Wyoming Cow Bison

Joined
Jan 25, 2019
Messages
20
I’ve always applied for a bull bison tag in Wyoming around the Tetons. Odds are dismal, at best, and with as expensive as the NR tag is, it almost makes more sense to go buy a reservation or Ted Turner ranch hunt. But, that’s a discussion for another thread I guess. Fed up with the low odds I applied for a cow tag this year and drew! A true free-range hunt has always been on the bucket list.

If you draw a bull tag you can hunt National Forest land and realistically harvest there, but the cows very rarely venture onto the National Forest, limiting a realistic chance of harvest to the National Elk Refuge. It is totally a migration hunt, which hits a little different when there are 7 days til the end of the season and a cow hasn’t stepped foot on the refuge yet, which is exactly what happened this year. Kind of a weird feeling knowing that you really don't have many other options other than a herd crossing onto the refuge. It really limits your options, and the low harvest rates for the cows the last few years are probably a good indicator of why your odds of drawing a cow tag are pretty decent. On a Saturday night, I finally got word a large herd had crossed the boundary into the refuge. Roughly 30 cows had been taken the next morning. I drove up that afternoon to hunt Monday morning and found a small herd of yearlings a few hundred yards from the parking lot. We got within a couple of hundred yards and looked them over and decided to look around to see if we could see any bigger cows. 2 other hunters harvested out of that herd. After about 6 miles we hadn’t seen another Buffalo, so we backtracked and found the herd of yearlings. We got within 100 yards and noticed one that had some frozen blood on her, with what looked like should have been a fatal shot, but she wasn’t showing any signs of being wounded. We decided to take her, although she was fairly smaller than some of the others. I shot her twice, although the first shot would have done it I think. We gutted her and called the retrieval outfitter to come to drag her about a mile to the truck. She still weighed 700 pounds after being gutted, which is absurd to me! I look forward to the tanned hide and meat. Hopefully, a bull tag is still in the cards at some point.

Thanks to all those who have previously held the tag that shared info that was helpful. There was no shortage of help through PM's and the search function.
 

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SnowyMountaineer

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Dec 11, 2009
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WY
I spent several days with a buddy hunting an either sex tag this year, I'm sure we passed each other on the road. I was sitting there when the first herd finally crossed; it was like the F-250 paparazzi descended on the Gros Ventre road, everybody frantically glassing and texting ha.
I'm glad you were able to kill one, the opportunity has certainly been in doubt in recent years.
 

ccc23454

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Joined
Sep 22, 2010
Messages
2,425
Location
Wyoming
Glad they finally crossed, staring at that dam road and river gets old. Congrats on filling a tag getting harder to harvest every year!
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2019
Messages
20
So did you find signs of the animal being shot as suggested by blood?

No, we never did. Which is crazy, because it was clear as day through the optics that low and tight behind her eblow had blood on it. I don't know if maybe it was splattered blood from another animal, or maybe a really small caliber that hit bone or something, or maybe I'm just losing my marbles.
 

vinmcq

New member
Joined
May 7, 2015
Messages
20
I spent several days with a buddy hunting an either sex tag this year, I'm sure we passed each other on the road. I was sitting there when the first herd finally crossed; it was like the F-250 paparazzi descended on the Gros Ventre road, everybody frantically glassing and texting ha.
I'm glad you were able to kill one, the opportunity has certainly been in doubt in recent years.
Same for me, helped a buddy this year on multiple trips but no dice. I am not putting in for this tag. We met a guy from out of state that was there for almost 30 days straight in December without an opportunity.
 

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