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No Bear this Year-- What Else can I Hunt?

JermanatorJermanator Senior MemberPosts: 16,132 Senior Member
I didn't draw bear or elk this year. I pretty much expected to not draw for elk, but bear kind of bummed me out. I had 5 preference points put in and only about 1/3 of the people that had that many points got a license. Everyone that had 6 or more points all drew a tag. It looks like next year is my year. Not only that, but a big forest fire went through the area that I was planning on hunting. Oh well. There will be a next time.

So without spending a ton of money and leaving town for a long time, what else can I hunt with my new rifle? We hunt deer in a shotgun zone so that is out of the question.

I was thinking about a cheesy canned meat hunt of some sort. There is a place that lets you shoot meat hogs for $275 each. I was also thinking of doing a cull cow bison to fill the freezer.

I know that JBC and Linefinder have done a couple of these buffalo "hunts" before, and pretty much know what to expect as far as the experience is concerned. I am cool with that-- as long as the "hunt" runs about the same price or cheaper than what I could expect to pay a slaughterhouse to do the deed.

How much meat would a cow yield and about what should I expect to pay?

I got a family that loves buffalo meat, a new 21 cubic foot freezer coming, a rifle to test, and a few bucks that I was saving for a bear hunt burning a hole in my pocket that I might as well put to good use.

Advice or suggestions?

Thanks!
Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
-Thomas Paine
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Replies

  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 10,251 Senior Member
    Game farms arent to bad if they aren't so small you can see one fence from another.

    I imagine if I ever hunted African game, it would be on a Texas ranch...

    Sent from my R800x using Tapatalk 2
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,757 Senior Member
    Buffalo! Go big or go home. If it's a canned hunt.....make it a BIG can.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,132 Senior Member
    I have been meaning to get a side of beef or something for quite some time. I have just never done it because I have been promising myself I would just do a buffalo and get it over with. I guess that now is the time.

    Does anyone know when calves are typically weaned? I am guessing they would want to cull the cows after that.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,157 Senior Member
    Jerm,

    are you wanting to hunt Colorado? If so, I have the following suggestion.

    I have decided NOT to hunt anything this year. It's not that I'm tired of hunting, but rather that I really don't care if I kill anything with the possible exception of forest grouse or fall turkey. I do, though, want to make a hunt in every sense of the word other than actually taking an animal.

    If you want to try a second season bull elk hunt in GMU 521, I'll be glad to hunt with you and show you the areas I know. In fact, I'll extend that offer to anyone else in the forum who wants to hunt that area and wants to make a hunt. There are OTC bull tags, for second season, available for that area. I think you can also get an OTC bear tag, but that's kind of pricey, and chances are pretty slim for tagging out. I have seen bear in that area, but they were a sow and 2 cubs, all illegal to take.

    If you're interested in a bison shoot, I think I still have the name and number of the rancher who offers these. Linefinder knows another place and liked it better. Also, the year I took a 2 1/2 year old bison cow, the 'hunt' cost $800. By the time it was all said and done, butchered meat ran about $10/lb. I only had to drive about 200 miles round trip, too.

    If you're looking for something close to home, I don't have anything really to offer.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,132 Senior Member
    JBC-- Didn't you use your 338/284 on buffalo? How did it work? I am thinking .338 Federal with a 225 gr Deepcurl. I would use my Win mag, but I owe it to a friend to use the Federal. Besides, I would love to see the terminal ballistics from that load. If it is effective on bison, there isn't bear walking that it couldn't handle.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,132 Senior Member
    JerryBobCo wrote: »
    If you're interested in a bison shoot, I think I still have the name and number of the rancher who offers these. Linefinder knows another place and liked it better. Also, the year I took a 2 1/2 year old bison cow, the 'hunt' cost $800. By the time it was all said and done, butchered meat ran about $10/lb. I only had to drive about 200 miles round trip, too.

    If you're looking for something close to home, I don't have anything really to offer.

    I appreciate the offer for elk. I WILL take you up on that some day, but it is just something that I cannot physically handle this year. I am feeling more endurance and energy since I got the new hardware, but these things take time. Next year or the year after that, I will be extremely interested.

    We have assorted buffalo ranches dotting Michigan. If I do this, I do want to be close to home. The pricing, if I can find it that cheap, is just fine with me. I looked at one place that said that they start at $2k-- that is a bit too rich for me. I could blast a couple of prime angus steer for that price!!!
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,132 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Why not ask a local farmer if you can shoot one of his cows? After reflecting on that, im only half kidding.
    That is essentially what it will amount to. I have no illusions. That said, if you set beef steaks or buffalo steaks in front of my family, they would choose the buffalo every time.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,157 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    JBC-- Didn't you use your 338/284 on buffalo? How did it work? I am thinking .338 Federal with a 225 gr Deepcurl. I would use my Win mag, but I owe it to a friend to use the Federal. Besides, I would love to see the terminal ballistics from that load. If it is effective on bison, there isn't bear walking that it couldn't handle.

    Jerm, I did use my 338x284. As I recall, I was using 215 grain Nosler Partitions at about 2500 fps MV. I"ve since developed a new load using 225 grain Speer Grand Slams at about 2600 ftp. But, I digress.

    I shot my cow at about 30 yards. First shot was in the shoulder, and would have eventually led to its death. However, they are tough animals, and I managed to take a second shot that took out the heart and liver. It was on its way down but I took a 3rd shot in about the same place.

    I watched about 10-15 animals taken that day, and all but one took at least 2 shots. The one that didn't require a follow up was shot in the spine. You 338 Federal should be plenty, but be ready to take a second or third shot.

    I won't call what I did a hunt, as it was simply going out into some guy's pasture, walking over to the herd, and shoot the one he pointed to. They all had ear tags to mark their age. Also, the older the buff you wanted to take, the more you had to pay. If you wanted to take a large bull, it was about a $2000 affair, and was supposedly much more of a hunt than shooting a meat cow. The guy running the shoot told of a client who shot a very large bull about 8 times with a 300 Winchester Magnum before it fell. He claimed that all shots were killing shots, and that it took a lot of stalking to get within range of the old bull. Also, for old animals like that, the meat is supposedly very tough.

    So, I guess it's all a matter of what you want. For me, I thought I was going to get good, relatively cheap meat. I was half right. I have no big desire to shoot a large bull bison, but if that's what you want, go for it.

    Good luck.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    Jeremy,

    Get yourself down here, and I will take you snipe hunting. You can save a lot of dough this way, all it will cost is a plane ticket.

    It's a lot of fun.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,132 Senior Member
    I am just looking for a decent, fairly young meat cow. What time of year did you guys do your "hunt"? Something is telling me that this is a December/January thing.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,132 Senior Member
    Buffco wrote: »
    Jeremy,

    Get yourself down here, and I will take you snipe hunting. You can save a lot of dough this way, all it will cost is a plane ticket.

    It's a lot of fun.
    Snipe hunting! You got those down there? I have hunted them a few times up here but have never seemed to find any. They must have all migrated to Georgia. You got it buddy!!!
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,157 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    I am just looking for a decent, fairly young meat cow. What time of year did you guys do your "hunt"? Something is telling me that this is a December/January thing.

    Seems like it was a December or January event. I know it was mid-winter, weather wise. Also, as a rule, a 2 1/2 year old bison cow will weigh 800 lbs. live weight. I think the one I shot was smaller, but not that much smaller.

    If you have to pay $2k for a young cow, and are just in it for the meat, I would pass. Once the animal is down, you still have to get it butchered, etc.

    One thing that was done by the person who was conducting the shoot was field dressing the animal and loading it into your vehicle/trailer. He had a 1 ton truck with a boom on it, and could lift the animal up and drop it right into the bed of your truck or trailer. Otherwise, it would have been a real chore getting the animal field dressed and to the butcher.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,303 Senior Member
    Let's see......young meat cow = 600 lbs on the hoof. 300 lbs after you loose the guts, head, and hide. 150 pounds of meat after you loose the bone and other inedible stuff for a total of 150 lbs of meat.

    The last cow I shot cost $850 for the animal, and $375 for butchering/packaging. $1225 total from hoof to freezer. $8.16 per pound, not counting gas and two 160 grain Partitions.

    I did this two consecutive years. I won't be doing it again. While eating two buffalo in two years will kind of burn you out just due to the amount, truth is, I prefer almost any other commercially available meat (or game meat, for that matter) to buffalo.

    I shot both of them with a .270 Win, so if you own a Red Ryder, you're good to go.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,303 Senior Member
    Oh, just to clarify live weight/yield for you.

    Divide the live weight by 2. This will give you your "hanging weight". Divide hanging weight by 2. This will give you your "finished meat" poundage.

    Bison are big critters. But their head, hide, hump, guts, and bone weigh a ton. If bison yielded as much meat, percentage wise, as cattle, the bison industry would be much bigger than it is.

    Hope this helps.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,132 Senior Member
    No, that is extremely helpful. Thanks. I will start calling around to see what I can find.

    I figure that if they are going much more than $1000 an animal, I will probably pass on it. For a few bucks more, I could do a guided (cow) moose hunt just north of me in Ontario--hunting a wild animal on my bucket list.

    If they want to charge above and beyond whatever a farmer typically gets when they get sent to market, they can stick it.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 17,179 Senior Member
    Our average mature bison cow weighs somewhere between 800 and 1000 pounds. We auction off our excess critters at the refuge in November and look at making $.50 per pound more than the market price for beef. Some years we get it, some years we don't. If you want to keep the hide...you need to wait til colder weather,,,summer and early fall hides are really ratty
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,303 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    For a few bucks more, I could do a guided (cow) moose hunt just north of me in Ontario--hunting a wild animal on my bucket list.

    I've had moose once in my life. JerryBobCo had some that a friend gave him. That's the absolute best game meat I've ever eaten. If I could get a cow moose for even 25% more than a buffalo, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

    Of course, some folks would prefer buffalo. I just got really burned out on it after two years of some form of buffalo for practically every other dinner. Heck, I'd probably get the same way with moose under the same circumstances, but I'm not likely to get that opportunity.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,856 Senior Member
    Moose hunt. DO THE MOOSE HUNT!!!
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,856 Senior Member
    Or, if TX is within your range/budget, often times you'll find the exotic game ranches selling off inferior male and cow meat hunts in the winter/spring time. I tried to organize a hunt a few years ago that was like 500$ for 3 red deer hinds, with the options of all kinds of other game. Could have shot 5-7 animals for under 1000$ easy, maybe even a sub-standard trophy goat of some sort. The one I remember settling on but didn't end up pulling the trigger on, was Wendell Reich. Forget his ranch name.

    Heck depending on what time of year you would be able to set that up, if possible, I'd likely join you if my bonus is as generous as I'm expecting this year.
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,757 Senior Member
    Moose hunt. DO THE MOOSE HUNT!!!

    Yeah, moose HUNT or bison CULL? Bullwinkle, or in this case his girlfriend, DIES!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    I didn't draw bear or elk this year. I pretty much expected to not draw for elk, but bear kind of bummed me out. I had 5 preference points put in and only about 1/3 of the people that had that many points got a license. Everyone that had 6 or more points all drew a tag. It looks like next year is my year. Not only that, but a big forest fire went through the area that I was planning on hunting. Oh well. There will be a next time.

    So without spending a ton of money and leaving town for a long time, what else can I hunt with my new rifle? We hunt deer in a shotgun zone so that is out of the question.

    I was thinking about a cheesy canned meat hunt of some sort. There is a place that lets you shoot meat hogs for $275 each. I was also thinking of doing a cull cow bison to fill the freezer.

    I know that JBC and Linefinder have done a couple of these buffalo "hunts" before, and pretty much know what to expect as far as the experience is concerned. I am cool with that-- as long as the "hunt" runs about the same price or cheaper than what I could expect to pay a slaughterhouse to do the deed.

    How much meat would a cow yield and about what should I expect to pay?

    I got a family that loves buffalo meat, a new 21 cubic foot freezer coming, a rifle to test, and a few bucks that I was saving for a bear hunt burning a hole in my pocket that I might as well put to good use.

    Advice or suggestions?

    Thanks!

    Right now where I hunt hogs, it's pretty well on an invite basis so I don't take anyone with me. But I'm going to talk with the land owner and see if I can just lease the place for hogs where I can take people. If and when I do, you have a standing invite, room and board. There's plenty of hogs and opportunity.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 13,027 Senior Member
    If you can moose hunt without tipping over, you should come elk hunt with us. Otherwise, I would go for the moose. July 10, either sex tag, Colorado.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    DO THE MOOSE HUNT!!!

    Dan, is this a question? If so have you ever seen a moose with a gun??? :rotflmao:

    Sorry, I'm on sort of a dry high tonight. No alcohol but I'm bubbling over with BS!!!:roll2:
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,132 Senior Member
    Moose is on the list for later! I was just saying. You guys are evil enablers.

    Me and my brother want to do that one together and we do want attempt that before we get much older, but I want to make bear happen first. For now, I will look into freezer buffalo/beefalo/beef.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,953 Senior Member
    but I want to make bear happen first.

    We have plenty.... not too far away..... and the license and permit would only be about 105.

    I'm going just after labor day......it is fun hunting them up close in the corn

    A little teaser of one by my house

    MDGC0008.jpg
    MDGC0013.jpg

    Picture4.jpg


    hunting area

    IMG_1212.jpg

    A bit of magic you could do it

    IMG_0025.jpg
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,132 Senior Member
    That is a damn good looking bear!!!
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,593 Senior Member
    I just met a guy the other day that books bear hunting trips to Canada. He said the hunt is $500, plus incidentals, and it's 12 hours from here. He had a bunch of pictures of really nice bears.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    jbohio wrote: »
    I just met a guy the other day that books bear hunting trips to Canada. He said the hunt is $500, plus incidentals, and it's 12 hours from here. He had a bunch of pictures of really nice bears.

    Black or brown bears???
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,132 Senior Member
    For that price, I would assume black bears. No worries about bear. I will just be doing it next year and not this year.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,593 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    Black or brown bears???

    Black bears.
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