Well I closed the deal on my DI-403 tag on the second evening up at Delta. A friend of mine his dad and my self headed up Thursday morning after Halloween. We left Palmer at 5:00 am and pulled into Delta to -20 deg. F about 10:00am. Stopped by F&G looked at a bunch of previously confiscated heads and received a little intel that a couple of animals had been taken on the state fields recently. I had gotten permission to hunt hunt three private tracts before leaving home, and pre-arranged meeting Diana Schultz at noon. We checked in at the Silver Fox cabins and rolled out to the Shultz farm. We visited with Diana and obtained permission to hunt one of their tracts also. We spent the rest of the day driving through 8" of snow in the fields we were allowed to hunt with very little fresh sign to be seen. Late in the evening we went and closed out the night in the Panoramics fields where there was a fair amount of sign and lots of moose but no bison spotted. After a dinner of caribou/bacon burgers spent a warm night in the cabin and woke up to some warmer weather 8 above. Drove to Shultz's took a quick look and nothing had been there. Made a call to Jim Cummings he told me he had seen some large groups 4 days previous. Checked with the tract owners and were unable to access those areas. Drove most of the other tracts again and the Panoramics with no fresh sign. Went into a tract down across from the Gerstle fields and found some fresh sign. We drove out across it and there was a fair amount of sign old and new. We were stopped doing some glassing and up stands 3 bison less than 40 yards away. Three orphan calves not what we were after but a start.
I was sure there must be adults around but we looked all over and they were alone. As evening neared we decided to go look at the Gerstle river to see if they had been out on the sand bars. Nothing was going on out there. We decided to check the Gerstle fields for the last look for the night. As I began to pull into the southeast corner of the fields I glanced over to see a bunch of bison laying 4 or 500 hundred yards away on the open ends of field that cross the south ends of the rows. I backed the nose of the truck back out of the fields and walked back in to see them still laying undisturbed. We quickly added a few clothes and made a plan to cut some of the distance. The wind direction wasn't the best but seemed like it would keep us covered. There was very little to hide behind in the road and thick black spruce to our left with poplar wind rows to the right. We were able to sneak belly crawl down to a clump of brush in the wide open field. I guessed we were now about 200 yards away, and got the spotting scope on the herd. I identified one animal of about 40 or so as a sure enough bull, many of the animals were laying at a 45 deg. angle away. We stayed there for about 50 minutes hoping they would get up and move/ feed toward us so we could get a better look at everybody. As I was watching through the scope the entire herd burst to their feet, clearly they had winded us. Busted now and all 40 animals are lined up shoulder to shoulder across the opening. I jump into the scope with my rifle resting in the bag of my backpack and find the bull I had identified. He had a much blacker head than the others and was shaking his head around like he was agitated and licking his lips. I lined up on him to see if I could be steady enough, then swapped back to the spotting scope to be positive I was aiming at a bull. I was 100% positive and got back in the rifle scope. My buddy was not backing me up as he was staying completely behind the bush. I briefly considered a head shot but dispelled that notion and lined up just under his chin. This was not the shooting situation I had hoped for but felt rock solid on my rest so I squeezed off. When I returned from the recoil the bull was completely down flat on the field while the rest of the herd had wheeled and were almost out of the field. I reloaded and looked at the bull laying flat and got lulled into thinking he was done. Then he scrambled up and out of the opening down a field row, I took a second rushed shot as he left that didn't feel very good. We got up and started down toward where he left, I admit it weighed on me having taken a less then optimal shot but was hopeful I had hit him solid. As we approached the row he ran into I glance over to see him laying upright 35 yards from where he left the opening. As I was looking up his back end I circled around him to get a broad side angle, and shot him again at roughly 30 yards and he jumped to his feet. Now he was clearly hit through both lungs and standing there. He began to move slowly toward the thick wind row so we shot him one more time to bring him down in the field. I was shooting my .338 win mag with 250 GR. Nosler partitions. After he expired we went back over to get the truck and realized it was clearly over a 200 yard shot. The range finder that was in the truck read 260 yards. We spent 2 hours caping, skinning, and butchering him in the headlights and loading him into the truck. He was a three year old bull with a very black face and should be excellent eating. The first shot had hit him at the top of the sternum just right of center and entered the ribcage with a 2" hole right between his shoulders. They are difficult to kill. I am very excited to have drawn the tag the people in Delta were very helpful and friendly. The hunt at this time of year is a road hunt out of your vehicle which is my least favorite type of hunting. No complaints though as I only went up once and barely hunted 2 days. We stayed Friday night in the warm cabin and got up Saturday let all the land owners know I was done and dropped off parts at F&G.