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Old July 25, 2013, 02:26 PM   #1
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Just found out my daughter cannot eat beef with the exception of venison and bison.

Lots of venison but now have an excuse for a bison hunt.

Anyone ever hunt bison? I was thinking of using my Contender with 19" rifle barrel in .358 Bellm (444 necked down to 358).

Fires 210gr linotype cast lead swc with a muzzle velocity of about 2200f/s.
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Old July 25, 2013, 02:45 PM   #2
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It's fine eating !!!

Anyone ever hunt bison?
Yes, back in the early 70's and it was a controlled hunt. I think that most are. I can hunt American Bison on a preserve, in Iowa but all are very pricey.
There are also ranches in our state, that raise Bison for the meat as wel as stores that sell it.

Just found out my daughter cannot eat beef with the exception of venison and bison.
I've heard of this and what about Elk (Wapiti) ??
Frankly, I prefer American Bison and Elk, over beef. .....

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Old July 25, 2013, 02:51 PM   #3
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Given the bullet weight and velocity your talking about with the .358 Bellm, the closest thing I have to compare it to is the .35 Remington. I use this caliber on whitetail deer with a 200 grain bullet moving at very similar velocities and I would feel ethical about taking a large black bear with it. But lets face it, a bison is not a whitetail deer or a black bear. It is among the largest of the game available and weighs between 700 and 2200 pounds on average.

A perfect shot to the heart or brain taken at 50 yards, It would probably kill a bison, but if you miss the heart by an inch it is going to take more than one shot, the animal will probably run and experience a slow and painful death.

I would have no doubts that a 7mm magnum would do the job, it travels 1000fps faster and is a much better long range option than the .35 Remington. If you are in the plains, where you are generally going to find bison, I would take a long range gun over a short range brush gun any day of the week.

There are a good number of calibers that are very capable of taking any game on the continent, I think you need to go considerably more powerful than what your thinking.

Last edited by alex0535; July 25, 2013 at 02:57 PM.
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Old July 25, 2013, 03:58 PM   #4
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I took a big cow (female) bison using this outfitter:

One shot through the head with my .308 carbine got the job done.

Fire up the grill! Deer hunting IS NOT catch and release.
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Old July 25, 2013, 06:00 PM   #5
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I cannot generally eat beef. Smells sour to me and does not digest well. My reasoning for this is the many additives given to cattle in feed lots prior to slaughter. However, Irish, New Zealand, and American grass-fed beef is great. It is tasty and digestion is not stressful. Best hamburger I ever had was made with beef from a grass-fed dairy cow at a friend's farm in upstate NY.

Elk and venison are great substitutes and I heard good things about bison.

Best of luck to you and hope your daughter's problems with beef are not too serious.
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Old July 25, 2013, 07:09 PM   #6
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I tried goat for the first time this past weekend. I thought it was on par with any meat I have ever had. It was a young goat, but it sure was tasty.

I don't know how your daughter would feel about eating goat, I can definitely see how goat might turn some people away, but if I found out I could no longer eat beef, I believe I would have a lot more goat in my diet.
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Old July 25, 2013, 08:43 PM   #7
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I haven't hunted bison yet but it is definitely on my bucket list. This discussion always bothers me a bit since a little research of history will show that when the bison herds were slaughtered most were killed using lead bullets shot from .50 caliber sharps .45-70 loaded over black powder.

When I finally get to go on a bison hunt, I will be using my .30-06 with 220 grain premium bullets at a load level that my rifle shoots best. Harvesting a bison is no different from harvesting any other game animal. Bullet placement is KEY. Providing you shoot your contender well, choose a premium bullet for it, study bison anatomy, shoot straight, and have fun!!
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Old July 26, 2013, 08:12 PM   #8
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I can definitely see how goat might turn some people away,
Goat and whitetail deer are practically first cousins. I learned more about the browsing habits of deer that I ever imagined by watching tame goats browse a woodlot. When you watch both species, it's amazing how similar they are.

The venison from both whitetail and goat responds to the same treatment. They're both lean meats that require a wet cooking environment. Don't let them dry out and they're magnificent.

re: Bison. The old market hunters drove them nearly to extinction using black powder cartridges and lead bullets at black powder velocities. I think that nearly any smokeless cartridge with a good bullet that penetrates deeply should do the job if placed properly.
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Old July 26, 2013, 08:23 PM   #9
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I've never hunted for them and since most of the herds left in MT were on farms it was pretty much drive up and, in the immortal words of Troy Landry:

every strip of buffalo I've ever had was a gristly mess of crunchy toughness.

burgers always tasted charred regardless of how rare they were prepared and you did not want to try the roasts unless they were done in the crock pot.

maybe that was just because all plains animals with the exception of pronghorn kindof taste like garbage....

I don't know... now that I live in idaho I actually like eating game
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Old July 26, 2013, 09:24 PM   #10
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I shot a bison.

Custer State Park (South Dakota) has lots of them. Every fall they round up some and auction them off to thin out the heard.

My plan was to buy one, haul it home, turn it loose for a while and hunt it.

What's that they say, "best laid plans".

So I bought one, they loaded it up in the trailer. Now these are wild critters, not farm animals like on most ranches. Which means they aren't happy riding in a trailer. Let me tell you they can rock a trailer. Wild ride going home.

He calmed down a bit but when I pulled over the cattle guard into the yard my wife and granddaughter comes out to see it. Then decided it was hungry and started poking hay into the trailer. He went ballistic. Thought he was gonna tear my trailer apart.

I then gave up the idea turning him loose, if I did that, I'd be fixing fences for a while.

So to be on the safe side I pulled the trailer in my roping arena, figured it would hold better if he did get out of the trailer.

I have a neighbor who is a taxidermist so I call him to find out the best place to shoot this sucker so I don't mess up a mount. He comes over and sees me with my Buffalo Rifle, a Remington Rolling block in 44-90 Sharps Bottle Neck. He laughs and tells me not to use a rifle, just use a pistol and shoot him in the head while he was in the trailer.

I figured that was OK, he knew more about it then I did, plus I've shot a lot of moose with my Model 28 service revolver in my cop days in Alaska. Buffalo can't be much different.

So I stick the barrel of my Model 28 inside the trailer and aim at the head. The 150 gr LSWC (my moose round) 357 at 1300+ fps bounced off his head.

If you want to see a mad buffalo, bounce a 357 round off his head. My trailer is bouncing and rolling and I look over at my neighbor who is doing the same thing, laughing his butt off.

Screw this I says, I'm getting the rifle. Neighbor says no, (still laughing) tells me to draw an imaginary line from the base of one horn to the opposite eye, then an imaginary line from the other horn to the other eye, shoot the center of the X. I did that and he went down like he was suppose to.

OK I can't tell my grandkids about this, so I get the tractor and haul the buffalo to the field, lay the rifle across it and take the picture of Grandpa's Buffalo. (pictured below).

You're right about being lean, they are lean to the point if they aren't blood rare they are too tough to eat. The hamburger wasn't bad, but still too lean for my taste.

For eating I'll stick to elk, deer and antelope is good, moose is better but nothing beats a good young cow elk. Even still, I like to mix up some beef talo when making elk burgers.

Getting an buffalo from the Custer State Park is cheaper then you can get them from some buffalo ranch.

Best have lots of kids and relatives, it takes a while to eat one of those things.

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Old July 26, 2013, 09:36 PM   #11
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Still waiting to hear about how somebody knows somebody that uses a .22lr for bison with great success...

But seriously, for nostalgia sake, if I were to ever hunt bison I believe I'd want a Henry lever action in .45-70 (I know, they aren't the same as the old Henry's)
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Old July 29, 2013, 08:15 PM   #12
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This is the same place i went with my dad and brother. Dad used a Shiloh Sharps .45-110 and my brother and i used a winchester .45-70 lever action. All three were shot at about 150 yards. Had a great time and would do it again... The whole experience was great. I believe dad wants us to go to Montana next time at someplace he found just because he likes the mountains.

My wife and kids loved the meat... Maybe we just got lucky with a good one but not tough at all. Wife wants me to go get another, sounds like permission to take a trip!
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Old July 29, 2013, 09:34 PM   #13
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They don't need to be rare. You have to add some sort of oil. Sunflower seed oil, bacon wrap, etc. Just use the sunflower seed oil as a base for a rub on steaks. Or cook in the crockpot. Some terriffic possibilities with a crockpot and it has to be the easiest way to cook. Not much different than venison IME.

Of course, I made cookies with a pop can and a candle during a power outage that several people thought were pretty good.
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Old July 30, 2013, 07:26 AM   #14
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The best chili I ever eat was made from bison. I sure love to get some more of that... I suppose a bison hunt is one of those bucket list things for me.

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Old August 10, 2013, 04:57 AM   #15
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I went along on a bison hunt.Did not hunt,myself.I watched 3 bulls shot at about 100 yds.

It was cold and the wind was blowing pretty stiff ,15 to 20 mph as I recall.This was in Wyoming.

First bull was shot with a Spaghetti Sharps in 45-70.Shot one was good,but guide suggested it might be a bit far back,shoot him again.It still took a few seconds,but the bull went down.

Second was taken by a gentleman who had just returned from Afghanistan.He was using an FN FAL,7.62ATO.,16 in bbl.Loaded with Barnes 165 gr copper bullets.He double tapped...bap bap. Bull went down.

Third was shot with a 416 Rem Magnum.Herd was stirring around some,took a while for a bull to be clear with a good shot,and no risk to other animal.

Bull went down with shot one.After a time,another bull went over to that down bull and horned on him till he gained his feet.He was well hit,just unaware he was dead,yet.I was watching round two hit through glass.High lung,just behind the shoulder meat.He shivered some,blew a snort of blood,and fell over.

Mike Venturino has written some of his experience shooting bison.At BPCR velocities and lead bullets,iirc,the 40 cals like 40-70 Sharps,etc seemed a little slower and less certain than 45 plus in his opinion,though I bet Kraigs 44-90 qualifies as major caliber.I can't recall his name..started with an "M",one of the more successful pro buff hunters of the time used a 40 of some kind.

The wife of a quality barrel maker told me she used a single shot in 30-40 Krag to get a one shot kill.

Jump to your own conclusions.

My opinion,based on limited observation,well hit bison die with moderate cartridges,and even hit with big cartridges,they have vitality and it just takes a while for them to become might be 30 seconds or a minute.

I have not seen one poorly hit.Likely,that would be a real mess.I expect the herd would travel far with the wounded buff inside the group.

I'd used the biggest rifle you can shoot well.If that is a.308,it will work with a proper bullet.Do not use a rifle that requires you to close your eyes as you press the trigger.

I would NOT suggest using something smaller for the novelty .

Give your bison the dignity of the quickest death you can provide.

Last edited by HiBC; August 10, 2013 at 05:15 AM.
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Old August 10, 2013, 09:26 AM   #16
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I have killed 2 and helped to carry meat and hides on 6 more.

Any gun that will penetrate DEEP will do.

The 2 I killed were both killed with a 44 magnum handgun and 320 grain LBT cast bullets. One was hit in the low chest and one right in the middle of the head from the front going through the brain. The brain shot one fell at the shot of course.
The chest shot one stood up for at least 20 seconds after the shot and then laid down. (didn’t fall down) After about 30-40 more seconds he fell over on his side. We waited about 5 minutes to approach and I shot it one more time high in the neck to be sure. It was already dead as it turned out, but I didn't want to take a chance.

Of the other 6 I helped with, one was killed with a 7MM Mag with a Hornady 139 grain through the brain from the side. The bullet made mush out of the brain but didn’t even mark the other side of the brain cavity. It was a good kill, but even my friend said he was lucky he hit it where he did.

Another one was with an old friend of mine shooting a Win M-70 that was from the late 30s, and he used factory Remington 150 grain round nose. One shot through the neck. Instant kill. That bullet exited.

Another one was killed with my old 50-140 sharps (barrowed from me). A poor shot from behind that hit the butt about 6” from the anus. The bull fell instantly however. The bullet hit it’s spine as it turned out and the penetration was unbelievable. We found the bullet under the hide about 6" from the base of the skull.

Another one was killed with a 30-06 with 4 rounds in the chest. This one just bled out and fell down but it took much longer than I would have liked. These were 165 grain bullets, but I don't remember what brand.

One was killed with a 54 caliber “Hawken” rifle I made for the customer. One shot through the neck put it on the ground. We walked up and the animal was not dead. It tried to get back up. So my customer shot it again in the neck at very close range. The 2nd ball broke the neck and that was it. When we skinned it we found the 1st ball missed the bone by about 1 1/2inches and was on the skin on the other side.

One bull shot in Teton Park was a real lesson in bullet construction. It was with a 300 Weatherby Mag loaded with 180 grain bullets. I believe they were Sierras, but I can't be sure.
The man I was with shot a mid sized bull at about 75 yards in the chest. The bull ran off and we had to chase it for about 3/4 of a mile, at which point he shot again from about 300 yards and hit the bull almost in the same spot, but from a bit different angle. Again it ran off. We got in range again and at about 250 yards he fired his 3rd shot. That was a poor shot that hit too far back. This time the buffalo ran only about 200 yards and stopped facing away from us. Next shot hit it in the back of the ribs. NO REACTON AT ALL that time. He reloaded his rifle and shot a 5th time. This time the bull ran only about 20 yards and turned towards us in a “J” It was not on the fight, but just confused. The 6th shot hit it in the head and killed it.

We dressed it and field quartered it so we could pack it out to the truck. (now a long way off) The bullets were all breaking up with only about 12” to 18” of penetration. I told the man if he was ever going to do this again to get some 200 grain Barnes X bullets. or 220 grain Nosler Partitions. His first and 2nd shot would both have done the job if the bullet had not broken up.

Of the 8 I have seen killed I have seen every buffalo killed pretty fast with bullets that went deep, including one that was "shot from the south while going north". The only quick kill with poor penitration was with the 7 mag in the brain.

And I have seen them "hit right" with bullets that didn't go deep enough, and they didn't go down very fast.
Penetration is the key I believe.

Last edited by Wyosmith; August 10, 2013 at 09:42 AM.
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Old August 10, 2013, 10:17 AM   #17
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These are all very funny stories

I hope to shoot a bufalo someday, but I like elk the best
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Old August 10, 2013, 06:48 PM   #18
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If I ever get the opportunity to shoot a bison it will be with my Marlin 1895 in 45-70. I think 405gr hard cast WFN bullet going 1,750 fps should do the job.
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