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Shot Placement advice for Bison - Replies needed quickly!

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Unread 10-12-2007, 08:01 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 178
Buffalo are fairly easy to kill. We've had a lot of people use 30.06 with good success and I've been "field harvesting" them with a .223 but I carry a 375 for a back up to keep wounded aniamls out of difficult areas. Depending on how you look at it I've had either the pleasure or job of shooting god knows how many. Most are shot behind the horn and this is a fairly easy shot with some margin for error. If you shoot them in the head from the front you have to bee careful to not shoot between the eyes because this is too low. Draw a triangle from the horn bases to between the eyes and shoot there. Another easy one is the side of the head between the eye and the horn and the trauma is much more effective than a frontal shot but you will have holes in the skull and the side shot sometimes makes a big mess. You can't go wrong however with a good old heart/lung shot. Buffalo are very efficient in their breathing and can live for a long time with messed up lungs. If your really after tthe heart you need to shoot at what looks like the arm pit. This is where we try to get our achery hunters to shoot. If you go with a high shoulder shot there is a good chance you may hit the spine as it dips down quite a bit in the shoulder area. We tell our clients too "keep shooting" and this has served them well. The cape will have a lot of hair on it so don't worry about ruining it, we have never had a cape ruined out of litterly hundreds of dead buffalo and some were really shot up. The main thing you need to consider is where the thing will fall and can you get to it.
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Unread 10-19-2007, 09:14 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 181
I appreciate everyone's responses to this question. The information was very useful. We had a great buffalo hunt and the 338 Lapua did it's job well. The bull was just shy of being a Boone & Crockett animal. My friend, the shooter, went with the 'break the shoulder to slow it down & take out the lungs to kill it shot'. He ended up shooting it twice, although it would have been just as dead with the first shot.

I need to get ready for my weekend elk trip and am running a little short on time so I will probably post pictures after the weekend. I also have a 46-second 'shoot' video taken with my digital camera. Can anyone tell me the best way to post the video? If so I will post it also.

Last edited by Rymart; 10-19-2007 at 09:19 AM.
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Unread 10-22-2007, 11:14 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 181
O.K. here it is:

The hunt was on forest service land, just across the border from the Grand Teton National Park boundary. Additionally, part of the National Elk Refuge at Jackson Hole was also open this year for the Bison hunt. 32 resident bull bison tags for this area were awarded this year. Approximately 2000 residents applied for the 32 tags. My friend was lucky enough to be number 29.

We started the hunt early in the morning at the elk refuge. After an hour or so of looking around we spotted two small groups of bulls. We moved in closer to look them over. One of the bulls looked really nice (big), but after some discussion, my friend decided to pass on it. He thought its cape was rubbed off too much. I didn't like the fact that there were two stream beds between it and the truck. Here's a picture of that bull:

Then we decided to move off of the refuge and onto the National Forest. On the way through the Grand Teton National Park we found the buffalo motherload, but they were safe inside the park boundaries:

Once we were on the forest land, the hunt started to be reminiscent of an elk hunt. For a couple of hours we moved between many different vantage points and glassed. The main difference was that the bison were much larger, and easier to see. After passing on several bulls, my friend finally found one that he decided to take. It was a lone bull grazing in a small-high-elevation-bowl with a small meadow in it. The bull was actually pretty well concealed, as we could only see it from one high vantage point. We stalked up to approximately 100 yards from it, although it was probably not necessary to be all that sneaky. From there I fired up the digital camera and my friend got ready for the shot. The first round hit it in the on-side leg/shoulder just above the heart. The bison jolted like it was going to cover some ground, but immediatly suffered the effects of a broken leg and ran in a lazy-half-circle before my buddy put another round into its other shoulder, a little higher this time. At the second shot the bull dropped to its knees and died within a few seconds.

Here are some pictures of me posing with the bull:

The 'better half' decided to get in on this picture:

And here's the happy hunter 'reaming' the beast:

And now he's gutting the beast:

Although we were able to drive up to it after clearing some deadfall, it still took six of us 4 1/2 hours to gut, skin, and load it in the truck.

And here is a link to a 46 second video clip of the shot:

Video of BuffaloHunt2007 - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Last edited by Rymart; 10-22-2007 at 11:24 PM.
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Unread 10-23-2007, 11:00 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 44
Good job on the hunt. Were you east of the park up the Gros Ventre Road towards Slide Lake or NE over near Ditch Creek? The buffalo motherload near the hippy hot springs has always seemed like a great temptation.

At any rate, congratulations.

Dirty Steve
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Unread 10-25-2007, 09:09 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 181
More over by Ditch Creek and Shadow Mountain.

Yeah, I imagine the herd by hippy hot springs is really a temptation for those with cow buffalo tags. We talked to a guy that was camped by us that said he had hunted over 40 days to fill his cow tag. I guess that unlike the bulls, the cows rarely wander from the large herds and cross into the Forest Service land.
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Unread 10-29-2007, 02:45 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Oregon
Posts: 953
I like the "got er down" at the end of the video, nice work.
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Unread 10-29-2007, 02:59 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Top of the South Island, New Zealand
Posts: 252
Getting that up onto the truck would have been interesting!
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