This is really a sport that the true sportsmen really want to try at least once in their lives, mainly because of the size of the animal and the challenge that it represents. Not to mention the fact that you are hunting one of the most iconic animals in our history as well. However it is not found just anywhere, and is really limited to certain parts of North America. There are companies out there that can help you plan your trip to one of those areas that has them, and then you can finally get the trophy of a lifetime.
Where In the United States Can I Hunt Buffalo?
You can only hunt the American Bison and Buffalo in three states in the United States, they include Alaska, Utah, and Arizona. There may be other states that allow it in certain situations, but those three states are the only ones that will allow hunting of these animals for sport. There are also a few provinces in Canada that allow for the hunting as well that might be worth a look as well. They include Alberta, British Columbia, the Northwest Territory, Saskatchewan, and finally Yukon.
Information About Them and Their Habitat
Buffalo isn’t very specific and in fact it is a common name that is used to describe many large wild oxen. The name buffalo was first given to the black water buffalo in India. This animal was given this name because of its size and the way that it would just lay around in pools of water for several hours at a time. The water buffalo can indeed be dangerous in its wild state. In the warmer parts of Africa and Asia you can find the buffalo tame and working for the people that tamed them.
There is a buffalo that is small and black that lives in forests that are dense and that can be found in Mindoro, which is an island in the Philippines. It is unique because it only stands three and a half feet in height. It also has horns that are going to first point upward, and then they point backward. There is also the anoa, which is an even smaller forest buffalo, can be found in the East Indian island called Celebes. The color of this buffalo can range from black to brown, and the horns are straight.
You can also find wild buffaloes in Africa as well. A large black buffalo known as the Cape Buffalo can be found in in South Africa and has a temper that nearly matches that of the Indian Buffalo. It is also like the Indian Buffalo in many other ways as well, but the only major difference is that the Cape Buffalo has never been tamed. Another difference is that the Cape Buffalo has shorter horns, and the horns also come in a different shape. They look like they have more of a helmet on their head. Another buffalo of the wild variety that inhabits Central Africa and Western Africa in certain areas is the relative of the Cape Buffalo. It is also very short as well.
The American Bison (Buffalo)
Most of the people in America simply refer to the American Bison as the American Buffalo, although that is not really true at all. Zoologists do not consider it to be a buffalo, and so the correct term for it is an American Bison. Not like the other buffaloes that were described in the previous section, this bison has a large neck, along with a large head and has shoulders that are humped. The rib count also comes out to 14 pairs, rather than the 13 of the true buffalo.
The American Bison is going to be blackish-brown nearly everywhere except the hind area of the body, which is going to be more of just a brown color. They have long hair that is going to cover their hump, head, and neck. They also look like they have a beard around the chin and the throat. They have horns that look just like a domestic male would, but theirs are much larger. There are even some horns on some of them that are going to be wider than 30 inches at the peak between horns. The wider the space between the horns at the peak, the better trophy it is going to make.
The bison is an animal that will be social with a herd, and the cows and the bulls both graze together the entire year. A new calf is usually born in May or June. The lead bull of the heard is the one that usually takes on the protection duty of the mother and her new calf. Bison have the ability to mate when they are just three years old, even though they are not fully grown another five years after that. There have been some extreme situations in which a bison has lived more than thirty years. They are not trainable as well due to their short tempers.
They are going to feed mostly on a few small plants and grass, with grass making up the majority of their diet. There have been some ranchers and breeders that have tried to create a hybrid between a domestic cow and an American Bison, and the result really hasn’t lived up to the hype. So, they have all but stopped doing this and just focused on other things.
Tips for Hunting Buffalo/Bison
These are just some basic tips that will really help you when hunting anything, and it is best to ask your guide or an expert for more information on this type of hunting.
- Please remember to be aware of what the weather conditions are going to be like for that particular area. I can’t tell you the number of people that were unprepared the last time I went, it was pretty ridiculous.
- Never, I mean NEVER, hunt all by yourself. You need to have at least one partner that can help if something goes wrong.
- When you are climbing up something or just aren’t using your weapon, unload it or unchamber it. There is no need to give yourself a chance to hurt yourself or those around you.
- Some of the hunting trips can take a long time, and it is important that you stay hydrated throughout the process. Take as much water as you can with you.
- Please don’t consume alcohol while you are hunting. It can lead to dangerous situations for yourself and those around you.
- Make 100% sure that the animal you shoot is dead before you walk up to it. If the bison or buffalo is not dead, it can do a lot of damage to you with a charge. Usually your guide or whoever you are with will carry a small handgun should they need to shoot it once more to down the animal.