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I have been looking into a bison hunt in the national elk refuge. It seems like a pretty fun hunt. Has anyone done this hunt? How is the draw opportunity, how difficult is it to locate bison, should I hire horse to drag the bison to the side of the road? How long should I stay out there to be successful? What time ranges are you expected to shoot?
 
Posts: 479 | Registered: 30 September 2012Reply With Quote
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If you haven't already checked it, here's a good source of information: National Elk Refuge Bison Hunting

There's this link on the page to a PDF file.


Tony Mandile

Get "How To Hunt Coues Deer" at
www.immediateweb.com/TonyMandile
 
Posts: 3124 | Location: Glendale, AZ | Registered: 28 July 2003Reply With Quote
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Does anyone have any first hand experience. Looks like a fun hunt.
 
Posts: 479 | Registered: 30 September 2012Reply With Quote
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My father did this hunt about 12 years ago, he drew a cow tag but the hunt is exactly the same. He is an almost lifelong Wyoming resident.

He used an outfitter that was parked outside the Game and Fish refuge building. Cost him about $850 to drag it out.

Dad was 68 and on oxygen full time at the time. He couldn't have done it without the outfitter.

He called a couple outfitters and they all wanted $2500 or so to do it.

There was a negotiation, and he being a resident helped.

Getting a tag is going to be the hard part. Last year residents drew 100 tags for about 1200 people and non-residents drew 25 tags for 270 applicants. Ten percent is a good shot though, tag was $4402 for a non-resident and $420 for a resident. You have to buy a conservation stamp. I don't remember what that cost $15-30.

As for the hunt, there are a million rules on it. He shot his at about 200 yards, about 3 hours into the day. The outfitter then called my mom and she drove their flatbed trailer out onto the range and they used a huge trevois to pick up the bison, they then used horses to drag it into the trailer.

Shot her with 1 shot in the heart with a 30-06 and partitions. She ran 100 yards and fell over. He has been applying for a bull permit every since then.

No bison tag is cheap, and no bison hunt is cheap but Wyoming is a good deal compared to the higher cost of other states and ranches.
 
Posts: 6846 | Location: New Mexico | Registered: 10 October 2012Reply With Quote
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Oh you have to front the entire tag fee in Wyoming.
 
Posts: 6846 | Location: New Mexico | Registered: 10 October 2012Reply With Quote
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I hear there are a few locations to hunt. Are any better than others? Is this a spot and stalk hunt or is it more of a wait till it comes to you or walks out of the parks?
 
Posts: 479 | Registered: 30 September 2012Reply With Quote
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I also noticed that success rates started at 98 percent but seemed to have fallen to around 50 percent. Are the heard diminishing? Are there still opportunities for a good sized bull?
 
Posts: 479 | Registered: 30 September 2012Reply With Quote
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On your own odds are probably not that great.

With an outfitter, you'll probably get a nice bull.

You ought to call the G&F Biologist in Jackson and find out.
 
Posts: 6846 | Location: New Mexico | Registered: 10 October 2012Reply With Quote
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The herd is not diminished, weather plays a huge role as to when bison move onto the refuge or not. Later is better. A hired guide may increase chances if they have access to surrounding ranches or scout the NF extensively but not necessary for success. Good bulls are where you find them.
 
Posts: 630 | Location: Wyoming | Registered: 04 April 2009Reply With Quote
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Yea I have been doing a lot of research on other forums and it seems the bull hunt is easier due to them being found in the sounding forest while the cows you have to wait for them to walk onto the elk refuge. I think I will apply for a bull tag, just need to figure out where in the woods they like to hang out and what would be the best time to go.
 
Posts: 479 | Registered: 30 September 2012Reply With Quote
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I drew a tag about 8 years ago
Shooting a bull is easy. Finding one on right side of line is not.
I’m from Idaho and made 3 trips. You need snow to get the animals moving. Cows r hard to find
Hire tag n drag or bring a lot of friends
You cannot drive off road; you cannot hunt natl forest without a guide if nonresident
Bring a rifle you can shoot well. If you shoot one near park boundary and it runs into the park you r sol unless you can see it dead on ground.
It is a great experience hunting the last remnant herd around but it is not a sure thing pasture hunt
 
Posts: 193 | Location: Idaho | Registered: 11 November 2006Reply With Quote
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This hunt has changed a lot over the last decade. I have been twice, and success rates have dropped drastically as of late. Yes, it is somewhat dependent on weather, but the bison have definitely gotten wise to this hunt. There use to be bison on the refuge for the August opener, but no more. Relatively few bison are taken on the forest, and essentially no cows. Even once you have the tag (tough odds), you still have to draw a permit for a specific few day period, and you won't know in advance about the weather. There are many hunt periods when there are essentially no bison available to hunt (all in the Park). Not even the guides can help then. You do get to hunt in January first come first serve if not successful earlier, but it is hard to plan travel around a hoped for hunt date. The hunt is much better for those relatively local, who can drop everything and get to Jackson when the weather turns. The WDFG sent a letter to all successful applicants this year about the recent low success rates and the fact there would not be any refunds even if the bison never moved onto the refuge.
Bill
 
Posts: 1051 | Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA | Registered: 19 March 2002Reply With Quote
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