Antelope Island Bison up for Auction Mid November

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Saturday was a busy day on Antelope Island in Utah, about 200 cowboys and cowgirls saddled up and herded the island's bison. The bison were herded into corrals on the north end of the island, as part of the annual round-up. The bison will be inspected by veterinarians to determine herd health and will receive vaccinations.

In mid November about 200 bison will be auctioned off. This helps keep the herd at a sustainable level on the island and the money goes to support wildlife programs.

There have been bison in the island since 1893, when a boat took a dozen over to the island. From The Salt Lake Tribune.


I do have to agree with the

I do have to agree with the Henry Mts range hunting buffalo out there will be one of the hardest hunts you will ever go on. Antelope Island is a really pathanic sight. I have a friend which is a park ranger out on the island and he actaully has to drive the hunters around and point out which ones they can shoot and they drive up to the animals after they shoot them and loaded them in the pick up for them. Its just not worth the money or time you made a right decision not to hunt the island.

hunter25's picture

I didn't know much about

I didn't know much about these bison befoer this article other than that I had seen them in the Utah big game regs for a very high license fee if you were able to draw. I just assumed it was a premium are and not the situation that it really is. I didn't have enough money to apply for such an expensive tag anyway but I'm glad I didn't as this is not the type of animal or hunt that I would enjoy. It would be cheaper to just go to one of the bison ranches and pick the one you want than going through the hassle of a tag like this one. If I ever get lucky enough to draw a tag it will be in the Henry mountain units as from what I know it is a real hunt in a real situation. It would be nice to see them I think but hunting is not the word I would use for these animals.

bison hunt

I live just a couple of miles from what we call pets of Antelope Island, The bison are like cattle out there they are not scared of anything and are so use to human's its not even funny. Hunting Bison out there would be like going to an auction and picking a cow in a stall and shooting it kind of lame to me.

It's my understanding that

It's my understanding that this hunt is a little less than difficult (they're on an island after all) and the animal taken doesn't qualify for Boone & Crocket, if that's even a problem.  Then again killing & taking care of any 2,000 lb animal can be difficult, I'm thinking.  Utah does have a wild free roaming bison herd in the Henry Mountains in the southern part of the state that can be as tough as any hunt in the states.  I friend got one 15 or so years ago and said the hunt was as hard as any elk hunt he's been on.  I do know that a shoulder mount of what is apearantly a pretty respectable bull can dominate a room. 

Have to agree with Mike, going traditional with the rifle of choice would be the way to go.  My buffalo daydream has a trapdoor Springfield - Officer's model if you please - providing the thunder at the shot.

groovy mike's picture

I am always glad to see any good management of a game animals.

I am always glad to see any good management of a game animal population– especially if it might someday lead to a hunting opportunity for me! 

I wonder what a hunt like that goes for?  I have tried bison in restaurants and found it down right nasty.  But you can ruin even good meat if you treat it poorly. So I think that I need to try bison cooked my way.  If bison meat is something that I could take a steady diet of, then I would love to hunt for one.  The American bison is a part of our national heritage.  If I hunted one, I’d have to use a historically appropriate rifle chambered in a black powder era cartridge like a 45-90, or even the 1873 vintage 45-70 cartridge.  I don’t think that I would be satisfied unless I did it with a pre-twentieth century firearm or replica; then skinned it with old steel or a Damascus steel knife. It just doesn’t seem right to fill your freezer with anything other than meat that which you kill yourself - at least not to me. It must result in an immense amount of meat when you harvest one.  Good for Utah that they are preserving the herd and have found a way to make herd management sensible.  I did a little internet searching to support my assumption that when they are auctioning the bison that they are auctioning the HUNTING permits for harvesting the bison, not some freezer wrapped factory butchered plastic wrapped item to bid on.  They are in fact allowing hunters to take part in the process of herd management and population control as well.  I didn’t see any information on permits being auctioned but I did find an article about the chances of drawing a permit. 

As you might suspect drawing a tag is very, very hard.  Utah only allows you to apply for only one of their "Once In A Lifetime" species (desert bighorn sheep, rocky mountain bighorn sheep, shiras moose, and mountain goat). If you want to hunt one, you have to give up the others in Utah.  To apply you have to purchase a non-refundable hunting license and if you draw the tag is STEEP!  The price I found quoted on the web was $2,610 for Antelope Island as a non-resident.  Odds of actually drawing a tag are only about one in five hundred using the 2007 number of applicants and permits .  I found more information and related links here: 


Good luck!

Retired2hunt's picture

  I would have to say


I would have to say Vermonster that these are indeed pure bred American Bison.  Here is a link I found on these bison and the event... 

And here is more information I found on the history of the Bison on this Antelope Island area...

"Twelve bison were taken by boat to the island on February 15, 1893 by William Glassman and John Dooly. These 12 animals provided the foundation for what has grown into one of the largest and oldest publicly owned bison herds in the nation."

"All bison have three identification tags; a microchip, a metal tag and a plastic tag. The microchip is encased in a yellow button and is implanted behind the bison's right ear. A scanner can then be passed over the microchip and the animal's history is displayed on a computer; including vaccinations, blood type and weight. New information can then be added to the bison's permanent record. The metal tag is placed in the bison's ear and identifies that the animal originally came from Utah; this is required in order to transport animals off the Island. The plastic tag simply tells the animal's blood type."

Here is a link that tells who actually was able to bid and win these Bison...

Here is the main quote...

"Whereas in some other years we've had more buyers get one animal, this year, it was harder for individuals to get one," park manager Ron Taylor said. "There were some large ranches that were buying, and they pretty well bought most of the animals. We had lots of (bidders), but four or five individuals actually got most of the bison."

Maybe some rules need to be put in place to allow the general public more ability to win a bid on a Bison from this auction.

Here is a link to the actual event info...

They even take visa, mastercard, and american express for payment - neat!  Explain that one to the wife when she sees the credit card bill! 




Ca_Vermonster's picture

Interesting.  Sicne these can

Interesting.  Sicne these can be traced so far back, I wonder if they are genetically pure.  That's something that not alot of people know, that there are very few genetically pure american bison left.  So many herd have been contaminated with cross breeding with cattle. 

We actually have one of the last pure herds left about 15 minutes from my house, on Cam Pendleton.  I have seen them a few times out there while shooting.  They have actually talked about using the herd to repopulate other areas.

I wonder who will buy these.  Ranches, conservationists, someone with a high fence operation.  Who knows.