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Thread: Bison Down!

  1. #1

    Default Bison Down!

    My dad finally filled his DI403 tag on Friday night. We got a late start on Friday and missed Diana Schultz and decided to try a few other places out. We offloaded the snowmachines and went through a family friends farm, and saw lots of sign but nothing with hooves still attached. We decided to try the Gerstle fields and as soon as we pulled in there was sign everywhere, and what looked like a day old gut pile on the side of the entry road. The further we got in there, the more sign we saw, but no bison. We saw another truck in there, so we left the area to him and went to where we could get cell phone signal and tried calling Diana again. It went to the machine, so off to the panoramics we went. You can't get in there with a truck, so we offloaded the machines and headed in on the west side. After entering, we noticed there weren't any fresh tracks of bison or people, but since nobody had been in there for a few days, we pressed on. Finally on the far east side of the field, we came up to a small rise and saw bison, and lots of them.

    They were about a mile out, and just entering the field from the very south eastern end. I remembered how much everybody warned against snowmachine noise, so I told my dad and brother we should just walk from there. Well, it ended up being over a mile, and we hugged the tree line which had drifts from 1-3 feet deep, so it ended up being some difficult walking at times. We worked our way into about 500 yards and realized it was getting pretty late, and we need to get things moving here, but we were running out of cover. We decided to go into the trees and work through them, which was easier than fighting the drifts.

    We got into 230 yards, which unless we belly crawled in on them, would be the closest we could get a decent shot. There were no older bulls in the entire herd, and the two lead animals which were the closest were both young bulls, so we picked the one on the far end furtherst from the other animals. My dad touched off a shot with my brother standing by as backup, and the bison bucked pretty good. Since it turned and started for the woods, my dad told my brother to take a shot and he reloaded and shot as well. After those two rounds, the bull went down. We headed out to him, and the herd stayed right there, about 150 yards out.

    My brother and I headed back to get the machines, and dad stayed with the bull. Since the packs were back at the machines, all dad could do was hang out and wait. We drove by the herd about 200 yards, and they just stood there watching us. Kinda made me think that mile long stalk could have been shortened quite a bit, but I like the fact that my old man had to work for it. We finally got back and it was going to get dark soon, so we took a couple of quick pictures, did our congrats and dad and my brother headed back to the truck on the two machines to get the sled. I stayed back and butchered the bison. By the time they got back, I had it gutted and the rear half of the hide off. We finished skinning out the front half for a shoulder mount, and loaded the whole carcass up on the sled and towed him to the truck which was a little over 7 miles away. By the time we got back it was 9pm. We set up the Arctic Oven, had some dinner and tipped a beer to Glenn who passed away on new years night. He was my godfather and my dads hunting partner for nearly 30 years.

    Saturday morning we took the bison into Delta Meats. They let us use a power saw to quarter the bison, and we pulled out of there around 10:30am. It sure is nice to go into a business where the people know what they are doing. Sometimes some companies just stand out in that regard and Delta Meats is one of them. I told her that I'd expect them to be real busy in 2010 after the Tanana Valley Meats issues, but she said they won't accept more than they can handle, so be prepared if you plan to send them your game for processing.

    We didn't get too many pictures because it was getting dark. Other cool things we saw were tons of wolf and coyote tracks all over the panoramics, and a moose that had pure white legs from bottom to the belly.

    One other note that Diana Schultz mentioned to us is that when the herd groups up like this around the Panoramics, it usually means they are getting ready to head across the river to the calving grounds. If folks haven't filled their tags yet, it might be time to get out there and get it done or the pickings will be a lot slimmer.



  2. #2
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default What a great Day

    Wow, congrats, great day of hunting and working together as family men. Hope to raise my boys to be workers like your Dad obviously did !

    You guys are in 'em now, sounds sooo tasty

  3. #3
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    Congratulations Jerod.

    Sounds like you had a great family hunting trip.

  4. #4
    Member Trapak's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for sharing a great story and family tradition. Hats off to dad for his success and keeping the hunting heritage alive into the next generation!

  5. #5
    Member sledhands's Avatar
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    Default Bison

    How old is your dad? Just wondering how long until I draw my permit. Congratulations Hunting with my father was always great times. Now with my own kids.
    Once again Congratulations to all of you on a successful hunt and beautiful trophy.
    Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory.
    - General George S. Patton

  6. #6
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    Great report Jerod!

    I would agree with Diana.....the bison moving to the Panoramic Field may mean they are getting ready to migrate to the calving grounds....maybe the warmer weather stirs them a bit.....

    Delta F&G last week reported only 50 bison harvested thus far for 120 tags issued......we just didn't see the hunters around town this winter.

    Delta Meat is a class act!......Kathy & Jeannie work hard and run a good operation....only odorless slaughter house I've ever heard of.

  7. #7

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    Thanks guys. My dad is 59 years young, but this was his first year putting in for the tags.

    They only issued 75 this year, so it sounds like the success rate isn't too bad. We figured there would be a lot less hunters with the reduced amount of permits. Too many cows were taken last year so they significantly reduced the amount of permits, and next year I think they are switching back to two permits (DI403 and DI404) and making them gender specific. In '09, they let DI403 be any bison, and over half of those taken were cows. Add that to the DI404 hunters, and a bunch of cows were taken. This year was any bison as well.

  8. #8
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Awesome hunt! You'll have (literally) tons of Buffalo burger! That stuffs to die for!

    You said it was his first time putting in? Wow. Draws the Bison tag on 1st try. Way to go!
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  9. #9
    Member Kotton's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharring your story,My hats off.nothing is better than a family hunt/harvest.Some of my best days afield were shared with my dad,but at 56 and his failing back 2010 might be his last season but I am thankfull for him showing me and my brothers how to be outdoorsmen

  10. #10
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Fantastic! I'm going to go open up the 2010 photo gallery thread, and these two pictures would make a great first entry.

    Great bull, great hunt, and great story. Thanks for sharing.

  11. #11
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    Thumbs up Great bison hunt!

    Thanks for the great hunt report and pictures Jerod. What a truly wonderful hunt you were on.

    I love the part: "Kinda made me think that mile long stalk could have been shortened quite a bit, but I like the fact that my old man had to work for it." That sure sounds like something one of my kids would say... Even though I'm not nearly (ok... not quite) as old as your dad.

  12. #12
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    Default Great Job

    Awesome job on the bison. How many adult teeth did he have?

  13. #13
    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Congratulations. Thanks for sharing the dream we all have. You are lucky to have lived it.
    Now what ?

  14. #14
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    awesome and congrats

  15. #15
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Which would you say is better eating, Jerod, Ox or bison?
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  16. #16
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Which would you say is better eating, Jerod, Ox or bison?
    I haven't had ox, but Delta bison is certainly better than Farewell bison. I shot an old, gnarled bull out of Farewell, and while he was tasty, he certainly wasn't tender. The three Delta bison that I've tasted have all been a bit better. Heck, they're grain fed and basically live on farms for the majority of their lives, so they've certainly got it easier than bison found in more wild locales. I wonder if the same comparison would hold true with ox, given the harsher life of most musk ox.

  17. #17

    Default

    We haven't eaten any of this guy yet. We dropped the entire bison off at Delta Meats on Saturday morning. I pushed my dad and brother to get me back to Fairbanks by noon so I could make my daughters soccer game. Managed to get there for the 2nd half and called the wife early enough to bring me a change of clothes. I still smelled a little like a water buffalo, but got to watch my daughter score her second of two goals and get an assist in their 4-0 win!

    I shot a bison in Montana in December of '07 and it was some of the best "wild" game I've had. I do like the ox, but our families favorite is most certainly the bison. The bull I shot gave us 660 lbs of processed meat, so it took us a while to go through it, but the last of it was pulled from the freezer earlier this winter. We had talked about harvesting another bison from a ranch for the meat, but luckily drew a tag. Now the whole family is putting in since my dad got lucky. He's planning on buying a single lottery ticket now too.

  18. #18
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    Default Very Nice!!!!

    Great story also. I'm sure your dad feels the same about hunting with his sons. That's what i've been able to do with my son. We both were lucky and got one opening week. Really glad to see you have success.

  19. #19
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Congrats to your dad Jerod! That is one nice hunt report and a great looking bison.

  20. #20
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default Excellent

    Congrats! Thats gonna be some good food.

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