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Thread: 45-70 for Bison

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    Default 45-70 for Bison

    A couple of my buddies and I were discussing bison hunting. Here in the lower 48, we use the 45-70, with hunting loads we either reload or buy from Hornady, CorBon, Conley, Garrett or Buffalo Bore. The idea of trying to make the draw for an Alaskan bison came up, and one of the guys, who recently moved down from Alaska, said that the 45-70 was not allowed for bison because "the Model 1873 Trapdoor couldn't shoot hot enough loads to deliver at least 2000 ft. pounds of energy at 100 yards." Since none of us uses these old weapons, we couldn't figure out what the ruling really was. Do any of you out there know about restrictions of this nature?

    Thanks very much.

    Mike

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    Member oakman's Avatar
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    Default winter supplement

    According to the winter supplement, which is where you would apply for the tag, you are required to fire a minimum 200 grain bullet with at least 2000 ft-lbs of energy at 100 yards. There is nothing listed about particular rifles or ammunition that is allowed or not. I would say if your 45-70 can meet those specs, it would be legal.

    Here is the link to the last winter supplement.

    http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/licen...pring_supp.pdf

    Hope this helps,
    Richard

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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    I killed a bull bison at Delta Junction a few years back using an 1886 in 45-70. With a modern rifle and hand loads or premium factory ammo it's not too hard to get a 45-70 to meet the requirements for this hunt (misguided that they may be). I have never heard of anyone having their loads chronographed to check compliance with this reg.

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    Default Thanks for the replies!

    Chisana and Oakman,

    Thanks very much for the rapidly replies to my question! I'll pass this along to my hunting buddies. All of us use modern 45-70's and ammo that will more than meet the requirements outlined in the Supplement.

    Merry Christmas!

    Mike

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    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    Default Bison hunting

    The 45/70 in it's black powder loading killed most of the bison on this contenient. That load at 1150-1200 fps still kills bison very well. I would not even be concerned. Jim

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    Default 45-70 for Bison

    jdb3,

    When our Alaska ex-patriot mentioned that he thought we would not be allowed to use our 45-70's in Alaska, we got off onto the whole discussion about "what kills" from a gun shot wound! I mentioned that hundreds of thousands, if not millions of bison had been killed on the Great Plains of the lower US during the 1800's using rifles and loads that could not approach delivering 2000 ft. pounds of energy at 100 yards! And they killed them very efficiently, using only one shot per animal, whenever possible. Where the 2000 ft. pounds of energy number was derived from by the ADG&F, I wouldn't have a clue. But I don't think that it is just energy; I think it's a combination of hydrostatic shock, rapid loss of blood pressure and severe trauma to vital organs close to the wound. I don't think there's any agreement on this subject among hunters, ballistics experts, or the military. There sure isn't any agreement among my hunting buddies (who are all experts, of course!!)

    Mike

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    Default 45-70

    I think no trooperor fish and game would ever question the use of a 45/70. I bet the round has killed thoasands of buff and bison ove the years. good luck on your hunt..

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    Member MikeGSP's Avatar
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    An old school teach of mine shot one with his Sharps 50 shooting 600 grain bullets, and he expected one shot one kill. Now I don't know the specs of this round but he has killed many animals here and in Africa and it took three shots. He was disappointed and I believe the range was within 200yds. I also watched a guy this winter cow moose hunt take three shots with his 45/70 take three shots to take down his cow at 80-100yds before my buddy shot his with a 300 at 200 yds. I don't know the round he was using but got me thinking of it's ability at that range and beyond. I'm thinking of buying one for a brush gun for bears but still unsure if I would try to reach out and touch something, but thats just been my experience's. Although on another note here a couple of years ago a lady from valdes shot her bison with one shot with a 30.06 which brings it back to the basics of shot placement.


    mike

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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akmike30 View Post
    I think no trooperor fish and game would ever question the use of a 45/70. I bet the round has killed thoasands of buff and bison ove the years. good luck on your hunt..
    If you are fortunate enough to draw a permit and attend the hunter briefing this topic will likely come up (and did when I attended).

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    Default 45-70 for Bison

    Yeah, MikeGSP, I hear you. It's the kind of thing that reinforces the fact that we really don't understand what makes a one shot, one kill scenario happen. I'm a big advocate of "calibering up," whenever there's any doubt in my mind. I like the 45-70, but would never use the squib loads they make for the caliber for use in the Cowboy Action events we have around here on live game. They are downloaded for comfort and for safety, since some of the participants use antique arms, like 1873 Trapdoors. For game, I go with the loads that were designed and built to take big game. I've shot two bison and one black bear here in the lower States with my 45-70 and all three were one shot kills, at ranges that varied from 48 yards (bear over bait) to 116 and 121 yards on the two bison. All three were "boiler room" shots. Buddy of mine who was hunting with me for the bison took 2 shots to take his down, (using a load exactly like mine) and both his shots were right into the chest cavity. During the cleaning of the animals, we discovered that my shot had devastated the heart; his had clipped it, but not destroyed it, and his second shot was needed to finish him off. His first shot was a mortal wound, according to the guide, but he wanted the second shot to make sure the animal was anchored. My other bison was killed with a shot that passed through his lungs and pretty well ruined everything around them, but he, too, dropped in his tracks. The guide said he was a younger animal, and not quite as tough as the old guys. There's a lot of things we just don't understand about this stuff!

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default

    i would love to use my old black powder 45/70 on A buff. but i think i would keep it inside 100yards..
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Default 45/70

    It always about shot placement not how big of gun i shoot. i beleive if you can't make a clean one shot kill then pass it. Up not saying there aren't time hen you have shoot twice. I just believe in quick one shoot kills.

  13. #13

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    My wife and son both made one shot kills on Delta bison with 30-06 one went about 50 yards the other went 5 yards. I have tried for 35 years but cant seem to draw a tag. I saw a man on the outdoor chanel shoot one with a 30-30 he droped it like a rock at 100 yards. he shot a broadside shot 6 inches strait behind the base of its ear. He said it works every time.

  14. #14

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    I need to correct my previous thread he shot the bison 6 inches directly behind the back of his horn base not his ear. I think this would be a spine shot. It certainly did the trick.

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    Default 45-70 for Bison

    Yep, like AKMike said, placement is the most important thing. Put that first bullet in the right spot and you don't need to worry about follow-up shots, no matter what game you're hunting.

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