Friday, March 1, 2013

Successful Bison Hunt with Campfire Stories

I would like to thank Andy Weichers and Bobby Haley from Campfire Stories for a great experience and an exciting bison hunt. Although it was our first hunt here at Miller Bison at Elkhead Ranch, everything went fairly smooth and Andy got the trophy of a lifetime with his crossbow. 

The guys came in on Monday at around 11 am. After a short visit and a plan of action, we went right after the big bull, hoping to have him down before the storm rolled in. 

After driving around for an hour trying to locate the bull, we finally found him bedded down at the bottom of a ravine in a thick oak timber. We tried to get into position without spooking him, but there was simply no good shooting lanes that were camera friendly. When the bull spotted us, he immediately got up and took off running up the hill and out of sight. We then had to sneak down and around the bottom of the thick timbered ravine to try to put a stalk on the bull without him seeing us.  He seemed to know what was going on, but we managed to get around 90 yards from him before we were forced to stop and watch him stomp and snort at us for a few minutes before he took off running again. To put it lightly, it was intimidating. 

By the time we got to the top of the hill he was long gone headed north. Being a prey animal, his instinct was to stay on top of the hill where he could see everything below him. I decided to use this to our advantage since the deep ravine we were standing next to made a good pinch point between the top of the hill and the top of the ravine. I told the guys to sit tight in some cedar trees and I would walk the long way around to catch his attention and hopefully push him south towards where they we set up. 

I started running down and around to where I thought he might be when I saw Randy standing outside of his truck. He had spotted the bull and thought he knew where he went, so I jumped in we drove down and around where the big bull was hunkered down. When we got on the north side of the bull I jumped out and put our plan into action. I started walking towards the bull nice and slow, and just as I hoped, he wanted no part of me. I kept a distance of 200 yards or so and the big guy walked slowly away from me, always keeping an eye on where I was and what I was doing.   

About the time he got to the pinch point where the guys were set up, I lost sight of him. As I slowly walked closer to peek over the hill,  I saw the arrow fly and connect hard. Andy put a perfect shot on him and the big bull knew exactly where it came from.

When he turned back and faced Andy and Bob, he looked like he was going to charge. 

As I stood there and watched fearing the worst and hoping for the best, the giant glared at the hunters for 90 seconds, started to wobble, and fell to the ground. 

The hunt was a total success, but now it's starting to pour and the work is just beginning. 

We spent the next 7 hours taking pictures, skinning, fleshing, and salting the huge hide. As we were processing the animal, I couldn't help but think about the Native Americans doing all this work with tools made from rock, right on the prairie without the help of a tractor or a nice building to shield the weather. Thinking back to that time period made me feel honored and privileged to have been a part of an actual bison hunt, even though we did it in a totally modern way. 

That night, thanks to Jane, we ate like kings. Bison spare ribs with potatoes au gratin and sweet corn from last summer. 

The following day was rainy and wet, but that didn't stop Andy and Bob from getting out there and getting some good footage of the ranch.  We did some interviews in the cabin, took the the meat to the processor, and once again ate a supper fit for a king. This time it was my favorite, bison prime rib.  The perfect ending to an awesome hunt. ****

Once again I'd like to thank Andy and Bobby for being wonderful guests, and I'd like to welcome anyone that may be interested in a similar experience to give us a call or shoot us an email. We guarantee it will be an experience that you will never forget.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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