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American Handgunner May/June 2010 - Page 24
J.D. Jones HANDGUNHUNTING TIPS, TECHNIQUES AND POLITICALINCORRECTNESS Bison Big Boys A hat’s sort of what I got caught up in during the mid 1970s and don’t regret it one bit. Every bit of it was true. Lee Jurras was making the custom LEJ Auto Mags, and anyone who was seriously into handgun hunting either had at least one or just knew he had to get one. Lee and I had been friends for about 15 years and one fine sunny winter day we met at Custer State Park with two bison permits in hand. One was for me and the other for my buddy Doc Porter, who in 1942 was one of the guys in the first wave of Marines to invade a little island called Betio in the atoll of Tarawa. Lee brought one of his Auto Mags chambered for the .44 AMP loaded with 265-gr. Hornady soft points and equipped with a Leupold 2x — and some really good camera equipment. The whole point of this: 2,000 pounds The Park personnel expected us and of thundering hooves and pissed-off bulls! suggested we take a tour and try to locate fter having watched an exciting hunting video or having read a some of the bulls that were necessary to magazine article about hunting the big animals of the world have harvest, while providing a special hunt for you dreamed of doing it yourself? In your mind you are there, a limited number of hunters. No problem excited, near trembling, looking over the sights at a 2,000 pounder finding them in 70,000 acres of beautiful at 25 yards — and ready to pull the trigger! The moment of truth. Then snow covered hills. Doc was first to hunt and reality kicks in. “Naw” you complain, “I’ll never have the bucks or the time about noon the next day the Ranger pointed to do it.” Wimp. out a huge bull and said, “Take him.” Doc One of those 2,000-pounders might just have your name on him. Drive planted the 170-gr. .270 exactly where he your clunker another year and put the payments in the bank to buy groceries wanted it and after photos the work began. — namely 2,000 pounds of meat on the hoof. Yep, you can do it. Buffalo, or My bull turned out to be somewhat more correctly Bison, which is a separate and distinct species from buffalo. pissed. He had been in a fight, lost, was Big? You bet. Tough? Absolutely. Huge kicked out of the herd and had a hole in his head for the wall? Like you’ve never side I could stick my fist in. He wanted to J.D.’s AutoMag in full recoil after seen. A fun hunt? What do you think? run from us but really wanted to fight the popping the big Bison. He followed Half a ton of really delicious meat? pickup Doc and Lee were in. A few miles up with three more shots — just Hide to make a rug out of? Do I have to to make sure. later he sort of joined a small herd of bulls spell it out? Affordable? Would we be and I sneaked over the edge of a drop-off talking otherwise? Hun-tum with a big and found a bull I didn’t want about 20 pistol? That’s why you’re reading about feet from me. I’ve always been good at it here. Do it now? Duh … do I have to retreating. Later I stuck my butt in the snow spell it out for you? for a good solid sitting shot and plugged him. He bolted, I got up and popped him three more times for good measure. Later we J.D. poses with some found all four shots could be covered with of the best eating meat my hand. One of the 265s was found inside around! Can you say his heart. I brought the hide, head and about “Dinner for the next two years?” 900 pounds of meat home. Big bastard! T J.D.’s Hunt Get Off Your Butt Y ou can do it too. Right now at Custer you can do that for about $1,500. Custer still has limited hunts and is the best choice, if you can get drawn, which may take a couple years depending on which hunt you want. Two ranches I can recommend are the Triple U and the Durham ranch. You will need to call or E-mail for detailed hunt information. While in the area don’t forget to see Deadwood, Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands and many other attractions. Search South Dakota Tourism. But mostly — do it. * 24 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • MAY/JUNE2010