American Bison
By Norma Draper

On Saturday morning, November 22, 2003 Walter and I headed out for Pierre, South Dakota so he could hunt an American Buffalo. This hunt is one he has wanted for a number of years and one I decided to get him for a Birthday present. I went through one of our Safari Club papers and booked this hunt through Table Mountain Outfitters.

Our trip to Pierre started out just fine but we got closer and closer, the weather got worse and worse. It was snowing and the wind was blowing so hard that at times we could not see 10 feet in front of the truck. However, we finally made it. Checked in to the motel and called the ranch to make arrangements for the morning hunt. We were instructed to be at the ranch between 8:30 and 9:00 the following morning (November 24, 2003).

We were hunting at the Triple U Ranch, which is about 35 miles from Pierre. This ranch consists of about 60,000 acres and is one of the places where the movie "Dances With Wolves" was filmed.

I am not sure what we were expecting to see on our drive out to the ranch on that Monday morning, but we did not see much of anything except rolling hills and grassland that was covered in snow. When we turned in to the ranch we finally saw a small herd of about 8 buffalo. I think we were both a bit concerned that there might not be many buffalo and we would be "instructed" as to which one we could take.

We got to the ranch and met our guide, Jesse, and after getting settled in the truck, we were off to look for the right buffalo. We looked over a very small group of about 4 or 5 buffalo. Jesse indicated there were much better buffalo so we continued on looking. Then we came to a group of about 30 buffalo. Looked them over for a while and continued on. We got to one spot and looked in the distance and all we could see was buffalo. They were all over and of all sizes. They spotted us and took off running. We glassed them for quite a while and decided there was not one we wanted in that bunch, plus they were all stirred up and running. We continued on our search and came upon a herd of about 50 buffalo. There were a number of large bulls in this group and though they were moving they were not running. We watched, glassed and discussed the buffalo for quite awhile. Finally Walter spotted the one he was interested in. We watched that particular bull as he wandered in and out of the herd and while the herd continued to move. Finally, the bull appeared to be heading out of the middle of the herd and Walter saw that his opportunity was coming. He stalked up to about 150 yards, set his rifle sites on the bull and waited. When the bull stepped far enough away from the rest of the herd, Walter shot once with his Browning 375H&H hit buffalo in the head and the trophy buffalo was down.

Jesse then radioed for a "pick-up" of the bull. A truck with a huge winch came out and they loaded the bull on to the truck and took him back in to the main ranch where they have a slaughterhouse and all things necessary to skin and cut up an animal the size of the buffalo.

This was not the most demanding hunt we have ever been on, but it was a fun experience where we met new interesting people and got a quality buffalo. We recommend this hunt to other hunters as an opportunity to hunt the American Bison on historic lands.

Written By: Norma Draper - December 6, 2003
Sugar Grove, Illinois


Steve Mahurin
25 North Heights
La Marque, Texas 77568


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