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Hunt bison on huge ranch in South Dakota

(This hunt is temporarily unavailable due to changes at the ranch. Please call for details on other properties.)

This South Dakota bison hunt takes place on a 60,000-acre ranch. It is a family-owned operation with 3,500 head of bisona coupe and about 200 to 300 mature bulls. The ranch is fenced into separate pastures ranging in size up to 10,000 acres.

These bulls will qualify for Safari Club International's record book but will not qualify for the Boone and Crockett Club's records. Typically more than half of the bulls taken each year are big enough to qualify for SCI listing.

The ranch offers two types of hunts.

Trophy hunt: Each year a number of the herd bulls are separated from the main herd and are offered to people who wish to add a buffalo to their trophy collection. You are allowed to select an animal from this group and shoot it. There is a minimum caliber requirement of no less than .270 rifle. Anything above this will be acceptable. Black powder rifles are accepted with the right size caliber and expert marksmanship at 75 to 150 yards with the target being the size of a softball. Bows and/or crossbows are acceptable for this hunt with an additional fee. This hunt used to be less expensive because the ranch would retain the meat and resell it while you kept just the head, skull and hide, but the government has decided not to allow the resale of meat taken from hunter-harvested bison. So now you own the entire bison.

Combo hunt: This is for a two-year old bull. We call this our combo hunt because you'll get both the meat and a trophy. The heads and horns are naturally smaller than a mature bull but still make impressive mounts that make a nice addition to a cabin or home, where they will create conversation. ou will get the entire animal: head, hide, and meat. You may use a bow and/or crossbow on this hunt. The hanging carcass weight is typically 500 pounds or more.

We conduct our hunts from Oct. 1 until Jan. 1. Plan ahead because we take a limited number of animals per year.

Hunters can fly into Pierre or Sioux Falls and rent a vehicle. Hunters should schedule to be on the ranch at 8 am Central Time the day of the hunt. After your hunt, the ranch provides a big lunch. Hunters are welcome to look over the operation and watch skinning or shop at one of the gift shops.

Hunt BI4001

 Hunt Price
2-year-old bull trophy/meat hunt combo. Hunter keeps entire animal, including meat. Bow or rifle. $3,000
Trophy bull: Head, hide, skull and meat included. Bow or rifle. $5,000
Hunting Results Location

The animals live in open grasslands, so 100% success is the rule. Most bulls are five to seven years old and 70% to 80% make the Safari Club International record book.

60,000-acre private ranch about 35 miles northwest of Fort Pierre, South Dakota, on HIghway 1806. The headquarters are four miles from the gate.

Meat and trophy care  Lodging
We cape and skin the animals as well as quarter them. You may take both the trophy and meat directly from the ranch by your own truck or utility trailer. We can take the meat directly to a butcher for $100. See the "Meat and trophy handling" sidebar Motels available in town. Not included in hunt price.
Taxidermy Airport pickup
Most hunters elect to have the head and hide picked up by one of three taxidermists, who typically charge $1,400 or so  Not provided, you can fly into Pierre or Sioux Falls and rent a truck or car.
Rifles Notes
High-velicity high-powered rifles, .270 or better, recommended. The ranch wants animals shot in the head to prevent meat loss. Avoid old, slow calibers, such as .45/70. Most hunts last one day. Hunting is best from October through February. No tag or license is needed. .270 minimum rifle caliber for trophy hunts. For more details on meat and trophy handling, see below:

Meat and trophy handling

Part of the price of the hunt is having the animal skinned, caped and quartered. There will be preparation form for you to fill out on the care of your hide and skull. We do not turn ears or clean lips, however, we can have this service done at an additional charge. We will either salt or freeze the hide and prepare it for shipment. The hunter is responsible for shipment of the hide and skull. It can be shipped by air freight, Federal Express, or you can take it home with you. The hunt will be completed in a day, but the hide may need more time if it is to be frozen or some other preparation. Taxidermy services are available upon request. If you are having it shipped to your taxidermist, please bring that information with you. Shipping charges are quite expensive. We can take the trophy to a taxidermist in town for an extra $100. The ranch is not responsible for your hide or skull after two days.

The ranch will skin the animal and quarter it. If you want to butcher it yourself, you are welcome to use the ranch's slaughterhouse facilities at a price of $100. Most hunters choose to use a professional meat packing service to have the meat cut and wrapped. The ranch manager needs to know before your hunt whether you want a local butcher to prepare the meat so that arrangements can be made to have it processed in either Pierre or Oneida. If you want us to take the meat to the butcher, we charge an extra $100. You have a choice of using one in Pierre or one in Oneida about 30 miles farther. Prices are subject to change, but the meat packer in Oneida in was 75 cents a pound for regular cuts and 80 cents a pound if the meat was to be deboned. Meat packers charge for the hanging weight of the meat (sans skin, hooves and head), not the net weight. Meat cows yield about 400 pounds of hanging weight, while 2 1/2-old bulls yield about 500 pounds. Old bulls are substantially bigger. The packer in Pierre charges less (was 65 cents a pound) but adds a surcharge of $100 to $150 for rush orders. Since most hunters want the meat cut and wrapped and ready for the drive home within a couple of days, they usually want rush orders. We charge an extra $100 to transport the meat to the butcher.

The price usually works out to be pretty well the same whether you use the packer in Pierre or the one in Oneida 30 miles farther. Usually the hunter gets his animal on the first day, and carcass arrives at the butcher shop later that day or early the next morning, and the packer will usually start cutting it up that day. It's best to let it freeze for a couple of days. Depending on the weather and the season, there are things that hunters can do to occupy themselves. We charge a couple of hundred dollars for a day of coyote hunting, prairie dog hunting if it's early enough in the season, or coyote hunting. You need a hunting license.