Book Cliffs Bison-Bull Down!!

elkhunterUT

Very Active Member
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1,883
My niece’s boyfriend (Mason) received a call from the DWR a week before the August 21st opener informing him that someone had turned in their Book Cliffs archery bison tag and he was next on the alternate list to receive the tag if he wanted it. Being brand new to hunting, he quickly reached out to my brother Chad @Silentstalker and I to see what he should do. With only a weeks notice and no scouting time for a once in a lifetime shot, we felt it was a pretty tall task to kill a bull with archery equipment and were leaning towards not taking it. After talking it over with our good friend Jerry @Broadside_Shot who knows the Book Cliffs better than anyone, and knew where several herds were at and had them on trail cameras, Mason decided to take the tag. We scrambled to get things ready and to prepare our schedules to help him.

I was not able to join them on opening weekend, but they were able to locate a good sized herd with some good bulls and stalked in to 80 yards, but Mason was not comfortable at that distance with the shot, so he passed. The good news was they had found a herd and felt like it would be doable for Mason to kill one with a bow.

This past weekend (2nd weekend of the hunt), I was able to join Mason, Chad, and Jerry. Saturday afternoon/evening we located the herd again and they were in a good place to make a play Sunday morning. We quickly located them again Sunday morning and Jerry had a hunch that they may be headed to a large fill pond for water. We moved quickly to get Mason and Chad in position at the fill pond out of sight before the buffalo got there, while Jerry and I would watch from a distance. Jerry's hunch was spot on and the buffalo herd of about 30 animals made their way in for a drink. After some back and forth, the herd finally committed to drinking and Mason was able to shoot the biggest bull in the herd at 38 yards right through the heart. He only made it about 125 yards after the shot and piled up.

What an amazing experience with such a cool animal-can’t believe how spooky and stealthy such a large animal can be!! Jerry’s help and knowledge of the area and animals was invaluable and made all the difference in taking a chance on a tough tag with short notice. Congrats Mason!!!
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elkhunterUT

Very Active Member
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1,883
Congrats nice job, Are those Bison a sub species of the ones in Yellowstone? They seem to look smaller in size?
I don't know much at all about the Yellowstone herd so can't speak to that, but I do know the Book Cliffs herd started with bison that had been reintroduced on the Ute Indian tribe land, as well as bison that were transplanted from the Henry Mtns herd in southern Utah. They are a 100% free-ranging bison herd.

In terms of size, there was nothing small about that bull. They are enormous and amazing!!
 

elkhunterUT

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1,883
I'm not sure what is up with the video - I uploaded it using my iPhone and it only seems to show when I look at the site using my phone (video does not appear on my PC). Sorry!!
 

ktg

Active Member
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737
The best part of the whole thing was that the bull took mercy on us and died right next to a small 2 track road, so we were able to drive the truck and wheelers right to it. That is how it is done boys!!😂😂

Our backs are especially grateful for that!!

We weren't quite so lucky, but still so much better than the idea I had of hiking into the roadless. I'd still be out there packing out. lol
 

elkhunterUT

Very Active Member
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LOL ktg - we had also discussed the possibility of hunting the roadless and were scheming on how we could get horses lined up. If you kill a bison in that area without horses, you might as well just take your knife, fork and salt & pepper with you :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:
 

elkhunterUT

Very Active Member
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1,883
Thats my dream hunt. Congrats on a great animal.

What is considered the best unit in UT Henrys or Book Cliffs?
I really only have this one experience with Bison so maybe others that have hunted the Henrys can chime in, but I think they are both pretty good hunts. The cool thing about the Book Cliffs is you have both the roadless area to hunt and the regular unit so you have quite a few options on how you want to approach it.

The Book Cliffs roadless area offers an incredible remote experience with a good sized herd and some really big bulls in some amazing country, but you obviously need to have your logistics figured out and in place to do that hunt right. We didn't have the time to arrange that but still did fine in the regular area. The buffalo are spread out and not always easy to find so it can be challenging, but I am sure the Henrys is the same way with some real remote/tough country as well.
 

ktg

Active Member
Messages
737
Thats my dream hunt. Congrats on a great animal.

What is considered the best unit in UT Henrys or Book Cliffs?
I drew the Henry's in 1995 and my wife drew the Book Cliffs this year. Once the hunts started, it took 5 days to find any bison on the Henry's and 3 days to find any on the Book Cliffs. I had scouted the Book Cliffs since April and had cell cams on 2 of the popular spots all summer. The bison move a lot and were hard to find. I never found a bull bigger than maybe 105. My wife's rough scores right at 100. My Henry's bull scores about 78. I didn't know much then and I was happy to shoot the first thing I saw. If you want a record book bull, you have your work cut out for you. They tell me that the roadless is the place to go if you have the ability to do it. One of the tag holders this year went guided in there and killed on opening morning. I don't know the size.
 

johnnycake

Active Member
Messages
233
Congrats nice job, Are those Bison a sub species of the ones in Yellowstone? They seem to look smaller in size?
All of the bison in Utah are plains bison, same as the ones in Yellowstone. The Henry's herd original transplant was sourced from Yellowstone directly. I'm pretty sure the Ute herd was as well. The Bookcliffs herd was established partly from wanderers off the reservation and also from transplants from the Henry's.

tracker12, that really depends on what you mean by "best". If you want the best chance at a high scoring B&C bull I'm pretty sure Antelope Island has the highest density of mature bulls. But drawing a tag is a tall order on any of the hunts.
 

elkhunterUT

Very Active Member
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1,883
This was an Awesome Hunt!!! Chad, Cory and I have Tag Teamed the Book Cliffs on several occasions and having those two on your team, We'll just say your odds go up!!! Congratulations Mason on becoming a real Bowhunter!!!
Jerry - you are a BIG part of that equation!! It has been a fun ride over the years with some very memorable experiences! Thanks for all of your help!!
 

elkhunterUT

Very Active Member
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1,883
Well the question begs for itself is Mason a part of the family NOW..........After all he is a hunter
Nephew in Law?
Ha ha - he has passed the test for sure!! I will leave the actual answer to my brother though, since he is dating his daughter :ROFLMAO: , but I think he is a great kid who works hard and has caught the bug and love of hunting!!
 

littlebighorn

Long Time Member
Messages
4,496
Well done!
A turned back tag is like a surprise gift, and then making it into a dream adventure, well that's about as good as it gets.
That's a dandy stick and string trophy for sure. I've seen one other archery bull from the Books this year and he was a toad.
Sounds like you did it just right!
Congratulations.
 

dogdoc

Active Member
Messages
343
My niece’s boyfriend (Mason) received a call from the DWR a week before the August 21st opener informing him that someone had turned in their Book Cliffs archery bison tag and he was next on the alternate list to receive the tag if he wanted it. Being brand new to hunting, he quickly reached out to my brother Chad @Silentstalker and I to see what he should do. With only a weeks notice and no scouting time for a once in a lifetime shot, we felt it was a pretty tall task to kill a bull with archery equipment and were leaning towards not taking it. After talking it over with our good friend Jerry @Broadside_Shot who knows the Book Cliffs better than anyone, and knew where several herds were at and had them on trail cameras, Mason decided to take the tag. We scrambled to get things ready and to prepare our schedules to help him.

I was not able to join them on opening weekend, but they were able to locate a good sized herd with some good bulls and stalked in to 80 yards, but Mason was not comfortable at that distance with the shot, so he passed. The good news was they had found a herd and felt like it would be doable for Mason to kill one with a bow.

This past weekend (2nd weekend of the hunt), I was able to join Mason, Chad, and Jerry. Saturday afternoon/evening we located the herd again and they were in a good place to make a play Sunday morning. We quickly located them again Sunday morning and Jerry had a hunch that they may be headed to a large fill pond for water. We moved quickly to get Mason and Chad in position at the fill pond out of sight before the buffalo got there, while Jerry and I would watch from a distance. Jerry's hunch was spot on and the buffalo herd of about 30 animals made their way in for a drink. After some back and forth, the herd finally committed to drinking and Mason was able to shoot the biggest bull in the herd at 38 yards right through the heart. He only made it about 125 yards after the shot and piled up.

What an amazing experience with such a cool animal-can’t believe how spooky and stealthy such a large animal can be!! Jerry’s help and knowledge of the area and animals was invaluable and made all the difference in taking a chance on a tough tag with short notice. Congrats Mason!!!
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That’s a great bull, congrats
 

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