Arizona Bison Hunt

wllm1313

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Dec 9, 2015
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Aurora, CO
@Nitekast My buddy guided bison hunts on a private ranch for several decades... asked him what he thought.

"... never had someone shoot over 200 yards unless it was a follow up shot"

"well maybe if that 500 yard shot dropped him right next to a road...."
 

Nitekast

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Sep 26, 2019
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@Nitekast My buddy guided bison hunts on a private ranch for several decades... asked him what he thought.

"... never had someone shoot over 200 yards unless it was a follow up shot"

"well maybe if that 500 yard shot dropped him right next to a road...."
Thanks! Happy to be proven wrong on this one. Really relieves much of the trepidation I had after talking to my coworker about it.
 

glass eye

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El Centro, CA
I seen a herd once in the Kaibab while bowhunting deer. They were up in the pines on top. Been to the Kaibab many times and that was the only time I'd seen them. However, I wasn't looking for them.
 

cfree

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Jan 1, 2003
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What hunt(s) did you apply for? I had the Kaibab hunt last year and would be more than happy to help with all the info I have.
 

JColony

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Aug 9, 2016
Messages
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Location
Gilbert, AZ
What hunt(s) did you apply for? I had the Kaibab hunt last year and would be more than happy to help with all the info I have.
My first choice was the Bull hunt that runs from 1/1 - 6/10. I'm assuming thats the tag I got.
 

JColony

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Aug 9, 2016
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Location
Gilbert, AZ
I seen a herd once in the Kaibab while bowhunting deer. They were up in the pines on top. Been to the Kaibab many times and that was the only time I'd seen them. However, I wasn't looking for them.
From what I'm finding, if you're more than a mile from the park you won't see many.
 

dirtclod Az.

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Jan 24, 2018
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Call AZGF Bison Hunting can be as hard as you make it.
602-942-3000 skip the B>S> My Dad took one no muss no fuss. 🔥
 

npaden

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Feb 3, 2011
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Lubbock, Texas
Good luck. I’m 2 days away from flying to Alaska for my bison hunt. Trust me the anticipation just keeps building!
 

bigjohn

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Dec 26, 2015
Messages
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I drew a tag in 2013 and killed an 8 year old bull ,the first morning that I hunted, at a sinkhole right off the Park. My son drew a tag and hunted in 2017 and things had changed. Almost all the hunters, both guided and unguided, were hunting salts and blinds put out by the primary guide(Russ Jacoby)in the area. He paid the guide as he didn't want to use his services without paying him. After hunting 10 days, he shot his bull at the same sinkhole that I had killed mine. Kind of a cool way for his hunt to end.
 
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bigjohn

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Dec 26, 2015
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Looks like I pretty well killed this topic! That was not my intent. When I drew my tag, I had visions of hunting buffalo in the House Rock Valley. The buffalo had moved to the safety of the Grand Canyon National Park and I hadn't known that when I applied. I learned that buffalo move off the Park and onto Kaibab Forest for water, salt and better forage. If pressured by hunters or other human disturbance while on forest service land, they quickly retreat to the safety of the Park. The most effective method of hunting in this area is to wait at water or salt at the edge of the Park. With hunters cooperating together the success rate is much higher. The year that my son hunted, I believe that all permit holders were successful.

While the 12A Buffalo hunt was not what I had expected when I drew my tag, it was a fun hunt. My son who hates sitting in a tree stand or blind very much enjoyed his hunt, all 10 days of sitting in a blind. If buffalo was not a OIL bag limit, I would apply for another permit. Enjoy your hunt!
 

JColony

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Location
Gilbert, AZ
Looks like I pretty well killed this topic! That was not my intent. When I drew my tag, I had visions of hunting buffalo in the House Rock Valley. The buffalo had moved to the safety of the Grand Canyon National Park and I hadn't known that when I applied. I learned that buffalo move off the Park and onto Kaibab Forest for water, salt and better forage. If pressured by hunters or other human disturbance while on forest service land, they quickly retreat to the safety of the Park. The most effective method of hunting in this area is to wait at water or salt at the edge of the Park. With hunters cooperating together the success rate is much higher. The year that my son hunted, I believe that all permit holders were successful.

While the 12A Buffalo hunt was not what I had expected when I drew my tag, it was a fun hunt. My son who hates sitting in a tree stand or blind very much enjoyed his hunt, all 10 days of sitting in a blind. If buffalo was not a OIL bag limit, I would apply for another permit. Enjoy your hunt!
Thanks for the info! Honestly, I'm not typically a stand type hunter either. But I am kinda looking forward to not having to climb mountains to look for critters. Your point about the movement on and off the Park seems to be a common point of discussion. I did confirm I have the tag that runs from 1/1 - 6/10, so maybe it'll spread out the pressure a little.
 
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recurveman

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Jun 27, 2018
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Location
Gilbert, Arizona
Congrats on the tag. This is not a slam dunk hunt. This year they killed 2 buff out of the 25 or so tags issued for the first bull hunt. It can be really, really tough. Hopefully since the season is a bit longer in the month of June 2020 you will have better luck. I would call Russ Jacoby with Mossback AZ. I met him up on the Kiabab the other day while doing a junior deer hunt. I saw a truck with a buffalo in the back of it and figured I would follow it and let me kids look at one. Well it didn't take long and I got to meet Russ. He is a really nice guy and knows the buffalo up there really, really well. They have a COOP system going and I think you might find it interesting. You have a very interesting tag. If you try and get up there in Jan-Mar it will be a huge challenge most years due to the snow. It gets a bit deep and a truck won't get you within 20 miles of where you need to be. If you wait til the last few weeks of the season then you will get to meet most of the other hunters.

I probably talked to Russ for the better part of 1.5 hours and learned an absolute ton about the animal. I'm more of a DIY guy but you might want to consider a guide for this hunt. If for one reason only. What are you going to do when you put a 2000# animal on the ground? Do you have enough friends (that is plural not just one friend) to help you manage an animal once it hits the ground? Are they willing to be up there for 7,10,14 days to help you on your hunt? I've cleaned a buffalo before and it is a beast for sure. Choose wisely. Jay scott has a podcast or two that would be worth listening to on this topic. Jennifer griego (journeys with Jennifer Griego) has a podcast that is really recent that would give you an idea of what is going on up in the Kiabab.

FYI - 95% of the shots on the Kiabab are under 100 yards. Most are well under 50 yards. Those are the facts. Know how to tell the sex of the animal. When I was up there they had a hunter shoot a bull instead of a cow because they couldn't tell the difference. Happens more than you think and is easier to do that you might think too.
 
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