[DDET I’ve had buffalo burgers before, what’s the difference between bison and buffalo?]
Just the name. The official name, for what is sometimes called buffalo, is the Native American Bison.
[DDET How does bison taste?]
If you like beef, you will love bison. We think that bison tastes much like great quality beef, but with a richer flavor. It is not gamey at all. We know people who have had bad bison experiences in restaurants and markets – gamey tasting – and they are always very surprised to find that ours is nothing like that. We think that can have to do with some transporting/slaughtering procedures that often occur with bison and we don’t do things that way. See what people are saying about our bison http://glaciergrown.com/testimonialsphotos/.
[DDET This is the first time I have bought meat this way. How does it work?]
It is a big step the first time your buy meat in bulk, but you will really enjoy the convenience of having a wide variety of cuts at your fingertips. You will also enjoy the price break that you get. Here is our process (unless you are just buying cuts – for cuts see info. below):
1. Decide whether you want a whole, half, of quarter animal and place your order by paying a non-refundable deposit at the top of the bison ordering page.
2. We send you a butchering link so you can let us know how you want your animal butchered.
3. You fill the interactive form and submit it to us. It is very simple and we can help!
4. We harvest your animal
5. We send you an invoice with your animal’s hanging weight and your balance due.
6. You send us your final payment via the link in your invoice.
8. We send out delivery/pick up information.
9. You show up to pick up your meat!!
10. You go home and have some for supper. Yum.
[DDET What Will a Bison Weigh?]
For bison, we charge on hanging weight. We have found that most animals range between 400–600 pounds hanging weight. However, we have had animals with hanging weights as small as 247 pounds and as large as 729 pounds. Base your buying decision on a 450 pound animal.
Here are some average hanging weights from some of our recent deliveries: (overall average 400 lbs.)
Fall 2012 – average: 433 lbs, smallest: 276 lbs, largest: 463 lbs
Fall 2011 – average: 469 lbs, smallest: 291 lbs, largest: 729 lbs
Spring 2011 – average: 403 lbs, smallest: 274 lbs, largest: 560 lbs.
Fall 2010 – average: 347 lbs, smallest: 296 lbs, largest: 486 lbs.
Spring 2010 – average: 398 lbs, smallest: 342 lbs, largest: 468 lbs.
Fall 2009 – average: 340 lbs, smallest: 253 lbs, largest: 429 lbs.
[DDET You charge on hanging weight - what is that?]
Hanging weight, or rail weight, is what the butcher receives to process: the animal minus the head, hooves, organs, and hide. We charge on hanging weight.
[DDET Is my hanging weight the amount of pounds of meat that I will get for my freezer?]
No. On a bison, you will lose 25-35% from the hanging weight to the final meat going in your freezer due to bone, fat, and inedible parts loss. Since bison have very little fat, the percentage is usually closer to 25–30%, but it varies with each individual animal and your butchering choices.
[DDET About how much does a bison usually cost?]
Because the animals range in size, we can’t tell you exactly, but based on the average weights from above we estimate that a whole bison will cost approx. $2350.00, but our largest to date was $3560.00. A half will cost approx. $1300.00, but our largest to date was $1800.00. A quarter will be about $625.00, but our largest to date was $900.00.
[DDET How much freezer space will I need?]
A whole bison: takes up approx. 8-10 cu ft.
Half bison: takes up approx. 4-5 cu ft.
quarter bison: takes up approx. 2-3 cu ft.
You can fit a half bison in the freezer section of a side by side fridge/freezer
[DDET Why don’t you know exactly how much it will cost and how much meat I will get?]
We know that it is all kind of ambiguous, but raising livestock is not an exact science. Just like people, animals vary in size. We don’t “finish” them with grain so that they reach a specific weight like the cattle industry generally does (and even most bison ranchers do). We also don’t “piece” together an animal so that it is an exact weight of meat – you get one, individual, whole (or half) animal, and the meat that comes off that carcass varies with the size of the individual animal. We can’t tell you exactly how much your animal will weigh or how much meat you will get in the freezer, but we can give you some good, average estimates. We aren’t trying to be vague, but we strongly adhere to our growing practices for good reason.
[DDET Do you sell quarters?]
We sell a split half which is the equivalent to a quarter. A half animal split into two equal portions so that each person gets the same cuts.
[DDET We’ve never had bison. Do we have to buy in bulk?]
We usually process at least one animal to sell as individual cuts. The ordering process is a little different from buying in bulk. You can download our fillable form from the website, fill it out and send it back to us. Once we get the “cuts animal” back from the butcher, we start processing orders in the order that they were received. At that point, I can let you know if we have what you ordered. If I am out of your selections, I will contact you with what I have remaining. I will then send an invoice with your total. We must receive payment in full prior to leaving Montana.
[DDET How long does the meat last?]
Generally, we notice that meat that has just been processed tastes the same as that which was processed the year or two before. ***the above information refers to our standard butchering – wrapped in plastic and then paper. For customers that do not want plastic, we have a paper only option. Please be aware that the freezer life will be at least a year, but it probably won’t last as long as meat wrapped in plastic.
[DDET How does the meat come packaged?]
Your meat will arrive at your delivery location in boxes labeled with your name. The meat is cut, wrapped, and labeled according to the individual cuts of meat (i.e. “T-bone steaks”, “burger”, “round roast”). It will NOT come in one large bison slab! :0
[DDET How will my animal be butchered?]
We want you to have your animal processed based on how you cook and your family likes to eat. Once you pay your deposit, we will send you a link to our butchering form. You can figure out which option would be best for you and make the necessary choices. If there is something that you want changed, you can contact us and we will let you know if it is possible. Then, you will make those notes in the comments section.
[DDET What cuts will I get in a whole bison?]
We can’t tell you exactly how much of everything that you will get because it will vary with butchering decisions, but here are the cuts you would receive with regular butchering:
Rib steaks (or prime rib on a half or whole)
Sirloin tip roast(s)
Round roast or Cubed steak
Flank steak (half or whole)
Rump roast (whole or half larger animal. Bison tend to have smaller behinds!)
Burger (you will get quite a bit of burger)
You can always opt for any of the above items to be ground into burger instead.
[DDET Can I pay C.O.D?]
Because our sales are “private sales”, and we are not a reseller, all transactions must be complete prior to crossing state lines.
[DDET How do I get the co-op price?]
If you get a group together and we sell at least the minimum required to your group, you all get the co-op price. That applies only to bulk buying (whole/half/quarter animals) and not individual cuts. The people within the co-op group just tell us when they contact us that they are part of your group and we keep track of how many animals have sold. So, if you refer your friends, it can really pay off.
[DDET Why does my meat say “Not For Sale” on the packaging?]
Our sales are “private sales” to individuals. That just means that our meat is not packed for the purpose of being resold by restaurants or grocery stores.
[DDET What forms of payment do you accept?]
We accept checks (if we have plenty of time before leaving the state for a delivery) and payments via PayPal. We do not accept credit cards directly, but you can pay with a credit card via PayPal
[DDET When do you deliver?]
We currently deliver twice a year to the Southern California area – mid November and early to mid June.