Hunting | Silencers 101
The Best Caliber For Bison Hunting 2024

The Best Caliber For Bison Hunting 2024

The Best Caliber For Bison Hunting 2024

Hunting the mighty bison may just be the most American of all hunting trips you can take, as those noble animals have personified the American spirit for centuries.

In order to properly honor the American bison, you’ll want to make sure that your harvest is as quick and humane as possible, and that’s a part of your process that starts long before you set foot in the field.

It starts with selecting the right caliber for the job. A bison is a big animal, and you have to prepare for that accordingly. Depending on what you normally use, your trusty deer rifle may not be up to the job.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best calibers on the market today for bison hunting.

Our Top Picks For The Best Caliber For Bison Hunting

Caliber 1: .30-06 Government

It has been said that there’s not a single big game animal in North America that cannot be felled by a .30-06 bullet, and that’s no exaggeration. The .30-06 was the caliber of choice for hunters of all kinds for most of the 20th century. Even though newer calibers have come on the market, the .30-06 has remained a faithful standby that is certainly more than capable of harvesting a bison.

Caliber 2: .45-70 Government

If you’re looking to add some American heritage to your hunt, then this is your caliber. The venerable .45-70 Government cartridge may well be the quintessential bison caliber. After all, it was market hunters armed predominantly with .45-70 rifles that almost caused the extinction of the American bison in the late 19th century. With today’s modern advancements in bullet technology not available more than 100 years ago, the .45-70 is more of a no-brainer bison caliber than ever before.

Caliber 3: .308 Winchester

While the .308 Winchester is certainly not restricted to semi-automatic rifles, it’s a caliber that is certainly well-suited to them. If you wanted to hunt bison with a semi-auto, then an AR-10 style rifle chambered in .308 is a good place to start. You’ll also have the advantage of using a platform that many shooters are already very familiar and comfortable with, making it an easy transition from the training or tactical environment to the hunting environment.

Caliber 4: .338 Winchester Magnum

The .338 Win Mag cartridge was made for the challenges of big, tough game, and it is capable of taking on that challenge and defeating it. With the right heavy-grain bullet, you can be confident that your projectile is traveling faster than most comparable loads on the market and will deliver the devastating punch needed for a quick and ethical harvest.


Weapons You Can Hunt Bison With

There’s a surprising amount of variety to the different types of weapons you can use on a bison hunt. The key is knowing the capabilities and limitations of the weapon, the cartridge and its load, and you as a shooter.

Rifles and Handguns

Obviously, rifles are a solid and common choice for bison hunts. Whether you choose to go with bolt-action, semi-automatic, or lever-action is entirely up to you. Use what you’re confident with and consider getting a rifle suppressor to round out your weapon of choice.

Handguns are also a possibility for a bison hunt. Now, that doesn’t mean you should try to take a Glock 19 on your hunt. Instead, we’re referring to many of the handguns on the market that have interchangeable barrels and calibers like the ones offered by Thompson/Center. You could also use an AR pistol if the caliber and conditions were right. If you do go the handgun route, using a handgun suppressor can help tame the recoil for a better shot.

Big Bore Rifles

Bison are big game, and sometimes big game translates to big bore. Calibers like .45-70 Government and .338 Winchester Magnum fall into that category, and there are plenty of different rifle makes and models to choose from that would do well on a bison hunt. Taking along a big bore suppressor is also a good idea once you settle on a rifle.


Crossbows & Bows

Of course, you don’t necessarily need a state-of-the-art rifle to bring down a bison. For thousands of years, people have successfully harvested them with traditional long bows. With today’s advancements in compound bows and crossbows, they’re also a viable option if you’re looking for a different kind of hunt with a different set of skills and challenges.

What To Bring On Your Bison Hunt

Aside from your rifle, ammo, and a suppressor (hint hint), there are a variety of other things you may want to bring on your bison hunt. Of course, this will vary depending on the type of hunt you go on, how long you’ll be in the field, and the time of year.

Generally speaking, though, you’ll want to dress in layers to prepare for the possibility of changing weather. You should plan to bring binoculars, food, water, a knife or two, and possibly even a small GPS unit. Your exact hunt needs may vary, but you can never go wrong with bringing the above items.

When Is Bison Season?

Open season for bison depends on a lot of different factors, including where you want to hunt and when. Typically, most wild bison hunts take place in October or November in the lower 48 and January or February in Alaska. Aside from that, bison hunts can be done practically year-round on a variety of different private hunting ranches located all throughout the country.

Get Setup For Your Next Bison Hunt Today!

If you’re in the planning stages of a bison hunt, then there’s still time to add a suppressor to your list of gear to bring. Be sure to contact us here at Silencer Central to get your order started today.

We’re the nation’s largest silencer dealer, licensed to sell in all 42 states where silencers are legal. Our staff has helped thousands of new customers pick out the right suppressor for an upcoming hunt, and we’d love the opportunity to do the same for you.

The buying process couldn’t be more simple when you buy from Silencer Central. We’ll walk you through the entire process and then mail your suppressor right to your front door upon approval. It doesn’t get any better or easier than that!