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Thread: Kodiak Bison Hunt Report

  1. #1
    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    Default Kodiak Bison Hunt Report

    When I first got to Kodiak and saw bison roaming amongst the beautiful Kodiak landscape I was amazed at how magnificent an animal they were. I started looking into possibly hunting them here and in my beginning research I only came up with the Burton Ranch herd down at Pasagshak. After contacting Mr. Burton I came to the conclusion I would not be hunting them here due to the large amount of money he charged and the fact that he charged more for a "trophy" animal(anything other than a cow or young bull). I also did not feel too comfortable with the road running through his property giving access to many people viewing the Bison each day.

    Fast foward a year or so and akflyfishers Bison raffle got me thinking about about them again. I scoured the internet and found an article written several years ago about two ranchers that brought Bison here back in the 50's (one being Bill Burton). I did a search on the second rancher and came up with absolutely nothing about him except a phone number from the phone book. I figured I would give it a shot and call the number to see what I could find out. The gentleman told me that he did have a herd here on Kodiak that roamed Ugak Bay, off the road system, he charged less than half of what Burton charged, and I was going to be able to hunt any animal from a cow to the largest herd bull with no difference in the cost. I got off the phone completely thrilled and set out to find a few guys who wanted to split the cost & meat with me.

    Friday, November 26th rolled around and I found myself and 10 of my buddies and co-workers fueling two jeeps and 6 ATV's at 6:30 am getting ready to head out to Saltery Cove. After 16 miles down the trail and three hours later we were at the cove overlooking a large flat grassy area where the Bison usually graze, only to find no Bison!! We parked the Jeeps and sent out the ATV's in different directions on scouting trips to hopefully locate the herd. After 45 minutes one guy raced back to report he found a herd of about 100 grazing on the edge of the wood line about 2 miles away. We cruised down to the edge of the cove and parked the ATV's with the Bison in sight about 500 yards away. The 11 of us walked in a low depression out of the animals sight until we were 100 yards away. I broke out my spotting scope and began looking at different animals while everyone else called out which ones looked big to them. I found picking out one particular animal to be extremely difficult. They all looked big to me, and the one's that appeared to be bulls all looked similar in size, but not quite mature like we were looking for. About the time we were thinking about just picking one and making a plan for the stalk, a bull stepped out that definitely stood out from the others. He was larger, darker, and had a much bigger beard than any of the others. I watched him for about 15 minutes as he pushed around smaller bulls and displayed his dominance. Our group collectively decided this was the one to go after, and a plan was made for me to get within bow range of this 2000 pound animal and send an arrow flying!

    With a backup gunner and a guy videotaping in tow, I backtracked a few hundred yards to a river bed that ran through the woods behind the Bison. When we thought we had gone far enough we cut through the woods and slowly worked our way though the crispy leaves until we could see the herd though the trees. By this time the animals had moved around a bit and with our limited view though the woods we could not make out which Bison we were going after. I made my way to the edge and at one point had drawn my bow on the wrong Bison before I saw the dark one with the large beard step out from behind a small group of lesser bulls. After the shot the Bison ran 40 yards and collapsed with the entire herd grouping around their fallen leader. The remainder of our group who were watching the action from their spotting knob had retreived their ATV's and raced in to scare the herd back into the woods. We took our photos and made short work of quartering the animal and headed back to camp.

    I have been fortunate enough to have hunted 7 out of the 10 big game species in Alaska so far. Each one has had it's own challenges and excitements and although this one was a quick hunt, I would certainly do it again in a heartbeat if given the chance. In the grand scheme this was not the most challenging of the hunts I have been on, but being 40 yards from a incredible animal that large with a stick and string made my heart beat just as hard if not more than any other hunt I have been on. With a few guys the cost of this trip is a great deal, great meat, and a great adventure! Here are a few pictures...
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    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    What was left for the birds & bears...
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    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    CG, that is absolutly incredible. What a great experience. Good for you.

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    Member Kotton's Avatar
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    Wow,you sure have had some great success in your stay here in this great state.That must have been a thrilling experince to be that close to a beast of an animal with nothing but a arrow.Great report and a even beter picture!

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    That hide will make a great bedspread.
    An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    WOW I am at a loss for words you have had one heck of a hunting season and it never seems to end!

  7. #7
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Yes, Absolutely Cool, Swimmer

    To take him with a bow, Now That's the Way, to do that hunt.

    Always jacked up, to see your name underneath another New Hunt Thread
    I'll bet that is some Fine Meat too?
    Do you have any meat poundage #'s for us? Curious as to the recovery as it looks like you guys did that very nicely, how did that split up.
    That akflyfisher Bison Raffle got it's hooks in me some also. Good Job, Thanks for the story
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    Hey, thanks fellas. KR, I'm not really sure yet how we'll do on meat. The rancher has allowed us access to a storage facility for the meat where we are going to let it age for about two weeks, then we'll get together for a butcher party. According to him, a large bull can provide 7-800 lbs of meat. Im not really sure where the one we took fares as far as size, as I said, they all looked big to us! 7 guys went in on splitting it, which should get everyone at least 100 pounds if not alittle more, I'll have a definite amount in about two weeks.

  9. #9

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    7 out of 10? Farm animals don't count. A nieghbor of mine has some 400" Caribou/reindeer if you want to shoot one. For money of course. Bison is fine eating. Congrats!

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    Default Boo!

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperCub View Post
    7 out of 10? Farm animals don't count. A nieghbor of mine has some 400" Caribou/reindeer if you want to shoot one. For money of course.
    36 posts in a year and a half and most all of them negative?

    And couple that with the inability to spell the word "neighbor".

  11. #11

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    Dang man, with the way you string hunts together you'll have the other 3 in no time. What a season!!! Congrats to you.

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    woops, gotta retry this

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperCub View Post
    7 out of 10? Farm animals don't count. A nieghbor of mine has some 400" Caribou/reindeer if you want to shoot one. For money of course. Bison is fine eating. Congrats!
    Do transplants count? Were did Alaskan Bison come from? From a fenced area is the correct answer.

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    Nice report, looks like you had good weather. Congratulations.

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    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Living the Dream! Congratulations. Hope you get all 10 before you have to transfer!

  16. #16
    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperCub View Post
    7 out of 10? Farm animals don't count. A nieghbor of mine has some 400" Caribou/reindeer if you want to shoot one. For money of course. Bison is fine eating. Congrats!
    Nope, thanks for the offer but not interested in your buddy's reindeer! These animals were by no means on a farm. The areas they roam are from Portage Bay all the way down to Hidden Basin in Ugak Bay. For those with access to a boat, you could potentially get on animals that have never seen a person. We chose to hunt the area we did because of the added adventure of the ATVing, and the access to some good deer hunting for those guys in our party who were not taking any of the Bison meat.

  17. #17
    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    Here's one of the Jeeps 12 miles in, took the second jeep to pull it out....
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    Ha! Thats the hole i almost rolled my 4 wheeler in yesterday. Right tires were on the ice, the left tires went down deep! Congrats on the bow bison. If I ever run low on meat that is what I am going to do! Where's the video!?

  19. #19
    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trappnguns View Post
    Ha! Thats the hole i almost rolled my 4 wheeler in yesterday. Right tires were on the ice, the left tires went down deep! Congrats on the bow bison. If I ever run low on meat that is what I am going to do! Where's the video!?
    That's funny!! It looked like the ice was solid and as soon as we got in the middle we crashed through! One of the guys is going to put a the video together, we'll see how it comes out.

  20. #20
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    i've wanted to nail one of those buff for years...nice going.
    10 big game? thought we had more than that...i might be counting wolf and wolverine.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
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