Utah OTC Bison Adventure

Elkslayer1125

Active Member
Messages
120
Well, back when these tags went on sale I knew immediately that it was a hunt I’d be interested in. I did tons of research on the Utah hunt planner and scoured over google earth. It seemed like harvesting a buffalo would be nearly impossible, but after watching my dad harvest a buffalo a few years ago I knew I needed to give it a try. Well on Tuesday the 20th I left home to make my first scouting/hunting trip. I only had all day Wednesday and possibly Thursday morning then I would need to head home. I decided to hike into an area that I had looked at on google earth to try and get a lay of the land. The country was beautiful and rugged.

4A1F67BA-083F-4B9C-88F1-9CCE39E94EC1.jpeg


The hiking was difficult and I quickly understood why the Utah DWR made this hunt seem impossible. It was difficult to avoid getting cliffed out.

8B4994F1-53F2-41DD-AA19-17C8461488F3.jpeg


After about 2 miles of hiking I made it up on top where I wanted to be. Once I got on top I immediately started seeing sign, it was very old but it got me excited knowing that there could be buffalo in the area.

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I continued hiking making it about another two miles. It was hard to believe that buffalo actually lived there as there was no water and very little feed. I had been hiking for about 2 hours when a small airplane began flying above me. It circled above me for about 10-15 minutes and I thought it might be the DWR trying to find and count buffalo. The airplane flew off and I started to continue my hike. I made it about 10 steps when I looked across a plateau and couldn’t believe my eyes...there was an entire herd of buffalo moving through a clearing. The fire drill was on, I threw off my pack and got a range of 600 yards. I set my rifle on my pack and tried to get steady enough for a shot. The herd was moving and wouldn’t stop walking, I was never able to get comfortable and steady enough for a shot. They worked into the cedars and out of my sight. I couldn’t believe I had actually found buffalo and got within range but couldn’t even get a shot off. I decided I would start following their tracks and hopefully get close enough for a shot. This was the trail they were on, they were pretty easy to follow but were moving fast.

8886306D-860F-45D4-BCE5-B2615B7EEB39.jpeg


To be continued...
 

Elkslayer1125

Active Member
Messages
120
I grabbed my backpack and rifle and began jogging in the direction I last saw the buffalo. Like I said the trail they were on was easy to follow but they were quite a ways in front of me. I made it into the next canyon and saw the herd moving through the cedars. Once again they were at about 600 yards. I got prone and tried to pick out a good one to shoot. They wouldn’t stop walking and I found myself watching them go into the next canyon without any real good shot opportunity. This cat and mouse game continued for 4 miles. I would jog as soon as the herd got out of sight and when I thought I was getting close I would slow down and catch my breath. All in all I ended up getting 4 different chances at them anywhere from 500-800 yards. Here’s a picture of the country they were in.

B7323331-E435-43B5-9182-ACB0F09156B9.jpeg


I decided to follow them into one more canyon to see if I could get a good shot opportunity. I rounded the corner and saw a perfect rock to set up on. I got set up on the rock but didn’t see any buffalo. I ranged a clearing across the canyon that came back to 425 yards. I knew If they hadn’t made it to the clearing yet it would be my best chance to get a good shot. Just then I saw the first cow in the herd step out of the cedars and into the clearing. They all followed single file, first a few cows then a young bull and then a few more cows. Then I saw the herd bull...he was huge, probably 12-18 inches taller then the rest and just massive! I put my crosshairs right on his front shoulder as he was walking. I took a deep breath and squeezed off a round. My bullet found it’s mark hitting him right in the shoulder, he hunched up as the herd began to run. He tried to follow running behind them, and I took another shot hitting him about 10 inches behind the shoulder. He stopped running and I shot again but missed. I racked my fourth round and touched off another shot. That one found it’s mark and the bull tipped over! I started jumping around and celebrating, I was in complete disbelief! I couldn’t believe I had actually killed a bison on my first day of hunting. As I walked up on the bull he just kept getting bigger and bigger. His size was overwhelming. Sorry for the field photos...it was difficult by myself.

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Now that the bull was on the ground the hard work really began and the day really started to go downhill...I’ll continue the rest tomorrow!
 

Elkslayer1125

Active Member
Messages
120
After getting the bull on the ground reality set in. I was a little over 8 miles from the truck and there was no way to get horses to the bull, on top of that my Hydration bladder had leaked and I was completely out of water. I got the bull skinned and cut up on the top side and started the long hike out to get reinforcements. I ended up getting incredibly sick from the dehydration, lots of vomiting and a massive headache. I made it back to the truck and was able to call for help. The next morning I had 6 great friends and family members meet me to come help pack out the bull. These guys are life savers and I couldn’t have done it without them!

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We made it back to the bull and got him caped out and the meat loaded up. We made the long journey back to the truck which took us nearly 6 hours. Here’s a few photos from the pack out.

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All in all it ended up being about a 25 hour day with 18 miles of hiking for the guys that came and helped me. I ended up doing about 38 miles between the two days. I can’t thank them enough for dropping everything and coming to help me! It was epic adventure and one that will be hard to top.
 

yoteduster

Active Member
Messages
558
CONGRATS..your the man, I know that country and I know you earned every bit of that trophy and I'm sure that was a hunt you won't forget, again good for you...you earned him
 

Homer

Long Time Member
Messages
8,621
with some confidence that this hunt would continue for at least several years, this sounds like a great opportunity for a young ambitious outfitter with a string of mules to pursue....
 

elkassassin

Long Time Member
Messages
25,240
Bet it'll be a Day or Two Before You do that again!:D

What was the Temps like?

You Earned Him No Doubt!

I Think We Should Start a Thread Called "Your Longest Day"

I Think We Could All Think of/Share Some of Our Longest Days!:D

Nice Job!
 

Dang big

Active Member
Messages
152
Tru
Well, back when these tags went on sale I knew immediately that it was a hunt I’d be interested in. I did tons of research on the Utah hunt planner and scoured over google earth. It seemed like harvesting a buffalo would be nearly impossible, but after watching my dad harvest a buffalo a few years ago I knew I needed to give it a try. Well on Tuesday the 20th I left home to make my first scouting/hunting trip. I only had all day Wednesday and possibly Thursday morning then I would need to head home. I decided to hike into an area that I had looked at on google earth to try and get a lay of the land. The country was beautiful and rugged.

View attachment 15651

The hiking was difficult and I quickly understood why the Utah DWR made this hunt seem impossible. It was difficult to avoid getting cliffed out.

View attachment 15652

After about 2 miles of hiking I made it up on top where I wanted to be. Once I got on top I immediately started seeing sign, it was very old but it got me excited knowing that there could be buffalo in the area.

View attachment 15654

View attachment 15655

I continued hiking making it about another two miles. It was hard to believe that buffalo actually lived there as there was no water and very little feed. I had been hiking for about 2 hours when a small airplane began flying above me. It circled above me for about 10-15 minutes and I thought it might be the DWR trying to find and count buffalo. The airplane flew off and I started to continue my hike. I made it about 10 steps when I looked across a plateau and couldn’t believe my eyes...there was an entire herd of buffalo moving through a clearing. The fire drill was on, I threw off my pack and got a range of 600 yards. I set my rifle on my pack and tried to get steady enough for a shot. The herd was moving and wouldn’t stop walking, I was never able to get comfortable and steady enough for a shot. They worked into the cedars and out of my sight. I couldn’t believe I had actually found buffalo and got within range but couldn’t even get a shot off. I decided I would start following their tracks and hopefully get close enough for a shot. This was the trail they were on, they were pretty easy to follow but were moving fast.

View attachment 15656

To be continued...
I grabbed my backpack and rifle and began jogging in the direction I last saw the buffalo. Like I said the trail they were on was easy to follow but they were quite a ways in front of me. I made it into the next canyon and saw the herd moving through the cedars. Once again they were at about 600 yards. I got prone and tried to pick out a good one to shoot. They wouldn’t stop walking and I found myself watching them go into the next canyon without any real good shot opportunity. This cat and mouse game continued for 4 miles. I would jog as soon as the herd got out of sight and when I thought I was getting close I would slow down and catch my breath. All in all I ended up getting 4 different chances at them anywhere from 500-800 yards. Here’s a picture of the country they were in.

View attachment 15694

I decided to follow them into one more canyon to see if I could get a good shot opportunity. I rounded the corner and saw a perfect rock to set up on. I got set up on the rock but didn’t see any buffalo. I ranged a clearing across the canyon that came back to 425 yards. I knew If they hadn’t made it to the clearing yet it would be my best chance to get a good shot. Just then I saw the first cow in the herd step out of the cedars and into the clearing. They all followed single file, first a few cows then a young bull and then a few more cows. Then I saw the herd bull...he was huge, probably 12-18 inches taller then the rest and just massive! I put my crosshairs right on his front shoulder as he was walking. I took a deep breath and squeezed off a round. My bullet found it’s mark hitting him right in the shoulder, he hunched up as the herd began to run. He tried to follow running behind them, and I took another shot hitting him about 10 inches behind the shoulder. He stopped running and I shot again but missed. I racked my fourth round and touched off another shot. That one found it’s mark and the bull tipped over! I started jumping around and celebrating, I was in complete disbelief! I couldn’t believe I had actually killed a bison on my first day of hunting. As I walked up on the bull he just kept getting bigger and bigger. His size was overwhelming. Sorry for the field photos...it was difficult by myself.

View attachment 15695

View attachment 15697

View attachment 15696

Now that the bull was on the ground the hard work really began and the day really started to go downhill...I’ll continue the rest tomorrow!
Awesome dream come true!!!
 

Snoopdogg

Very Active Member
Messages
1,292
I feel ya on the dehydration, that paints a picture I don't want to relive.

Congrats on a helluva trophy.
 

Elkslayer1125

Active Member
Messages
120
Bet it'll be a Day or Two Before You do that again!:D

What was the Temps like?

You Earned Him No Doubt!

I Think We Should Start a Thread Called "Your Longest Day"

I Think We Could All Think of/Share Some of Our Longest Days!:D

Nice Job!

It was fairly warm. During the day probably 70’s and at night was getting down to the high 20’s.

Also if anyone has any photos of some shoulder mounts, please post them up. I’m trying to decide how I want to do my mount.
 

elkassassin

Long Time Member
Messages
25,240
Check Your PM ES1125!


It was fairly warm. During the day probably 70’s and at night was getting down to the high 20’s.

Also if anyone has any photos of some shoulder mounts, please post them up. I’m trying to decide how I want to do my mount.
 
Last edited:

DeerHunter53

Very Active Member
Messages
1,583
Well, back when these tags went on sale I knew immediately that it was a hunt I’d be interested in. I did tons of research on the Utah hunt planner and scoured over google earth. It seemed like harvesting a buffalo would be nearly impossible, but after watching my dad harvest a buffalo a few years ago I knew I needed to give it a try. Well on Tuesday the 20th I left home to make my first scouting/hunting trip. I only had all day Wednesday and possibly Thursday morning then I would need to head home. I decided to hike into an area that I had looked at on google earth to try and get a lay of the land. The country was beautiful and rugged.

View attachment 15651

The hiking was difficult and I quickly understood why the Utah DWR made this hunt seem impossible. It was difficult to avoid getting cliffed out.

View attachment 15652

After about 2 miles of hiking I made it up on top where I wanted to be. Once I got on top I immediately started seeing sign, it was very old but it got me excited knowing that there could be buffalo in the area.

View attachment 15654

View attachment 15655

I continued hiking making it about another two miles. It was hard to believe that buffalo actually lived there as there was no water and very little feed. I had been hiking for about 2 hours when a small airplane began flying above me. It circled above me for about 10-15 minutes and I thought it might be the DWR trying to find and count buffalo. The airplane flew off and I started to continue my hike. I made it about 10 steps when I looked across a plateau and couldn’t believe my eyes...there was an entire herd of buffalo moving through a clearing. The fire drill was on, I threw off my pack and got a range of 600 yards. I set my rifle on my pack and tried to get steady enough for a shot. The herd was moving and wouldn’t stop walking, I was never able to get comfortable and steady enough for a shot. They worked into the cedars and out of my sight. I couldn’t believe I had actually found buffalo and got within range but couldn’t even get a shot off. I decided I would start following their tracks and hopefully get close enough for a shot. This was the trail they were on, they were pretty easy to follow but were moving fast.

View attachment 15656

To be continued...
Wow can't wait to see how this turns out.....
 

Neverdrawn

Active Member
Messages
103
Now that's determination and dedication coming together, congratulations! As you said, those are some true friends. We all need a few like those.
 
Messages
50
You crazy SOB, I doubted anyone would be able to pull it off, that is such an awesome Bull for it being nearly impossible, I would be super interested in doing it next year but I’m leaving on a mission for 2 year next summer so that opportunity has probably sailed.

Congratulations you worked for it and you deserve it!!!
 

Gator

Long Time Member
Messages
17,171
That Bull is huge. That pack out had to be brutal.
You have some awesome friends for sure.
 

Ranger1

Active Member
Messages
750
Awesome story and old west adventure big time. Congrats on an incredible experience. thanks for sharing!
 

Yates_Larry

Member
Messages
13
Congrats man! I heard all the excuses from guys about this hunt, from better have a helicopter, meat will spoil, couldn’t have enough guys to help, too rugged, and you go in there and grind it out and hit it BIG!!! Congrats man. This story is truly epic! Well deserved. 👊🏽
 

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