Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Buffalo Stirred the Passions

Wow!! I did not know the previous article on would stir so much passion.  Hunting a buffalo brought about a lot of comments among readers, some old and some new, with passion I never knew existed out there regarding game animals.  Keep in mind, the Sioux hunted Tatanka (Buffalo) for their existence.  The buffalo I harvested was on a private ranch.  The ranch primarily raises them for slaughter just like beef cattle, hogs, chickens, and other animals we devour. 
Where in the world are my gloves.  The temp was 15 degrees F.

The ranch separates the cows that are infertile and the bulls that are not breeders or have an "attitude" onto a separate stretch of ranch ground. They are few in numbers and you must spot and stalk.  These animals are for the hunters and I paid money to do this.  In addition, I took the head and hide home.  The meat was then processed locally in South Dakota with a firm that holds expertise in this area.  My wife and I, half the neighborhood, most our friends, and family were waiting for the arrival of the processed Tatanka to begin the feasting. 
Nice big head on the boy.  At least my gloves are on in this shot.

Since he is so big, we bought another freezer and we will be giving a lot of it away to friends and family who appreciate this type of game.  We like to keep game turned over yearly even though it comes to us vacuum sealed.  I have been told  several times by food processors that vacuum packing will keep meat fresh for two years. My friends and myself will enjoy dining on this animal as it is pure protein, low in fat and cholesterol.  I hope this will answer the first of many questions I received about why I shot a helpless creature.
Naked eye view after we waded through the snow for a 700 yards to get to within shooting distance.

My friends,  if you think buffalo are so lovable, go pet one if you can.  Then let me know where and when you will perform this foolish feat. I want to watch at a distance.  I will have the ambulance standing by, and the nearest hospital notified of your time of arrival.

The buffalo was taken with a Winchester Model 70- 300-Win Mag.  The reason I used this type of rifle was the impact it will provide versus my standard gun the Model 70 30-06.   Velocity at the barrel is around 3200 feet per second.  My 30-06 provides 800 feet per second less velocity.   Also a close friend and fellow hunter who knows a lot about rifles, recommended that I purchase this rifle for big game hunting.  I have also seen recommendations on the rifle by outfitters that guide big game hunters.   The 300-Win Mag goes "Boom!" quite loudly when it goes off.  I like that too.

I thought I had mentioned that I shoot a Federal shell with a Nosler Partition 180 grain bullet.  I use Nosler because it stays together with impact and will continue through a deer or elk.  It does not come apart before it hits the vital organs needed to totally bring down a big animal.  The black bear I harvested with my friend Bob Barlow was taken with this bullet and there was no exit hole. 

I do not get a big charge out of pulling the trigger.  In fact, it is low on the list. The fun for me is the planning, the hunt, and being outdoors in the mountains and prairies. Sitting down with family and friends and enjoying some of the finest meat God has put on the planet, is what hunting is all about.  Pulling the trigger is not at the top of the list.

I probably spend more time planning and visiting with people before a commitment is made.  I visit with other hunters about the quality of the meat, how to get it processed, and if there is a good processor at or near the location where the animal is harvested.  This is the most important element in hunting for big game is a quality processed animal.  This then leads to excellence in dining and trying new recipes.

I want to touch again on the importance of vacuum sealing the fish and game you harvest.  I started several years ago with fish.  The vacuum sealing really keeps the fillets fresh.  We never have freezer burn or drying out of the fillets.  Right now we still have some northern pike fillets, duck breasts, and a turkey breast in the freezer.  All are vacuum sealed.  We also recommend a good quality sealer.  We are never in a hurry to empty the freezer.  The buffalo and the elk I harvested this season were vacuum sealed and we can feast on it at our convenience.  Plus, all our friends and family appreciate vacuum sealing. 

FoodSaver GameSaver Bronze Vacuum Packaging System Bonus Bundle

FoodSaver GameSaver Bronze Vacuum Packaging System Bonus Bundle
Click on the link or the picture to buy from Bass Pro.  This is the unit I own.

If you have any other concerns or questions, contact me through the website or at   Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck.  Hank.


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