There aren’t many wild bison herds left, but you can find them free range in Alaska, Arizona, Montana, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, the Crow Reservation in Montana, and Canada. If you can’t get a tag, you can also choose to hunt your bull on a private fenced herd. Boone and Crockett and Pope and Young only recognize the wild herds, but Super Slam and SCI accept all bison, regardless of where you hunt them. The minimum score for a Boone and Crockett bison is 115″. The Pope and Young minimum score for a bison is 100″.
The odds of drawing a bison tag in Alaska are very low, but they have no point system, so you’ll have a random chance of drawing, just like everybody else. Be sure to do your homework prior to applying because many of the units are comprised almost completely of private land. Other units will have only fly-in access. The Delta unit has the best access, plenty of public land, and also has the largest free range bison herd in Alaska.
- Copper River
- Delta Junction
Arizona has the most complicated draw process of any other state, but you can accumulate more than one point per year for your bison hunt. Draw odds for the any bison tag usually run between 1% and 10% and cow hunts run between 10% and 20%. Arizona also offers a raffle tag and a Governor’s tag.
- House Rock Valley Herd
- Raymond Wildlife Area (closed)
OI Hunting Consultant, Gary Colbath with a great archery South Dakota bison.
The odds of drawing a buffalo tag in Montana are just under 1%, but there is not a point system. Montana does allow you to apply for a cow/calf tag as a second choice, but they only issue those tags if enough bison come out of Yellowstone.
If you want to avoid having to draw a tag, you can skip that process by hunting the Crow Reservation. Hunts there will range from $2,500 to $6,000. Great bulls are taken yearly on the reservation.
- Area adjacent to Yellowstone National Park – Park County
- Portions of the Crow Indian Reservation
In addition to some great privately owned bison hunting ranches, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks has a point system in place for bison tags. If you draw a trophy bull permit, you will be scheduled for a three-day hunt. For non-trophy meat hunts, bulls and cows, you will be scheduled for a one-day hunt. If you draw, you will be fully guided by Custer State Park employees for no extra charge.
Utah bison tags are issued through draw, raffle tags, Governor’s tags and Commissioner tags. You can apply for either a bull or cow hunt, but be prepared…if you don’t have 20 points, your chances are under 1%.
- Antelope Island – Davis County
- The Henry Mountains – Garfield, Wayne, and San Juan Counties *Possibly the best free range bison hunt in North America.
- Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation
- Book Cliffs
Wyoming has a random drawing for their bison tags, and you can apply for either an either-sex or a cow/calf permit. Bull hunts (either-sex) are about 1% to 2% depending on the year, but the cow/calf hunts have better odds at 15% to 20%.
- Area adjacent to Yellowstone National Park – Teton County
The Northwest Territories Bison Herd
- Mackenzie Bison Sanctuary
The Yukon Territory