Shot Placement advice for Bison - Replies needed quickly!

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Rymart, Oct 12, 2007.

  1. Rymart

    Rymart Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for the short notice on this question, but it just came to me as an afterthought to put the question to all of you. I will be leaving tonight at 7:30 pm and will check for replies before I leave.

    Here is the background information:

    A buddy of mine was lucky enough to draw a public land buffalo tag here in Wyoming. A few weeks ago he asked if he could use my 338 LM to shoot the bison, as he did not have much confidence in his 30-06. Since I was accompanying him on the hunt any ways (as an official photographer, knife sharpener, and pack mule), I gladly obliged.

    He is planning on shooting the biggest, meanest, and oldest bull that he can find and would like to dispatch it efficiently. He's Ok with shooting it through the front quarters (shoulders) if that will kill it quickly. He considers 150 yards as long range and has no intention of taking a shot beyond 200 yards. With that in mind, I loaded up some old 300 grain Winchester Western, Round Nose Power Points, that I had on hand (these bulltes are no longer available). The load is 90 gr H1000, 3.588 OAL, roughly 2700 fps, and sub-MOA accuracy at 100 yards.

    He asked me yesterday where he should place the shot when he takes it and if I thought that the bullet would penetrate through the front shoulder of a buffalo. He's not 100% confident that he can place the shot perfectly on a 'back-of-the-neck-shot' and doesn't want to damage the cape either.

    So please help me with your wisdom and experience on shot placement for bison.

    P.S., Assuming my buddy fills his tag this weekend, I'll post the results of the shot, pictures, and the story.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2007
  2. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Bison are like any other four legged critter we hunt. Put one through the lungs and hes dead, put one through the lungs and the heart, he dies quicker.

    Break down the shoulders and he will go less distance after the shot.

    Take out the spine with a high shoulder shot and he will go on his nose but more then likely not be dead until you apply a finishing shot.

    I have never shot a bison personally, I have seen many killed on video and witness a few taken in person and I will say this, with a 300 gr round nose SP of 338 caliber, I would not think twice about busting a shoulder on a bison. That said, if it makes you anxious to do so, simply aim for the off side shoulder if possible to break it on exit.

    Again, there is no magic to killing a bison, put the bullet in the vitals and he is dead. THey have a large lung capacity and a huge blood supply so it may take longer for him to go down then smaller game but from what I have seen, just keep putting them in the shoulder until he goes down.

    More then likely, they will not run much from you once you find them. They really are not to afraid of us so place that first shot well and it will do the trick, if you want insurance, keep shooting.

    Kirby Allen(50)
     

  3. Mule

    Mule Well-Known Member

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    Quick reminder--- go look for the layout on the internal organs of the bison

    They are not layed out in the same proportion to your normal "anatomy" markers as you are used to looking at elk or deer. The heart sits lower in the chest cavity and you must be careful of going "too high" on your shot placement within the chest cavity. I play in the BPCR area and have spoken to some folks whom have hunted them with the old buffalo rifles and the most common problem, complaint ect is that they shot too high. Better to go a little lower than too high.

    Advice out

    Mule
     
  4. Troutslayer

    Troutslayer Well-Known Member

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    Since they're park bison you should plan on shooting one from about 20yards and that may have some impact on the ammo you choose. Just find one you want, walk right up to it, shoot it, maybe several times. If it were me, I'd herd it to a road first, then I'd shoot it.
     
  5. specweldtom

    specweldtom Well-Known Member

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    A friend that I built a #1 Ruger for in .340 Wby Ko'd a prime bull with a 250 gr Nosler Partition with a clean chest shot. When he recovered from recoil, he saw the bull falling where he had been standing.

    Hope this is in time to boost confidence. Look forward to seeing the results.

    Tom
     
  6. Matt_G

    Matt_G Well-Known Member

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  7. buffalorancher

    buffalorancher Writers Guild

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    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.
     
  8. buffalorancher

    buffalorancher Writers Guild

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    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.
     
  9. Rymart

    Rymart Well-Known Member

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    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: Oct 19, 2007
  10. Rymart

    Rymart Well-Known Member

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    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:

    [​IMG]

    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:

    [​IMG]

    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:

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    And now he's gutting the beast:

    [​IMG]

    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


    Enjoy...
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2007
  11. Dirty Steve

    Dirty Steve Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  12. Rymart

    Rymart Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  13. lovdasnow

    lovdasnow Well-Known Member

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    I like the "got er down" at the end of the video, nice work.
     
  14. Steve7mm08

    Steve7mm08 Well-Known Member

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    Getting that up onto the truck would have been interesting!