European Bison or Wisent
The European Bison, also known as the Wisent occurs in the Bialowieza Forest area in Poland and Belarus. At one point the European Bison was endangered and did not live in the wild anymore due to habitat displacement (Agricultural and Logging Practices) and settlers needing to harvest the Bison to feed their families. There was a few captive herds thank goodness, that have allowed this beautiful species to survive and be re-introduced into a few of the wild areas they once roamed. The European Bison is a success story of a species that can be brought to the edge of extinction, and threw the great efforts of a few it has been brought back for us to enjoy. No longer on the endangered species list they estimate that the world population both wild and farmed is around 3000 plus animals.
The European bison naturally live in conifer and spruce forest habitat, but they also thrive in mixed type forests like we have here at Silvertine, thus making them probably the most challenging Bison we offer hunts for. The European Bison is not as easy to domesticate as the American bison, thus their wild instincts to hide is amazing, and hide well!! Hunting for one particular bull can be just as challenging as a whitetail buck!
The European bison is the largest land mammal in Europe, older mature bulls weigh up to 1800lbs and stand 5.5-6 feet at the shoulder. They are built much different than the American Bison (check out the skeleton photo) and their head is set much higher because they evolved as a browser in the forest more so than a grazer. They have longer legs and tail, shorter hair and their horns point more forward like domestic cattle than up like the American Bison. The meat tastes exactly the same as American Bison in flavor and texture.
There is only two breeders in all of North America for this unique animal. One fellow in the USA and myself here at Silvertine. Its only threw a special relationship with him that I was given an opportunity to buy some of his animals a few years ago. So as long as US & Canada import regulation remains the same, I will continue to build my herd with his help and continue to offer hunts for OLD Wisent bulls.