Delta Bison



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  • Delta Bison

    I'm the lucky winner of a Delta Bison Permit, but never hunted up there before. Any suggestions of what to do, where to stay, and what to bring would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Lucky Bison Permit

    I hope to get that permit some day. I have helped three friends bag their buffalo at Delta.

    We stayed at the Silverfox cabins outside of Delta. Bring the following:

    4-wheeler or snowmachine & trailer
    Lots of game bags
    Lots of sharp knives
    Several friends
    Cash for access to some lands
    Varmit rifle for coyotes & foxes
    22 rifle for rabbits
    Bunny boots and warm clothes
    Gutting gloves that go over your clothes and up to your armpit.


    • #3
      How do you know where/who to pay this "cash for access to some lands?"
      "Wine can of their wits the wise beguile, Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile." - Homer, Odyssey


      • #4
        The state will give you the names of some of the land owners that own land that the Bison roam on regularly, if you are a tag winner.


        • #5

          As huntinfool says, the silverfox cabins are the place to stay. They are very comfortable, smack in the middle of where you will want to hunt, and the owners are great.

          With that said, and having had the permit last yr, I will offer you the following;

          First of all, take the map that fish and game sent showing the farms and their, no hunting, fee hunting, unknown, and have it blown up a size. Then, take magic markers and color in the farms by status. This is very helpful when your up there and you will know the status of each readily. You will know which ones not to bother with if they are no hunting. Here's another important tip....the no hunting ones are often fenced and contain domestic herds of something, and the bison can't get in so you can kind of see where they funnel to from one area to another.
          Check with Diane Shultz, she is the bison diva of Delta and although she charges 300 bucks if you take on on her land, she knows if they are there as she drives them several times a day. One problem, she assigns you artain plot, up to 4 days and it's yours alone, this can work for you or against you depending on where the herd or groups are. Diane puts on a tuff exterior, but she really is a softy. She has rules, it's best to follow them to the letter.
          I would hunt no earlier than November for a couple reasons. First of all, there is snow on the ground and you can track where they are by checking the main roads. We found where they had crossed the highway, moved further over and found where they had crossed the next road and found them with little trouble.
          It was cold when I got mine, -35! so dress accordingly. Don't bother with a traditional skinning knife, take a couple of those cutco serraded knives and that's all you need. I've read much about the dirt and sand that is in the hair, but that is bs. The hide is like it's glued on these animals, nothing to do with dirt. I did the whole bison with one cutco and never sharpened it.

          The state fields are a crap shoot, never saw anything on them in 6 days of time up there...although there were some taken early off them on opening day, and they had been there in early nov. I guess I just wouldn't spend much time there if you don't see any.

          To do a proper skinning and dressing, figure 4 hours min, and take some help, not just a

          I wouldn't hurt to contact Scott Hollenbaum, he's great to talk to and helpful. If you were to take one down late in the day, he would come with his tractor and give you a hand, just how he is.

          Good luck, and if you need more info, pm me.


          ps, bison aren't afraid of vehicles....


          • #6

            I tell you what I've learned from our hunt a few years ago. It can be very difficult to determine bull vs cow. It may be easy to tell on paper but when it comes down to pulling the trigger it's not so easy, especially if they're younger animals. My advice is to spend time looking at the domestic herd there and educate yourself. Also keep the snowmachine use to a bare minimum. I can't speak to the wheelers but I can tell you that they can hear the snow machines from miles away and will avoid them. Every year new hunters come and have to learn this. The buff are getting trained to that noise. All in all a great hunt and the rewards are worth the challenge.


            • #7
              How much ground do the Bison cover?

              Great info!!!!

              They space out the permits as most of you know, I was put in the 12th of Oct group. Guess it doesn't matter, sounds to be better when there is snow. Do you have to contact the owners well in advance before you hunt on their land? Or can you pay, and ask them the day of if thats where the animals are? Is a four-wheeler or snow machine the way to go in November? How long does the average hunt take? I have to plan the hunt around the class dates they offer and was clueless on how much time it might take. Thank you for all the help.


              • #8
                I took my wheeler up in Oct, didn't use it, left it home in Nov, didn't need it. Rule of thumb is if you shoot one, you can then drive straightline to it and retrieve it. The snow doesn't get very deep up there, couple inches in Nov. Might be different in the spring, someone else might have info on that. There are roads around most of the fields, Diane gives you a detailed map as to where you can drive. She will let you drive to your bison if you shoot one.

                Your question about contacting farmers ahead of time is a good one. Seems to be the rule of thumb is, if you shoot one on a field that is listed as open...permission or otherwise, you can take it, and contact them after. Mainly, they don't want people just driving all over the fields willy nilly. We contacted one farmer listed under with permission last year and they didn't know why we were bothering them...didn't care what we did up there..but they didn't live up there either...???? You don't get contact numbers from fish and game with your info, nor at the orientation, so you have to do your own tracking down.
                Most of the farmers that charge, only do if you take an animal, not before. It's kind of a grey thing legally I think...personally, I think it's fine if they charge because they are participating in the overall management rather than fighting the hunt itself. They claim it's for insurance costs...don't know about that one. There is one guy, Johnson?, can't remember, that charges something like $1,500 and lets you have his place until you get one if it takes the whole season. Once you get yours, he offers it to the next guy for less...and so on..stories abound up there, so who knows if it's true or not.
                Although your hunt date is in Oct, you can go up and attend any orientation prior to that, can't hunt till your date, but you will have gotten that out of the way and are free to hunt when your date comes up.

                As to hunt length, that will depend on luck mostly. I went up for 4 days the first time and didn't get a shot. Went the second time in Nov, drove up fri night, got it the next day. I spent quite a bit of time just getting the lay out, enjoying the area etc the first trip. The second, I pretty much knew where I'd look, and how much time I would spend in each place,ie, the short list.

                Ran into a couple last year that were adament about not paying anyone a fee to hunt, ended up on getting one on Dianes field 4 after 3 I would make contact with her, she's a wealth of info even if you find one somewhere else. Pm me if you can't find her phone number.



                • #9
                  I live in Delta...

                  I live in delta Junction and would love to help with the chore of field dressing the animal. I have some experience with hunting Bison, but it is in the lower 48. A group I was associated with had a Bison Hunt yearly. We did it on horse back with bows. Anyway, if you would like some help field dressing the animal, and someone for company let me know. I am always looking to learn something new.


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