meat to be as flavorful as it is and I'm already nervous about running out! I'll be heading back to Shannon's place for round 2 once my freezer starts looking bare.
I will take a meat bull this year......................
Thanks for sharing and congrats on your bison. Great post that has brought a lot to light. (Some folks should just keep their mouths shut/refrain from posting!)