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Solo kaibab Bison Hunt with help

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My body finally stopped hurting enough to type. 

Short story

27 days hunting two bull bison seen on the last day.

Long story

Checking my cc when I saw the spring cards getting hit.  I saw the typical nothing, a week later for s&g I check my points and then I see I was drawn after a few cards were declined.  I literally lose my breath for a moment.  I immediately start googling everything, watch every video on youtube and post something about getting drawn and get some big time help from a couple of CWT members  WHTMTNHNTR, Tom and Chewy.  I spend the months talking, practicing with my bow and talking to the guys who previously had the hunt. After talking to about 20 previous hunters I discover a theme about the politics of the situation. 18 essentially said the same thing and two had glowing reviews of Jacoby.  I decide not to play and go away from the group always being respectful to the group but doing my own thing.  

First weekend (5 days)  I run into a giant wall of snow and  that doesn't allow me to get much past Jakob Lake.  I decide to try Saddle Mtn Wilderness.  Saturday morning just before dawn I am just waking up I hear a clop of a bovine animal 30 yards from where I sleep, I grab my flashlight and  see a smaller bison escaping up the hill next to my truck.  Nothing interesting happened for the rest of the time except for stopping at Lee's Ferry for the first time and catching a few trout.

Two weeks later I go for 3 days I get within 3 miles of the traditional area and see my first bison sign at some far off point.  getting stuck and nearly getting in a fight with some californians that rented some pretty cool razors and were driving like they stole them was the highlight

May 10th , nine days,  My brother and step dad come and we stay at big springs cabins.  Finally get to a marginal area stina point and timp point.  Lots of sitting no bison.  Me and my brother decide to look around a bit and meet some other hunters and discover the main guide does not like people on his trail cams.  My brother took it as a personal challenge and the next camera he saw he started using his Fortnite Repertoire and did the "orange justice" than the "carlton"  and finished off the day with a "Dab"  We meet a couple of other hunters and they suggest the loser dance and I go retro with MC Hammers U cant touch this.  Snow is still much to hunt anything but the three mile stretch that the majority of hunters are in, I do my best to stay away from them.  Jacoby very likely has 80 salts with cameras so it is very hard to leave his grasp.  The week ends drinking Bacanora with a couple of turkey hunters from Chihuahua and a retired game california game warden telling hunting stories and looking at successes on each others phones.  It was a good evening.   

The final week I go solo (10 days).  I head to the nameless point where we cut some fresh tracks and I left a salt and a camera.  Nothing.  I check the other eight cameras I left out there and nothing.  I learn that the only thing I missed for the week was more snow.  Total one Bison was seen for the all of the group of hunters and it was still deciding its gender.  Sitting there thinking and watching the same piece of salt for a few days I decided if I am going to fail, I will fail the way I am best hunting.  Thick cover stillhunting.  I go to the deepest canyon I can find and find one of the super special areas that one of the paying clients is in.  I leave shaking my head in frustration.  Friday comes around and I hear three gunshots, for the first time its warm enough not to wear jacket.   Later I learn, a gentlemen I met at Arizona Archery Club filled his tag deservedly.  Saturday I hear four more shots but no reports of any more bison taken, first day without rain or snow. 

Last day, I am resound to the fact I will not fill my tag and tell my wife I am leaving around noon.  the voices in my head are telling me to go by the park entrance which I do.  (you will hear voices in your head too if when you go ten days solo)  I wake early and pass the groups meeting place an hour before there scheduled meeting time.  I get to dirt tank 1 about the time the remaining hunters are getting to their group session and for the first time in the morning I leave my bow in the truck (packed to go home) and take my WW2 model 70 instead.  I work my way to the southeast corner of the small field and then I see a brown head pop up and ram another brown head.  For a second I think I am watching a couple of bears fighting, then I realize they are not bears.  The fight is going on for several seconds as I am just realizing what I am watching.  All of the videos and studying is kicking in and I start figuring out if they are male or female.  The vitals are out of sight but there eyes and horns have me pinned.  I drop to my stomach and crawl to a flatter area.  they stop fighting and it looks they are going to leave when they turn and head to the flat part of the field.  The closest bull is about 60 yards and the farther one is about 80.  after 27 days i no longer care about which one is bigger and am waiting to see the penis sheath to confirm sex and a broadside shot.  the one at 80 obliges.  I place the crosshair on his heart and squeeze.  He buckles and starts jogging I place two more shots in the lungs in a few seconds.  the bull stops and place my last shot and last bullet for that matter in him and he drops and is down within 45 seconds of my first shot.  

This is where the pain begins I get my truck 248 yards from the bison on snowy road.  I take pictures and take my pack.  I start about 545 and put the last piece in my truck around 300.  It was the second and final bison taken out of 25 tags. This is also my eighth big game species of the big 10 all of them solo, seven with my  bow. 

IMG_0304.thumb.JPG.ffa61dcc8eb062359e6f44504164afed.JPG

 

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You are a beast Fred! Always figured you would get the best of them.

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That's a good story.  Congratulations.  Butchering a buff by yourself is tough.  I did a cow buff last November.  Kicked my butt.  

I dig the rifle and old scope.  I inherited a 1936 Model 70 30-06 with an old 50's era Weaver scope.  At the time I inherited it, my lifestyle didn't allow for me to carry a rifle around with, so I sold it.  I regret it now of course.

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Way to hang in and get it done!   Nice Bull!  Enjoy, that stuff will ruin you for other game meat!

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Nice job man. I love it when people run renegade on those buffalo hunts and kill one. Way to stick with it. I’ll just keep buying my bison BP’s in hope that some day the politics of that hunt end. 

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Big congrats to you on your hunt. I know the feeling of when you give it your all and are successful as nearly everyone of my big game kills has been done solo. I hear those voices too. LOL

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1 hour ago, NOTAGS said:

Way to hang in and get it done!   Nice Bull!  Enjoy, that stuff will ruin you for other game meat!

I know what you mean

IMG_20190602_094022.thumb.jpg.e78105a3f990b1af878c0137340b9a41.jpg

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You certainly had your work cut out for you once it was on the ground. Congratulations and way to stick with it to the end. Great story and pictures.

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