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Thread: Bison issues?

  1. #1
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Bison issues?

    Okay, you probably saw my question on moose hindquarter dimensions. I have similar questions concerning bison. I have not hunted them, and am wondering if any of you folks have some intel for a little project I am working on:

    1. Field photos of the butchering process

    2. Dimensions of the various pieces (weight and approximate size)

    3. General comments about field butchering of bison.

    If you have any of this, please contact me via PM and we will get together on it.

    Thanks, all!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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    Mike I don't have any butchering pics but I have guided for bison in farewell. The one thing that stands out most is that they are dirty and gritty .. A traditional type knive was almost useless especially when skinning for a full body mount... I ended up having to use a plastic handled little serrated knive( the name is on the tip of my tongue) that are pretty popular and not a havalon. Dimensions if I recall were similar to a moose but I also understand that the delta bison are quite a bit bigger..

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear View Post
    Mike I don't have any butchering pics but I have guided for bison in farewell. The one thing that stands out most is that they are dirty and gritty .. A traditional type knive was almost useless especially when skinning for a full body mount... I ended up having to use a plastic handled little serrated knive( the name is on the tip of my tongue) that are pretty popular and not a havalon. Dimensions if I recall were similar to a moose but I also understand that the delta bison are quite a bit bigger..
    Are you talking about dirt and grit in the hair itself? Not surprising as they like to wallow sometimes. Was it hard keeping that off the meat? And how about the quarters? Much size difference compared to moose? Final question: were the ones you were in on average-sized, larger, or what?

    Thanks!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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    Yeah Mike the dirt was embedded throughout the hair,it was especially bad in the head/cape area where the hair was really wooly and thick.. Not to hard to keep it clean as long as you did it like a moose and used the skin as a tarp so to speak. I honestly think if you were to put a bison quarter next to a moose they would be very similar especially if you take out the lower leg bone.. I am sure some one would know better but I have heard stories of Delta bulls pushing 1500-2000 and when you get to the upper side of that I would imaging moose quarters start lookin smaller.. This is the last hunt I did on Bison about 6 years or so ago..scanned pic so not the greatest quality...


  5. #5
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear View Post
    Yeah Mike the dirt was embedded throughout the hair,it was especially bad in the head/cape area where the hair was really wooly and thick.. Not to hard to keep it clean as long as you did it like a moose and used the skin as a tarp so to speak. I honestly think if you were to put a bison quarter next to a moose they would be very similar especially if you take out the lower leg bone.. I am sure some one would know better but I have heard stories of Delta bulls pushing 1500-2000 and when you get to the upper side of that I would imaging moose quarters start lookin smaller.. This is the last hunt I did on Bison about 6 years or so ago..scanned pic so not the greatest quality...
    How heavy you figure that head is without the hide, and did you bring the head out whole, or cut the horns out like you would a moose?

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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    Default Bison look better from the front.

    Bison are in one respect opposite of all other ungulates that I'm aware of; they're front-loaded; most are rear-loaded.

    The back half of a Bison is very very unremarkable (in appearance, style, and also in size) compared to the front. If a Bison had the same body weight to hindquarter ratio of your average Alaskan moose (both of them full grown) then the Bison's hindquarter would probably just about have to double its size from the size it actually is.

    I don't mean to say a Bison hinder is tiny; nothing about a Bison is small; I'm talking comparatively.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    How heavy you figure that head is without the hide, and did you bring the head out whole, or cut the horns out like you would a moose?

    -Mike
    Honestly cant remember how heavy the head was,I dont think it was too bad though,they have really thick skin on thier heads so a lot of the bulk was removed when I took the skull out..... I did bring it out whole, hunter wanted the skull too...

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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    Bison are in one respect opposite of all other ungulates that I'm aware of; they're front-loaded; most are rear-loaded.

    The back half of a Bison is very very unremarkable (in appearance, style, and also in size) compared to the front. If a Bison had the same body weight to hindquarter ratio of your average Alaskan moose (both of them full grown) then the Bison's hindquarter would probably just about have to double its size from the size it actually is.

    I don't mean to say a Bison hinder is tiny; nothing about a Bison is small; I'm talking comparatively.
    Id have to say you describe it better then me..lol the rib cage on a bison was quite impressive too..

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    I have helped butcher 3 bison. Two in ND and and one last spring in delta. In my experience bison rear quarters are shorter and thicker than moose rears and probably weigh about the same. Front quarters on a bison are big and the neck is the heaviest most unwieldy piece of jello you ever tried to pick up. The rib cage on a gutted bison bull is so big you can lay inside the thing. I can't say I have ever had to pack a bison cause the two from ND were on a ranch and we drove a tractor up to haul them. The delta bull died in a farm field where we could pull a snow machine right next to it so no packing. Thank God for small miracles.

  10. #10

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    Hey Mike, I don't know if this is any help, but I really like this video and it details field-dressing a bison.

    http://youtu.be/9KxiYEMyUag

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    I mounted lots of them when I ran my taxidermy shop in Texas. A big bull cape with the skull in it can go 200lbs. Knocking the skull out is best done using a "T" cut from horn to horn and then down the back. A raw skull, depending on sex/size can go from 40-70lbs.

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    Member Matt M's Avatar
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    I have killed a few and been in on 2 or 3 more being butchered. Where they are not in an agricultural area, their weight is below 1000 pounds. The comment I would make is it is very difficult to field dress one by yourself. It is **** near impossible to roll them over their own hump unless you are hunting in winter and there is snow you can dig out.

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