In the 1500s, an estimated 30-60 million buffalo lived on the Great Plains. By 1889, there were only 1,000 left. In one of the greatest conservation successes of our time, hunters have led efforts to bring this iconic game animal back from the brink of extinction, reestablishing healthy herds in many areas of North America.
When we heard our new Project 48 partner, Colion Noir, had never hunted big game, we jumped at the opportunity to introduce him to the important role that hunting plays in wildlife conservation. We set out for Colorado to visit a group of cattle ranchers who share their property with a herd of around 500 free roaming buffalo.
This impressive herd roams approximately 20,000 acres at 8,800 ft. of elevation with no cross fences to speak of. Since they share this land with cattle, they encounter low fencing for livestock but can easily scale the barrier to roam as they please.
When bulls have passed breeding age they can become problematic, wreaking havoc on perimeter cattle fences- but more concerning, on their own herd by attacking offspring and younger bulls. Hunting these problem bulls is essential to maintaining the vitality of the herd. These bulls are usually loaners or hang out in small groups, so the hunt requires finding the right one. This stalk can sometimes take days. For the job, Colion packed his Nosler M48 Long Range Carbon Rifle in 28 Nosler.
Bullet selection is an extremely important consideration when hunting buffalo. The sheer size of these beasts make them hard to hunt. A tough bullet is necessary to penetrate through their thick hide and ensure a ethical harvest. Our 175gr. AccuBond Long Range bullet was the right choice for the job.
The moment of harvest was an extremely powerful moment for all of us. As hunters. it’s impossible not to ponder the historical significance of these iconic animals who were nearly extinct just over 120 years ago. To play an active role in their conservation was a great honor.