Bison Hunt Young Bull or Cow

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Oct 20, 2019
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I drew a bison young bull (2-4 yr old) and a cow tag this year however, I can only have one.

Therefore, which one would you choose?

If going bull I was going to try for a 4 yr old. Thoughts? Also what’s one’s thoughts about the weight difference between a cow and a young bull if any?

Thanks guys!
 

Ucsdryder

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How do you age the bulls?

Is this a ranch hunt? If that’s the case, I’d go for the best quality meat. 1.5-2.5 year old cow.
 
OP
Tips n Tails
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How do you age the bulls?

Is this a ranch hunt? If that’s the case, I’d go for the best quality meat. 1.5-2.5 year old cow.
The guide does his best making the age determination. They aren’t ear marked so they do give you some wiggle room in age for that reason.
 

Sandstrom

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Is the cow tag for a bison or elk? Either way, I would go for whatever you think will be the best meat. If a bison, either will look cool as a European mount!
Ryan
 

Ikmclean

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I was lucky enough to draw bison 2 years in a row. I harvested a 1.5yo bull and a 3-4yo cow, they both yielded about the same amount of meat but the cow had much better flavor and lots of marveling although the young bull was a bit more tender. European mounts both look great but don't compare to a mature bull. Both hides look great.
 
OP
Tips n Tails
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I was lucky enough to draw bison 2 years in a row. I harvested a 1.5yo bull and a 3-4yo cow, they both yielded about the same amount of meat but the cow had much better flavor and lots of marveling although the young bull was a bit more tender. European mounts both look great but don't compare to a mature bull. Both hides look great.
@Ikmclean what time of year were the bison harvested? Asking for the sake of the hides.

Any pictures of the hides and euro mounts? How much did it cost you to have the hides tanned?
 

Agross

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If you want more meat, go with the older bull. If you want a little better tasting meat go for the cow. I don’t think you will be disappointed in either though. I recently took my boy and a couple buddies to a ranch here in Michigan to have my boy shoot one. We had a riot and now have a lot of quality meat.
We went with a 2-3 year old bull because I wanted steaks and roasts and not just burger. He didn’t really want us to shoot a cow because chances were they were pregnant at that time(mid January).
I would do it again. I just got the euro back today and the tanning of the hide was supposed to be $800 but they only charged me $700 because the guy did such a good clean job skinning it. All and all really glad we did it. Can’t believe how thick the hide is. IMG_4809.jpegIMG_4812.jpeg
 
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I haven't been on a bison hunt yet and have eaten a limited amount.

However, there's a reason the people in the west 200 years ago said "fat cow" and "poor bull" when referring to what they had to eat
 
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I have taken 3 over the years, Cows #1, one was about 10yo and still excellent . First was 3yro bull and that was great too. My buddy took a big ol 6yro bull, massive but tough. Lots of burger.
 
OP
Tips n Tails
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I appreciate all the feedback. I ended up going with a cow. I’ll try for a mature cow that’s 5 - 6 yrs old and call it a day. The other factor was the price difference. Basically, the difference was my NR Idaho elk tag therefore, a compromise since I have funds allocated to other hunts.

I spent sometime looking at bison pictures from bison ranches to get an idea on size in reference to cow vs. young bull. The below cows are 6 year olds. Pretty decent imo! 1714701940079.jpeg
 
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