The best cartridge and bullet to drop a bison

In season: Bison

Take no chances around these powerful and unpredictable animals

Need to drop a #bison? Expert hunter @OutdoorBailey says to shoot lower than you think, and use these hefty loads Click to Tweet

Bison are North America’s largest land mammals, bigger than Africa’s notorious Cape buffalo. They are powerful, unpredictable and potentially dangerous, so your cartridge and bullet selection—and shot placement—are critical. A .30-06 cartridge with a heavy bullet is a sensible minimum, but .30- and .338-calibre magnums are better choices. Even larger calibres, such as the .375 and .416 families, are not out of place on these immense animals.

To hit the vitals, aim at the bison’s lower third

Whatever cartridge you select, only use premium, controlled-expansion bullets to ensure deep penetration through a bison’s thick muscle and bone. The hump and massive shoulder often mislead hunters, so aim at the lower third of the body to ensure a heart and lung shot. That will kill a bison, but not quickly, so it’s a good idea to keep shooting until the animal is down.

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