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Do you want the challenge and experience of hunting bison? Would you like to hunt the largest land animal in Northern America? Would you like to learn how to hunt bison? Just the sheer size of the animal alone makes hunting and transporting it more than a hunting challenge. In this article, we will share information and strategies to improve the odds of a successful bison hunt.
How To Hunt Bison
1. Scouting Bison
Bison live in open grasslands and eat sedges, forbs, and grasses. Many years ago, you could easily find hundreds of bison in the open country, today it’s a different story. The bison population has dramatically shrunk. When you scout for bison, look for overused rubs or scratching surfaces.
Keep on the lookout for large trees with the lower 3 to 4 inches of the bark completely worn out until it is almost smooth. Additionally, be on the lookout for bison wallows and large clumps of shed hair. Wet and sloppy droppings and tracks are signs of bison activity in an area.
Additionally, use your sense of smell to detect any foul odor in the area. A very stinky odor can be that of a bison herd that was in the area. When you smell anything very stinky, you might just be in an area that bison frequent.
2. Ambush Hunting
One method of hunting bison is to ambush them around watering holes or along rivers. Initially, a hunter will find a high elevation not far away from the area where he thinks bison can be found. Using binoculars or a spotting scope, the hunter will glass for bison. You can read reviews about the best hunting binoculars and the best spotting scopes.
When they are spotted, they will be stalked until they can be ambushed when they are moving along rivers or between their bedding areas and water holes. When you are ambushing bison, always hunt downwind of the bison as they have a very good sense of smell.
3. Organized Drives
From scouting trips, you can identify areas where bison are located. With this information, you and other hunters can organize drives to funnel the bison into the area you want them to travel. With other hunters as shooters, when you are successful in driving the bison in the direction of the shooters, they will then take them down.
4. Still Hunting
Another method of hunting bison is still hunting. Still hunting allows you to set up in a hunting spot, preferably a treestand or a blind, and wait for bison to come your way. When they do, you take a good shot to take it down. We reviewed the best climbing treestands and the best hunting ground blinds that you can read from these links.
Bison is not only a very large animal, but it is a tough one. When hunting bison, you and your hunting partners must deliver good shot placements to take bison down.
5. Spot & Stalk
Some hunters prefer the spot-and-stalk method of hunting bison. After spotting a bison, they will stalk it until they are in a good position to take a shot at it. The spot-and-stalk method requires you to stalk slowly and quietly to avoid detection. Bison are very large and are capable of delivering a lethal blow to anyone if they attack.
This method is the most widely used hunting method for hunting bison. Additionally, always move into the wind when you are stalking bison as they have a very good sense of smell. If they smell the human odor, they will leave the area.
6. Hire An Outfitter
Today, most bison are found on private ranches where the owners have an outfitter service. You can hire an outfitter to hunt bison. There are many advantages to hiring an outfitter if you don’t have a lot of experience hunting bison. An outfitter brings knowledge and experience about hunting bison. They monitor the animal and know where they are located.
The outfitter can advise you on the best hunting method for hunting bison. Additionally, they can be a source of information regarding the rules and regulations concerning hunting bison in that state. They also can help with any emergency situation like injuries or animal attacks.
When Bison Is Down
A fully mature bison, about a thousand-plus pounds, is a very large animal. It finally sinks in when it is down and you are beside it with knives to field dress and package it. Only then do you finally digest the magnitude of the job to field dress and package it.
It is almost impossible for one person to move it around and field dress it. The job of field dressing and packaging a bison can take hours. It can take days to transport all of the meat and other parts if you want to take every part of the bison.
Bison Hunting Tips
1. When searching for bison in an area, look for wet, sloppy droppings and tracks.
2. Bison have a very good sense of smell which is their primary defense.
3. Spot & stalk is one of the popular hunting methods for bison.
4. When hunting bison, always hunt into to wind to avoid the bison smelling your human odor.
5. Look for rubs on very large trees when scouting for signs of bison.
6. Bison creates wallows. Keep your eyes open for wallows when scouting for bison.
7. You can hire an outfitter to hunt bison if you don’t have experience hunting the animal.
8. A bison is a very large animal. It will take many hours to field dress it and possibly days to transport the meat.
9. You can glass for bison from an elevated position and then stalk or ambush it.
10. Stii hunting can also be used to hunt bison.
11. You and your hunting team can organize drives to funnel bison in the direction of the shooters.
12. Always try to target a bison that has separated from the herd.
13. Try to always get as close as possible, preferably within 100 yards, to the bison before taking the shot.
14. Don’t shoot a running bison.
15. Don’t rush your shot. Take time to position yourself and take a good shot.
16. Aim for the heart/lung area, which is slightly above and behind the bison’s front leg.
The Bottom Line
Hunting the bison is one major hunting challenge. It has a very good sense of smell and is a very large animal. The spot and stalk hunting methods are arguably the most popular methods used by hunters to hunt bison.
In this article, we discussed how to successfully hunt the largest animal in North America. If you are interested in hunting caribou, then read the best caribou hunting tips. You can also read how to hunt mountain goats, how to hunt wild sheep, and how to hunt hogs.