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Hunter's Report

This is a copy of a letter sent by Larry Robnett
Dear John,

I would like to thank you and Dona for the great hunt, the good food, and wonderful hospitality. I know we arrived at the ranch in Colorado a day early and well, that came in part from the anticipation of the hunt. Who would not have had this same anticipation! The trip up was a lot of fun for me, Troy and Janice who kept us in line and focused on what we were about, “being the great buffalo hunters” (lol). Seriously we had a great trip up to Colorado and well a very warm welcome from yourself and your wife. Our anticipation was only prolonged by another day while not wasted rather spent sightseeing the beautiful country and the surrounding towns and good food offered in these towns.

The hunt itself was very much as I dreamed it might be! The horseback ride looking for the buffalo was exciting -- never knowing when or where we might find him on the 62,000 acres and the ever present danger that he might charge upon seeing us. Good to get the heart rate up and even more when making preparations for the shot. It was the greatest hunt I have been a part of!

The next day, when Troy shot his buffalo, it was just as exciting for me as my hunt was. This buffalo proved to be a bit more elusive and a much longer shot. It was thrilling to be behind watching it all. Great hunt and it was really exciting to have the girls there to see the great buffalo.

I want to thank you for the great hunts, warm hospitality and professional services offered by you and the crews. Thanks again, I would recommend this hunt to anyone who wants the thrill of killing the biggest free roaming animal in North America.


Larry Robnett

This a copy of the letter from Det. Dan Sevino

Det. Dan Sevino
30825 Long Horn Trail
Bulverde, TX 78163


International Professional Hunters Association
1700A Ranch Road, #344
San Marcus, TX 78666

Dear Board of Directors:

It has come to my attention that John Ray, owner of Thousand Hills Bison Ranch is interested in becoming a member of your organization. Upon looking into your organization, I see that references are required as part of his application request. I wish to add my personal reference.

I found Thousand Hills Bison Ranch while researching a bison hunt by using the Internet and SCI hunt reports. I contacted John Ray by phone after reading an article by Gen. Craig Boddington, who hunted with John. I was provided a video at no cost about the hunt. Upon watching the video, I called John back and we proceeded to talk about some questions I had. I then checked his references. Every person I spoke with had nothing but high regards for John and his operation. Not one person was disappointed and all gave high praise to the quality of the hunt, the accommodations and the way he ran his organization. After putting years of research into this hunt my mind was made up to go with John. I called to set the hunt and it just happened that John was coming to Texas on a hunt and would be in San Antonio. We met for lunch and I booked my hunt.

On Dec. 28, 2002, my stepson and I arrived at Thousand Hills Bison Ranch. We were met on time and the accommodations were first class. John and I went over the hunt plan and rifles were doubled checked. Safety was the top priority with John. In this time, I could see he was a professional who wanted to provide his clients with the best hunt they had ever had. The day of the hunt was absolutely the greatest day of my life. Everything John stated, advertised and provided was exactly to the letter. Exciting, doesn’t describe the hunt! More like out of this world!! After the hunt, John and his team provided Excellent care of the trophy. John’s operation is at the top of First Class. I wrote a hunt report and placed it on his web page, which goes into more in detail about the hunt. It can be seen at

As a San Antonio Police Officer for over 20 years, I have made a life of reading people, in order to separate the good guys from the bad. There is no finer, more upstanding and honest individual on this planet, than John Ray. John is of high moral character; his devotion for the hunter and the game is second to none. He will be an asset to any organization, but knowing John, he would only want to belong to an organization that has an outstanding reputation as I know your organization does. I Highly recommend him for membership. You will soon discover why he advertises “Come as a hunter, leave as a friend.” No truer words were ever spoken.

I can be reached at the numbers below if need be. Thank you for allowing me to provide a recommendation on my hunt with John Morningsky Ray of Thousand Hills Bison Ranch.


Det. Dan Savino

E-mail or 210-363-0995 cell 210-207-2357 work

This is a copy of the letter from Frank Wallace

Nov. 16, 2007

Hi John,

We want to thank you for a great experience and a fabulous hunt! I didn't know what to expect when we booked the hunt, but it was more than I thought it might be.

We made it home in good shape. Arrived Thursday evening. Meat was in great shape and is at processors now. How did the 10 year old do? Tell all of your staff Hi and thanks for us.

I don't know if another buffalo hunt is in my future or not, but if it is, it will be with you. Keep me informed on how I might pray for you. I have asked the Lord to bring you and the woman he has for you together.

Best regards;

Frank Wallace

The following is a copy of a kind letter received from John LaRue. Thanks John! It was a great hunt!

    John LaRue  
    839 Sumner Street  
    Longmont, CO  
    January 25, 2000  

Dear John:

I want to thank you again for a wonderful hunt in this age of fiber optics, computers, jet travel and e-mail. The idea of hunting a buffalo with a chunk of wood and iron called Sharps was especially appealing. Even though it was about hunting, it turned out to have significant meaning in other ways. I would count making your acquaintance as the most important blessing. This includes the hospitality and friendship which you extended to my wife and myself. I have done only a little guiding for friends and I know it is not all that easy to be relaxed about it. The second most important thing for me was to hunt the animal as fair as possible under the circumstances of life today and above all else not make the animal suffer. I feel especially blessed that I was able to shoot true on that day. And finally the buffalo hunt itself was important.

Perhaps the finest Sharps made today are made in Sheridan, Montana. They are not the 1874 model but I believe the 1875 or 1878 model. They are initially more expensive but the wait is only about 6 months. Contact on the internet. Pictures are available.

Stop and visit us in Montana. If you lost my address, I am in any southwest Montana directory.

Best wishes to you,

John LaRue


Here is a hunt report filed by Brian Calderwood, Littleton, Co:

Hunt Report - Thousand Hills Buffalo Ranch

  1. Problems Encountered - None
  2. Personal Highlights - The stamina and toughness of the Bison - 2 leathal hits from a .375 H'H with 300g. Swift A-frames on the shoulder - he just turned and looked at me, then fell on his nose. Talk about shock resistant!
  3. Performance of Guide - Oufitter - Very friendly and helpful. Knows his country. Picked out a great animal, very concerned about the treatment of the hide.
  4. Interesting Sidelights - Difficulty of two men handling and loading of 1900 pound animal. The hide was in great shape when the taxidermist got it as was the skull. The hide squared at 81' after tanning - The horns measured 32'.
  5. Would I recommend this hunt to other SCI members? Yes!

SCI life Member

Bill Saiff III of Cabin Country, WTBS TV recently 'shot' a video of his record book bull hunt. Here is a letter from his camera man and Executive Producer. We had two very tired horses at the end of this hunt! Only the horses and buffalo were glad to see them leave. Great hunt, guys!



Bill and I had a brief chance to look at some of the video that we shot while visiting your ranch, and would like to report that we are please with our efforts. One of the greatest benefits of my job, is getting to meet people like yourself from all over Norht America. You two, however, have "set-the-bar" a notch higher for hospitality and kindness.
I hope that this letter finds you in good health, and thank both of you once again for your hard work and spectacular meals.
If you have any questions, or if I can be of service to you in any way, please feel free to phone me at 1-888-326-9400, ext 256.

Friends always

George Haley
Senior Producer




February 21, 2001

Thousand Hills Bison Ranch
Attn: Mr. John Ray
Route 1, Box 83
San Acacio, CO 81151

Dear John:

Thank you for what will undoubtedly be one of the most interesting "Cabin Country" programs we have ever produced!

A sportsman's wealth is cached in the memory of experiences in the field and comrades met along the way. You provided the experience of a lifetime and were a tremendous team player (and friend) as we tried to put this together. I appreciate that hard work and effort that you and John Landon put forth.

I anticipated an exciting Bison hunt, but nothing like what transpired. The raw power of a mature bull can't be described. When you couple this with eight (or so) mile trek, horses, the legendary .45-70 and the history of North America's Buffalo herds, it's hard not to get caught up in the magic. The Buffalo steaks, lasagna, and fajitas that were expertly prepared by your wife were some of the finest groceries ever to tempt my tastebuds - please tell her I said so!

Also, please know that I would be more than happy to be favorable reference for Thousand Hills Bison. I will send you some footage as soon as we are done working on it!

Thank you again for a great and one of the best hunt memories of my life!


William J. Saiff III
Host, Cabin Country


I wanted to thank you for the hunt! We had a great time and it was an experience of a lifetime for my son as well as myself. I told him when he's ready to hunt a buff, we'd come back and switch places.

It's one of those memories you cherish. Don't hesitate to use us as a reference.

We'll keep in touch!


Bobby Ferguson


A Buffalo Hunt to Remember

By Daniel Savino

    Seven years ago the dream of hunting an American Bison started. I pondered how the hunt would have been in the days of the early west. Knowing some of the history from books, I started to plan my hunt by researching rifles and equipment. I wondered what the buffalo hunters of the past would make of the fancy equipment we have today. The plan was to put a hunt together using both old and new.

    I started with the rifle. I decided on the Sharps Model 1874. The movie Quigley Down Under moved me in the direction of the Sharps, along with the stories of Billy Dixon and California Joe. California Joe, not as a hunter, but as a sharpshooter in the civil war with his Sharps by his side.

    On 09/16/96 the rifle was ordered. I put my order in with the Shiloh Rifle Mfg. Co. in Big Timber, MT. I decided on the Hartford model in 45/70. I added several custom options and sent in my deposit. It was a long wait for the rifle; in fact I thought it would never get here. Then, on 04/05/01, I received notice the rifle was set to be built. I rushed in the balance and started researching the hunt itself. At last the rifle arrived in November of 2001 and it was out of this world. I could not believe the beauty of this rifle. The craftsmanship is second to none. It was worth everyday I waited.

    The research continued to locate the proper outfitter and hunt. In the mean time, I enjoyed spending time at the range working up loads and getting used to the rifle. I worked out zeros all the way out to 500 yards - not knowing what type of distance the hunt would bring.

    Using the Internet and SCI newspaper, I came across John Morningsky Ray and Thousand Hills Bison Ranch. I contacted John and I asked him several questions about his hunt. I was sent a video and he explained to me how his hunt was offered. That it would be on 62,000 open range acres and that it was a fair chase hunt, not a herd hunt. The more I spoke with John and the more I checked out other outfits, it became clear that John’s hunt was by far the best. The option to hunt on horseback or four-wheel drive was offered. The hunt was all-inclusive: the hide, meat, head, lodging and meals were all included. A horseback hunt was a must for me, as I was putting old and new together. The hunt was a go and I sent in my deposit.

    We set the hunt for the 29th of December 2002. I arrived a day early to meet the local taxidermist and to play it safe with the weather. Better early than late on my dream hunt.

    The morning of the 29th was cold, very cold. John arrived at the hotel and we had breakfast and discussed a game plan. John will let you call the shots if you like, as it is your hunt. I preferred to use his knowledge and agreed to follow his lead. Once at the ranch, we started out on horseback. The horses were “rider friendly” and very easy to ride. Kevin, my stepson, was in charge of the video camera and he proceeded to film the hunt. The terrain where you are hunting is breathtaking to say the least! The open range, volcanic hills set with the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the background is quite a sight to behold. Sighting wild horses and antelope kept us alert and glassing intently. The morning temperature was in the teens and the wind was really blowing but we were well dressed and not uncomfortable. I knew this was going to be anything but an easy hunt; in fact, I had thoughts that I was out of my league. The American Bison can flat out run a horse. John advised that we start out with the wind at our backs and work the draws and small canyons between the hills. Bison will typically walk into the wind just as any wild animal and we wanted to meet him coming to us—not going away. In our pre-hunt briefing, John explained that the last thing we wanted to do was to get behind a walking buffalo. They have a 36” stride and can cover a lot of ground very quickly making it difficult to catch them from behind.

    John really knows this country. After several hours, I spotted the bison in the distance. Now the hunt really began. We had to ride and position ourselves in a way to make a stalk on the bison. Let me tell you, it was fast paced. John took the lead and we moved into a low arroyo where we tied up the horses. The rest of the hunt was now to be on foot. We moved when we could and stayed put when we needed. By crawling and low walking and using what little cover we had, we finally positioned ourselves to where I could take a shot. It was hunting like I had never experienced. NOTE: ANYONE EVER TRIES TO TELL YOU HUNTING BISON ARE LIKE HUNTING COWS IS FULL OF IT! We finally positioned ourselves to where I could take a shot; I could not believe the size of the animal! The stalk paid off, John had come through and now it was up to me. The pressure was on and this was my moment of truth.

    The first shot was true, in the lungs. In one side and out the other. I must admit I missed the second shot, my fault. The excitement got to me and I just rushed the second shot. John calmed me down and the rest hit home. The hunt ended with a magnificent trophy bull I had always dreamed about! He had a huge black head, streaming chaps on his legs and outstanding horns.

    I was so taken by the enormous size and beauty of this bull, that I am having it mounted one-half life size. The base will be constructed of the same natural sagebrush where I took him and I plan to have a mural of the mountains painted behind him to remind me of this great hunt. He qualified for the Safari Club Record Book and I plan to enter this magnificent brute where he can stand recognized for all time.

    There is no better hunting on this planet. John Ray and Thousand Hills Bison Ranch is it. John, thanks for the greatest hunt I have ever had! I seriously doubt any future hunt will ever exceed the hunt you provided me. I would also like to thank Shiloh Rifle Mfg. Co. in Big Timber, MT for an outstanding weapon, Billy Dixon and California Joe would be proud.

    To anyone that enjoys hunting I say this: order yourself a custom Shiloh Sharps 1874 rifle from the men and women of the Shiloh Rifle Mfg. Co. and call John Morningsky Ray from Thousand Hills Bison Ranch (806) 928-1842, and tell him you want to hunt a big trophy buffalo. You will step back in time and live a hunt you will never forget!



Please click here or go to Bison with a Bow to read David Rice's exciting account of his trophy bull hunt!

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