Well, It has taken me longer than normal to 'wake up' after this weekend adventure ! We had a great time, Weather was cold , but sunny so not 'dragging thru the snow' stories to share !
Left about 1:00 am Saturday morning, stopped for some biscuits and gravy at a truck stop in Cuba, MO before heading into the ranch at about 7:30 am. Met with our guide, Jason, who we have shared time with on our previous visits, and got all the releases and license papers filled in. Then we relaxed a bit and unpacked, checked the firearms and made final prep for an afternoon hunt.
After a fine lunch of Pulled pork sandwiches and potato salad, we loaded up and headed out to find our Bison. After checking various locations around the perimeter before coming upon a small herd in one of the grassy meadows. It took awhile to single out one bison that met our criteria (3-4 year old bull), but once done it was just a matter of waiting for a clear shot before the herd moved out of range. The final choice of the Ruger GSR 308 with it's long eye-relief scope made the 125 yard shot fairly easy. Hit in the left shoulder-blade and thru the top of the heart dropped the animal in place. He tried to get up a couple of times but could not and died within a minute of being hit. The expended bullet lodged against the inside of the hide on the opposite side of the animal. While my friend, Charlie, went on to pursue his hog hunt, I escorted the ranch worker who picked up my Bison with a bucket loader and hauled it over to the Butchering shed and set to work getting the critter ready for wrapping and freezing. The staff makes the butchering process look so easy, but after doing a few Deer here at home, I understand how laborious that task can be.
Near the end of the cutting process on my Bison Charlie and the guide came in with his Hog and they set to work getting it ready also. Then another hunter came in with a large Elk. At first he wanted it 'caped' for a shoulder mount trophy, but then decided to take only the skull and antlers. He gave me the whole hide, which I gladly accepted and brought home with the buffalo hide and head. We will have the two hides tanned and softened to be useable as blankets or throw-robes, and the head we will treat here at home to make a skull "Trail-Marker" type of wall mount.
We relaxed Sunday, watching some football and driving around the ranch checking out the animals in their various groups. There were only 4 other hunters there, so we were not 'crowded ' by others during any of our stay.
Monday morning we checked out, loaded our coolers in the truck and headed for home. it was a fairly simple trip, most of the action took place the first day, with the rest of the weekend spent in meat-prep and relaxing, eating the meals prepped by Doretta, the 'Mom' of most of the staff, who runs the kitchen and house-keeping crew.
Here some Elk act as a picket-line between the road and the Bison, spread up the slode of the valley beyond.
Most of the Bison are in 'groups', but there are loners here and there. This might have been one of our choices, but he was a bit small...
More often they were gathered in small herds. We found our Bison in this one, but had to wait for it to get clear of the others before taking a shot.
The butchering process-
Working on the Hogs as well-
Two of our coolers loaded with Bison, ready to come home.