Outdoor sportspeople who are looking for a unique vacation idea may want to consider visiting the “Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch” in Fredericksburg, Iowa.
Unlike many similar ranch facilities in operation today, “Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch” infuses Native American traditions into the buffalo hunting experience.
What follows is a brief description of the guided programs offered at the ranch and how one can go about making reservations.
The guided buffalo hunts offered by “Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch” are unique in that they are conducted with Native American traditions in mind.
During the hunt, participants are led through a series of three different Native American ceremonies and are required to hunt as the Native American’s use to do; on foot.
The three Native American ceremonies are; the Sioux smudging ceremony, Crow tobacco ceremony and the blood marking ceremony.
At one time these Native American rituals were essential to the hunt and were designed to assist the buffalo in its journey to the afterlife as well as honor the animal and its’ sacrifice.
As of 2010 the price of a guided hunt is determinate on the size of the buffalo taken and is inclusive of the buffalo’s head, buffalo’s hide, buffalo’s skull, meals, and overnight accommodations.
Hunt participants should note that the buffalos on the ranch range in size from 1,000 pounds to several tons and that the price of a two day hunt generally starts around $2,500 per hunter.
Once killed, the buffalo’s meat is processed and participants are given a choice as to how much and what cuts of the meat they would like to take home for themselves.
Prices of the meat vary based on how much meat is taken and whether or not the meat is coming from the buffalo killed during the participant’s hunt or meat processed from previous hunts. Meat taken from previous hunts is priced lower than the meat gleaned from the current hunt.
Processing fees related to tanning of the buffalo’s hide, capping and taxidermy of the head are additional.
In addition to the guided buffalo hunts, the ranch also offers guided tours. The ranch’s one hour, guided buffalo tours are perfect teaching tools for those who would like to learn more about the Native American’s connection to both the buffalo and Mother Earth in general.
The guided buffalo tours are inclusive of an authentic Lakota Sioux smudging ceremony, hand feeding session with the buffalos, buffalo meat samples, and a visit with both the burros and llamas.
As of 2010 the price of a guided buffalo tour is $10 per adult and $5 per student. Younger children are admitted for free and there are discounts for senior citizens and families as well.
Hours of Operation
The “Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch” is open year round, with peak buffalo hunting season occurring from mid-October until mid-March.
Visitors do not need a hunting license or have to remit trophy fees to participate in a guided buffalo hunt. However, a signed waiver of liability and a $500 advance deposit are needed in order to secure a guided buffalo hunt reservation.
Advance reservations are required and can be made by contacting the ranch staff directly. Would be visitors should bear in mind that tour components, prices, policies and hours of operation are subject to change without advance notice and therefore should be confirmed directly with the ranch staff at the time of booking.
Those that would like more information about guided buffalo tours and hunts should log onto either the “Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch” website or the “Travel Iowa” website.
Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch
3034 Pembroke Avenue
Fredericksburg, IA 50630