Big Woody Bison World Record Mount or Bronze
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Category: Art - Painting & Print - Collectibles - Western
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Member Since: 11/15/10
Country: United States
Phone: (602) 359-4190
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Total Number of Listings: 51
Seller: Private Seller
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During the 1990's I was fortunate thru my hunting travels to run into a real South Dakota cowboy (TH) whom had a passion for bison. TH was one of the people to introduce me to bison etc., and the promotion of bison, bison meat, and all that goes with it. TH encouraged me to get involved and help him round up bison. At this era and time Ted Turner had purchased his first bison ranch in Montana close to Yellowstone. The differing Canadian governments and provinces promoted the raising of alternative livestock other then domestic animals and basically gave the Canadian farmer / ranch a blank check to get into this type of livestock raising. Within a relative short time raising of bison and other (elk, ostrich, emu, etc.) was the in thing to do. As a result virtually 10s of thousands of bison headed back and forth across the Canadian border. In addition of course Ted Turner had to stock his huge Montana ranch.
Unfortunately within a year or so my friend TH and his son were in a pickup & trailer / train accident hauling and trading bison in Canada, and were killed.
I remember my father talking about his father (my grandfather) whom immigrated from Ireland in like 1880, to the port in Duluth, Minnesota and further to Alexandria, Minnesota as a six year old half orphan living with is aunt in Alexandria, Minnesota. In the 1890s, as a young man he went to western South Dakota and homesteaded near Faith, South Dakota and lived with my grandmother in a sod hut. My grandparents later moved to Ethan, South Dakota and owned a butcher shop. As my father told me his father had to always take some whisky (he was Irish and was trading with mostly German locals) with him as he bought animals from the local farmers to butcher, and was the local town cop/sheriff. My father later told of a lady calling from Tyndal, South Dakota with a shaving cup with my grandfathers name on it, which she wanted to sell for like 600$. Well I guess my grandfather was such a good cop that the town of Tyndal hired him for a few months to go clean the town up. That is why the shaving cup was in Tyndal. In those years every day the men would go to the local barber shop to get shaven. My grandfather passed away in 1959 86 years of age.
So the bison, bison meat business was kind of a romantic, adventurous business for me. and maybe a little bit in my blood. I was frustrated living on the outside of Denver, having moved the previous year from South Dakota and selling junk repossed real estate to people that could hardly afford to move in. Like always I usually jump all the way in, I don't paddle my feet in the wading pool. Throughout the early-mid 1990s until the around 2001 when the bison business crashed, I traded bison throughout much of the midwest, west, well heck just about all of the USA and Canada. Some of the most adventurous trips was having done deals as far away as within 100 miles of Alaska and hauling all the way to Kentucky (4500 miles one way). A couple of times I bought bison from Cantalina Island off the coast of Long Beach of California, and hauled all the way to Kansas and North Dakota. I have been on 100s of bison farms and ranches and saw every type of bison, bison operations etc. etc. I got so good at calling weights on bison that I won a bet with a rancher on how much his bison weighed and he had been raising bison for 30 years. I was off by 8 lbs. and he was off by 160 lbs. However I had to pay the $ back when he insisted on racing our pickups across his 60,000 acres. He loved his new Ford which he had souped up, and I had just a stock Dodge diesel. But a Dodge will out pull a Ford hauling bison.
Another adventure I ran into MW (I don't want to use his name as he is a very private person, unlike the public figure Ted Turner). Anyway MW is one of the largest land owners (by acerage) next to Ted Turner, in the USA. So with my new found associate I sold him a 8000 acre ranch (as a real estate agent) to put his elk herd on, in northern South Dakota on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. After showing him the ranch and going back to his bison ranch (which was 35,000 acerage) about 40 miles north, he asked if I would like to see his huge bison bull. "Heck yes." Even though it was about Jan 5 and 20 below out!!! So out we went scouring the bluffs, and frigid prairie for a couple of hours for his prized bull. The bull was reputed to be 3200 lbs. and 28 years old. MW traded for him with a Canadian which the bull was reputed to have some wood bison cross blood in him. There are two types of bison. Prairie bison and Wood Bison. Wood bison are larger with a longer taller frame then the prairie bison being more stocky beefy animal. When crossed they are a genetically huge animal in all aspects. Well we couldn't find him. Mature northern raised bison have a tendency to want to go back north and hang to themselves until well aclimated for a couple of years. Kinda like "Head North to Alaska".
A week or so passed and I called MW to bring him up to date on his offer to buy the Elk ranch. He told me that his ranch personal had found the big bull (which I am going to call big Woody). What had happen is big Woody got in to a ravine and and got tipped over and died. When bison get in a certain position on their back especially in a ravine or crevass they can't get up. As a result he couldn't survive (they usually suffocate) especially with the cold January weather. If big Woody was with the other 4000 head of bison, it would have alerted the rest of the bison something was wrong and the ranch manager would have noticed.
So MW had Big Woody caped out even though he had been dead and frozen for some time. He then asked me if I knew of a good taxidermist that could have him mounted. So in my travels back to South Dakota I picked up the cape and skull, and brought back to Denver. I took the cape and skull out to the world recognized Jonas Brothers in Broomfield, Colorado. Upon there examination they had me get ahold of a guy that would offically measure and score the skull (horns), so I did. He came out to Jonas Brothers and measured him for Safari Club record book. Being the bull had died of other then natural or wild hunting situation Boone and Crocket wouldn't measure him. If I remember correct (as I sent the paperwork to MW) Woody scored like 83 or close to it and the world record was like an inch more. But a big problem. Whomever caped the bison out (if it be the local butcher shop or the ranch personal) did it wrong. When cutting away the hide from the base of the skull around the horns they cut the base 1 inch or so of the horn burling off. You score a bison by: length and base girth of each horn combined for a total score. The base of a bison horn especially of a older bison grows a burling around the base which adds more girth. That was all cut off. If the burling was still on the horn it would have added at least 2-4 more inches to the total score and put his score then # 1 bison recorded.
With such an event I had Big Woody mounted for MW. We had to get a different cape because the cape was ruined being he had laid for so long. If not caped and properly salted a cape will be ruined within a short time. The skull we boiled the flesh etc. off and out. It was agreed with MW to have a bronze made of the skull. With three well recognize foundries within a short distance, I took the skull to them in Loveland. Out of the three the one in Loveland is recognize as one of the top bronze foundries in the world. We had a bronze with white petina made for MW and three bronzes made of just natural bronze color for myself. I also took the horns and had a mould made of the horns to make replicas. I was always hauling huge bison to processing facilities for processing so had access to prime huge bison capes. I had three huge (2400 lb.) live prime (taken in December) capes mounted then installed with the replica horns (of course MW got the originals on his mount).
So this is the last of the three Big Woody mounts to ever exist. The moulds are all gone.
This mount has been mounted for about 12 years or so and is still in excellent condition, with no cracking or etc, in the hide or lips or around eyes.
The standard bison mount form is goofy as heck: Meaning they do not have bison mounted in a natural way. They are usually mounted looking straight ahead. Remember I have studied thousands of bison on hundreds of ranches besides having my own. I have never seen a bison look straight at you. They always look at you with there head cocked at an angle of some type. Reason: They have very poor eye at close range and have to cock their head to be able to focus on you. They can see you real good two miles away, but close up they have very poor eyesight. That is why they are so dangerous working in a corral. A bison bull can smell a cow ten miles away in heat if the wind is blowing right.
It took an extra $ 500 to have the bison mounts done the way I wanted, because of the cutting and etc. modifications of the standard forms.
By the way if you ever go Bison hunting you should buy my 338 Winchester Mag, 458 Winchester Mag or 45-70. My 300 H & H only pin pricks them at 100 yards.
Will ship anywhere in USA at your expense via comon carrier LTL truck.
Will also attach a picture of a normal large (1800 lb.) bison bull mount for your reference.
Crating and fully boxed with plywood on a pallet. $ 100
Weight of Mount about 150-200 lbs. Weight of bronze: 68 lbs. of solid bronze.
The Mount or Bronze your choice: $ 10000 each.
Phone calls: 515-867-8931
I can get you more pictures.
The first four pictures are of the Big Woody replica.
The next three are of the Big Woody Bronze.
I had an expert of bronzes look at the bronze. "One of the finest workmanship, fine detail and quality
of bronze works your going to find" Unlike the imported bronze junk in other artwork you might
Hang in your office, or business for a great tax writeoff along with your gun purchase.
The last two are of a standard large mature ( 8-12 year old 1800-2000lb.) mount.
Very nice of you to look. I appreciate your interest in reading.
I hope the history gives you a nice entertaining reading and understanding of my knowledge of sharing with you the significance of these two items.