Carbon Express Arrows
Reflections on a goat hunt
Mountain Goat
Contributors to this thread:
SDHNTR(home) 22-Sep-14
JDM 22-Sep-14
Straight Shooter 22-Sep-14
sticksender 22-Sep-14
Sliverthrower 22-Sep-14
SDHNTR(home) 22-Sep-14
Bou'bound 22-Sep-14
Florida Mike 22-Sep-14
Aubs8 22-Sep-14
Julius K 22-Sep-14
Badlands 22-Sep-14
IronMike 22-Sep-14
Heat 22-Sep-14
Z Barebow 23-Sep-14
Ishpeming 23-Sep-14
LWood 23-Sep-14
axle2axle 23-Sep-14
Hawkeye 23-Sep-14
Bigpizzaman 23-Sep-14
rmsha10 23-Sep-14
Toby 23-Sep-14
Matt Palmquist 23-Sep-14
SDHNTR(home) 23-Sep-14
SDHNTR(home) 23-Sep-14
Florida Mike 23-Sep-14
CPAhunter 23-Sep-14
Rob Nye 24-Sep-14
gogittem 24-Sep-14
kota-man 24-Sep-14
Lexington 24-Sep-14
SDHNTR(home) 24-Sep-14
joehunter8301 24-Sep-14
trkyslr 24-Sep-14
SDHNTR(home) 26-Sep-14
jjb4900 26-Sep-14
sticksender 26-Sep-14
trkyslr 26-Sep-14
forkehornreggie 26-Sep-14
Bou'bound 26-Sep-14
BOWUNTR 28-Sep-14
tthomas 28-Sep-14
SDHNTR(home) 28-Sep-14
gogittem 29-Sep-14
Florida Mike 29-Sep-14
SDHNTR(home) 29-Sep-14
muskeg 29-Sep-14
WV Runner 29-Sep-14
SDHNTR(home) 29-Sep-14
altitude sick 29-Sep-14
SteveB 29-Sep-14
tthomas 29-Sep-14
SDHNTR(home) 29-Sep-14
Nick Muche 29-Sep-14
SDHNTR(home) 29-Sep-14
Nick Muche 29-Sep-14
SDHNTR(home) 29-Sep-14
StormCloud 29-Sep-14
t-roy 29-Sep-14
weekender21 30-Sep-14
glass eye 04-Oct-14
FLGator 05-Oct-14
bsbowhunter 07-Oct-14
SDHNTR(home) 07-Oct-14
glass eye 07-Oct-14
SDHNTR(home) 07-Oct-14
Medicinemann 08-Oct-14
joehunter8301 08-Oct-14
cityhunter 08-Oct-14
Ron Niziolek 08-Oct-14
From: SDHNTR(home)
22-Sep-14
Sitting here in Anchorage, homeward bound. This was the hardest hunt physically, and definitely mentally, I've ever been on. Nothing else even compares. It was also what I would consider the most successful hunt I've ever been on, yet my tag went un punched.

I was only able to actually hunt for 2 half day periods. The rest of the time I was trapped in a spike tent on the side of a godforsaken mountain in incessant rain, wind and fog. The outfitter said it was his second wettest hunt period ever. That said, I had two close calls and actually got to look a big billy in the eye! It was just plain awesome!

I'm sitting here with so many thoughts running through my mind. I'm not even going to try to organize them, so try to enjoy my fragmented ramblings. All I know for sure is that my life has been forever enriched by the experience of the last few days.

What I learned:

An ice axe made me love my wife and kids more. It saved my life and arrested a death defying fall. I looked at it outside my tent that night and started crying.

Chicks in Xtra Tuffs are kinda hot. My wife needs a pair.

Never take being warm and dry for granted.

When trapped in a tent in bad weather, read a war novel. It will remind you that even when it's bad, it's not that bad.

Even the best Hilleberg won't win a fight against Mother Nature when she's pissed off. It wasn't much drier inside my tent than outside. A wet sleeping bag is kinda scary in that country.

I have a love/hate relationship with crampons.

Gore tex is fake waterproof.

I want plastic boots.

Your feet will make or break a hunt. Wet boots for 5 days tore mine to shreds.

SE Alaska rain is a different kind of rain. It's meaner.

Health and fitness are one of life's greatest blessings, second only to that of your kids'.

That sucked, but I'm tougher now. That became my mantra.

How inconsequential filling a tag is on a hunt like this. Most hunters end up with a rifle on this hunt even if they start out with a bow. The kill was virtually meaningless to me. The experience itself was enough, more than enough. Fulfilling.

Waterproof stuff sacks are worth the extra money.

Why can't someone make a waterproof backpack?

Prayers soothe and work. My backpack will now and forever carry a rosary.

Mountain goats make deer seem like wimps

Alders suck, wet alders suck more.

Dennis Zadra of Lonesome Dove Outfitters is the most conscientious and hard working outfitter I've ever had the pleasure of doing business with.

And that's about all she wrote. I'm a different man today than I was a week ago.

From: JDM
22-Sep-14
Congrats on success Nate.

22-Sep-14
"SE Alaska rain is a different kind of rain. It's meaner." This one made me laugh the hardest! Did you get a chance to take any pictures? Great attitude, are you going back net year?

DJ

From: sticksender
22-Sep-14
Wow, I can truly feel your pain after reading that list.

Can you share more details about the ice-axe incident?

And finally, where's the pic of the Xtratuffs plus the 5-1/2 feet above them ;-)

22-Sep-14
Well written and thought provoking. True successful hunt. Congrads. Still on my bucket list however.

From: SDHNTR(home)
22-Sep-14
My camera got wet and died. I will have to wait until my guide sends me the few he took. Being on the precipice of a peak with icebergs floating in the ocean beneath us was pretty scenic. I'll be back in 2016.

So the ice axe thing was gnarly. I was coming back after a failed stalk so I didn't have my crampons on. Rain gear on wet alpine is like ice. My feet went out from under me and I started sliding. I had about 20 feet of slope before a sheer cliff. I was sliding on my ass, rolled over to my belly, switched the ice axe to my downhill hand mid fall, swung it, dug it in, then grabbed the top end with my other hand and leaned in, clinging for dear life. It worked or I wouldn't be writing this.

From: Bou'bound
22-Sep-14
excellent update and this shows the true spirit of a hunt

From: Florida Mike
22-Sep-14
Nate you are part of an exclusive club now. For those that have not hunted goats let me say, "ignorance is bliss". My friends keep asking why I'm stuck on hunting goats? "If I have to explain, you probably wouldn't understand"... Anyway, congrats on a great adventure!

Try not to tell the wife about your intimate relationship with the ice axe. Just hug her tight and tell her you love her. Trust me on that one...

When you gather your thoughts most of us would like to hear the story. Congrats on not getting hurt. Mike

From: Aubs8
22-Sep-14
Wow! That was one of the best write-ups I have read here...Full of emotions and feelings that will last a lifetime! I'm glad you posted it. In due time, I would love to read about your "eye to eye" encounter.

Take care. Mike

From: Julius K
22-Sep-14
Glad you are safe. I look forward to the pics. You wife definitely needs xtratuffs.

From: Badlands
22-Sep-14
well said

From: IronMike
22-Sep-14
x10 on Zadra. Rock star for sure. Great write up.

From: Heat
22-Sep-14
Right On Nate, glad you're on the way home to your family! You'll get 'em next time!

From: Z Barebow
23-Sep-14
Whether you know it or not, you have done a great job of capturing your hunt.

Memories are still vivid, comments are raw and uncut. Welcome back to civilization.

From: Ishpeming
23-Sep-14
Wow. Holy crap. So well written. I love hearing about it but am not signing up.........

From: LWood
23-Sep-14
Nate... Thanks for sharing. Great comments. Glad you made it back in one piece. Now you know what to expect and it will mean so much to you when you get it done. Goat hunts are TOUGH! Lenny

From: axle2axle
23-Sep-14
Hey SDHNTR,

Congrats on a great hunt...you got the brass ring for sure! Thanks for sharing your experience with us...and good luck in 2016. It will be all the sweeter next time around.

From: Hawkeye
23-Sep-14
Nate,

So sorry I missed this thread. Holy smokes! Sounds like you had an incredible adventure. You put yourself out there, no pun intended, and got back memories and experiences that few will get to look back on.

The hunts that push us , punched tag or not, are the ones we remember the most fondly I think. You did good man :)

PS Don't let your wife read this thread ;)

From: Bigpizzaman
23-Sep-14
Congrats! Goat hunts are a reminder that life is precious!

From: rmsha10
23-Sep-14
I hunted with Dennis the same time as IronMike. Great guy to have on your side in the mountains. The Chugach Mountains are very unforgiving in the best weather conditions. Great story and waiting for the pics.

From: Toby
23-Sep-14
Great story and you are 100% right!!! I am sure that the worst hunt that Dennis had, was mine in 2012. I have a chance to hunt only for 2 hours, the rest of the time, I stay in my tent This hunt is by far the most dangerous hunt that I ever had. You walk by the edge of a high mountains, also I agreed with you, nothing keep the rain out of you!!!

23-Sep-14
Great stuff Nate....glad you are out safely!

From: SDHNTR(home)
23-Sep-14
Yep 2012 he said was the worst. Hopefully this stuff doesn't run in 2 yr cycles. Anxious to hear how this week turns out. Of course it was beautiful as we were leaving.

From: SDHNTR(home)
23-Sep-14
A few more thoughts about gear and such...

I took 3 pair of base layers. One did not leave the tent and was for sleeping only. I rotated the others and tried to somewhat dry them in my bag. Still, they never got better than damp status. Fun to put on on a chilly morning!

I took one Sitka Traverse shirt, and ditched another one that I had originally planned on bringing. Wished I hadn't. Could have used it.

I ditched my trusty Pendleton wool shirt. Did'nt miss it.

I took the Jetstream vest. Wore it once over base layers and under rain gear and it got so soaked with sweat that it was never usable again for the rest of the trip. That was a waste. Wished I had taken just a simple fleece jacket. Took a Sitka Kelvin Lite jacket which was nice around camp and while standing under a tarp for warmth, but too hot to hike in. I was still glad to have it. I also kept it in my sleeping bag with me and stuffed it into cold spots.

Took one pair of Sitka Mountain pants that never got worn. Was always just base under rain gear. Got cold standing still, but too hot to wear anything more while hiking. Would have like to of had some light puffy pants for sleeping and/or warmth around camp.

Took 4 pair of socks and wished I had more. One pair never left the tent and was just for sleeping. The rest were soaked through. My boots never dried out so putting on wet socks, while it sucked, was not really a big deal. Dry ones would have turned into wet ones immediately anyway.

Leukotape is way better than Moleskin. Wish I had remembered some.

I gotta figure out something for next time with my footwear. All but a couple of the guides wore plastics (Koflach/Scarpa) and glacier socks at times. I'm going to try those out before the next run and see if I like them. Another love/hate thing. All I know is my guide scrambled like a goat himself over stuff that I had to carefully pick my way through.

What I did right was to leave the one pair of socks and base layers inside the tent. As I said earlier, my sleeping bag got wet. Crawling in with dry base layers was a must.

I don't think I honestly did anything wrong with my gear choices, it was just really extreme weather, even for the area.

And ultimately, what I did right best was my fitness level. Othere than badly blistered feet, I felt fine the whole time. I was never sore or excessively tired. I actually impressed myself. Tons of leg work and a lot of weighted stability training helped big time! You are constantly straining for balance on a goat hunt so working those wierd little balance muscles in your legs and hips is so important. Squats and lunges are good too, as the big stuff gets you UP the mountain, but the little abductors and adductors keep you ON the mountain.

Some things I will surely take next time: A bivy sack. So what if your tent leaks! My wet sleeping bag was a major source of distress for me.

Some chemical handwarmers. Toss them in my boots at night to help them dry out, and just general comfort. I found great peace in warm things on this trip as they were so few. Stuffing my mountain house in my jacket while it absorbed water was pure pleasure for 10 minutes! HH Impertech pants. Even with gaiters, crampons tore my Sitka Rain pants to shreds. They are too expensive to destroy. And then the boot thing remains to be seen. Different leather treatment? Different boots? Plastic boots? Waterproof socks of some sort? I have 2 years to work this out.

Anyhow, if anyone is considering a trip of this nature and wants to go over gear, let me know and I'd be happy to go into more detail.

From: Florida Mike
23-Sep-14
Nate your info is gold for anyone thinking about a goat hunt. As far as feet, I had thorlo(greatest sock made) socks with Lowa boots and didn't have problems. I treat my boots with "Nikwax", I love that stuff. I've heard good/bad about Plastic boots. Maybe you could get some gaiters to help the shred problem? As you think of other stuff please post. Mike

From: CPAhunter
23-Sep-14
Holy crap!

From: Rob Nye
24-Sep-14
Awesome. Hope you get one next time and good on you for not giving up (or pulling out the rifle). Glad you're home safe.

From: gogittem
24-Sep-14
Sounds miserable to me! Glad you found a few gold nuggets in it and got a chance to stare down that goat. Great info

From: kota-man
24-Sep-14
Nate...What did you take for a sleeping bag/pad? I run three different bags and for my "wet" hunts run the Kifaru Slick Bag. Though my favorite bag is my Western Mountaineer Sequoia, the Kifaru does better in the rain/wet conditions. Also, which ice axe? Was it one that could double as a walking stick? or a short one? Been looking at these lately...

I've done a couple extremely wet mountain trips myself and know exactly how you feel. For the most part, looks like you had the "right stuff" and don't need to do too much tweaking on the gear list for next time.

As far as adding down pants, I love my KUIU Down pants for around camp and in the bag when it is cold. They weigh next to nothing and take up very little room. Also come in handy on the side of the snowy, wind swept mountain while glassing. Also, you are on track with adding a light weight bivy sack for protection.

Congrats on a great adventure. You'll get it done next time and oh how satisfying it will be.

From: Lexington
24-Sep-14
Nate -

The weather conditions you experienced on your hunt were sort of the 'worse care' scenario that I tried to prepare for on my hunt in the Alaska this season.

Luckily I only spent 2 1/2 days in the tent due to snow & visibility issues.

I was wearing the Koflach Degre Plastic Mountaineering boots - with my feet wrapped in Leukotape. Had no problems the entire hunt (and we covered A LOT of territory).

My sleeping bag was a synthetic Mtn Hardware Ultralamina 15. I could climb into this cold and soaking wet from head to toe with all of my layers on (except rain gear which was on floor of tent for extra insulating layer) and my body heat would warm quickly, plus dry everything out by morning.

I used a NeoAir Xtherme Sleeping Mat - Full Length. Great insulation.

Ended up just wearing 1 pair of First Light longjohns for the entire hunt. My body heat was enough to dry them out.

Brought 3pr First Lite Red Desert Boxers + 3pr Darn Tough 1441 Hike Trek CoolMax socks (INCREDIBLE wicking).

Used one hooded Sitka Traverse shirt - was great (Very Stinky by Day 7). Agree on the Jetstream Vest... what a disappointment. Will be looking for a fast-drying fleece layer.

Sitka Timberline Pants were great - waterproof seat and knee-pands in the shale were appreciated. I did not wear crampons.

Montbell Thermawrap Pro was my Top insulating layer + Mtn Hardware Compressor Pants on the bottom. Love quick drying synthetics.

KUIU Chugach rainset went on top of this. It exceeded my expectations.

Used lightweight wool DeFeet Handskins Black as my primary glove, then OR Mt. Baker Mitt + Hestra Primaloft Liner when sitting glassing. I was in shale, so different impact on glove liners, etc.

I brought "God is My Co-Pilot" written by Flying Tigers ACE Robert L. Scott... not exactly "PC" by today's standards...

Also had a UCO Emergency Candle... was lit a handful of times at night in the tent. There were a couple times my Camelback hose froze solid and the main bag started to get slushy.

Sitka ballcap + Carhart acrylic beanie underwhelmed... I need to figure out a better solution to managing wet/cold headgear (providing adequate sweat management).

Brought individually wrapped butter paddies to add to my Mtn House dinners so I was consuming fat... have found in the past that simple carbs and salt get burned up quick, some additional Fat gets metabolized slower by the body keeping the body warmer longer. (Read Conover's: "A Snow Walker's Companion" about the importance of food consumption on physical warmth).

Would be interested in bringing long-handled axe next time...

From: SDHNTR(home)
24-Sep-14
I used a Big Agnes Farwell (not a mummy fan) for a bag and one of their IAC pads. Was glad to have this system as we had to place the tent on a pretty good slope to keep from bogging out and there is no way I would have stayed on a seperate pad. The bag kept me warm even when wet, which was good, but I didn't know the limit to how much water it could hold and still do that. I've never had a wet sleeping bag before. It did impress me. I did dry out some slightly damp gear in the bag and it was fine by morning, but some of my stuff was litterally soaked through, holding water, and far more than just damp. I didn't want to push my luck too much.

As for headgear, I used a Montbell merino watch cap. Worked great. Enough, but not too much. I'd yank it off when climbing and then put it back on when we stopped. I also had a Sitka ball cap which was a waste. Nothing against Sitka, but no need for a ball cap. All it did was block my vision when climbing.

As for the ice axe, yes, I used one of the stand up models that you can also use for a walking stick. I loved it. Black Diamond model. I could see a use for it even in lower 48 and drier climates.

24-Sep-14
Dude. Next time I see you I'm going to give you a big hug. Scared the chit outta me wen I read the axe story. Not cool homie. Glad your safe. Come choot a deer with us. Much safer.

From: trkyslr
24-Sep-14
Crazy nater! Glad your ok...... Talk soon

From: SDHNTR(home)
26-Sep-14
So mama got a new pair of Xtratufs in the mail today! Schwing! Is it wierd if she leaves them on?

From: jjb4900
26-Sep-14
well written.........Thank God I can't afford to go on a goat hunt.

From: sticksender
26-Sep-14
Feel no guilt....there are much worse vices than shoe fixation.

From: trkyslr
26-Sep-14
Nate I would have thought she had a pair already with the fbt chit she has to step through lmao!

26-Sep-14
You made me leave mine on in base camp.....sicko

From: Bou'bound
26-Sep-14
I keep coming back to this thread and have a greater appreciation for it and it's value each time.

From: BOWUNTR
28-Sep-14
Dude... you nailed it. What an adventure you will never forget. My most vivid memories are when I have been in misery. I'm proud of you... you definitely stepped it up a few levels. Congratulations and I'm glad you're alive... who cares about a stinky goat... Ed F

From: tthomas
28-Sep-14
Great post, thanks for sharing.

Can you give us a link to the glacier socks?

Ever try Montana Pitch Blend on your boots. I think its better than most leather treatments.

I would experiment with the bivy. I have found I got wetter from the inside when using them. Lots of condensation. Maybe it was just the conditions.

Did you need crampons or would a less aggressive micro spike do?

Great learning experience and a good lesson for all of us. You will get it done in 2016.

Good luck, two years to prepare :)

Sounds like you did a ton of things right, but can't beat mother nature.

From: SDHNTR(home)
28-Sep-14
Tom, I will not claim to be any sort of pro when it comes to glacier socks. This was the first time I've ever seen them. The way I understand it, they are worn between the liners of plastic boots. Barneys sells them. They looked stiff and uncomfortable. I don't think they would work with a typical leather boot. I'm going to experiment with some goretex socks too. I'll take any little bit of help as my feet felt like someone took a cheese grater to them by the end of the hunt. And improvement would be welcome. Kinda hard to prevent blisters when your feet are soaked for several days in rough country. I'll give Montana Pitch a try. I'm going totally back to the drawing board.

I will definitely experiment with the bivy. Since my tent was on a slope, it was the lower end of my bag that got wet by my feet. I tried to slip inside a trash bag and that just made it worse with condensation so it would have to be something breathable.

I don't think micro spikes would have cut it. The alpine ground cover in that area is thick and spongy. You need some serious bite. Not sure the micros would drive deep enough. They sure would be easier to walk on though. The big teeth crampons are just miserable. They wear out your lover calves, make your boots rub weird, pick up crap constantly, sometimes grab when you don't want them to, and tear your pant legs up, but man, you sure breathe a sigh of relief when you put them on.

From: gogittem
29-Sep-14
I've tried Seal Skins goretex socks when I was trying to find a solution to cold wet feet during winters logging. I still have them after over a decade but have yet to find a good use for them. They are thick and uncomfortable. Made my feet sweat even more. Maybe there is something better out there now.

From: Florida Mike
29-Sep-14
Try Thorlos socks with a thin liner sock. If there is something better out there I haven't found it. Mike

From: SDHNTR(home)
29-Sep-14
FM, I have a couple pair of Thorlo's. Had one pair on this trip. Along with a few more pair of Smart Wools. Always with a thin poly liner. I've had great success with this sock combo on all other hunts in the past, but in this case, the socks weren't the problem, the boots were. Kinda hard for any sock to perform when the boots are waterlogged.

From: muskeg
29-Sep-14
I have had many hunters that have used Seal Skin socks with success. I suggest having a pair to all my Goat hunters.

I require all my Goat hunters to get Caulk boots. They work on steep wet ground. I also suggest, like I did in Nate's other thread, to have a pair of socks for every day.

I also take Bivi sacks on my hunts to be used in emergency situations. We have used them occasionally. It must be a very good grade of Bivi like the OR top end ones to work well. They are spendy.

We also use good tents that don't get wet except for condensation.

We get much more rain, in the Misty Fjords, commonly than the Cordova area.

From: WV Runner
29-Sep-14
This is an awesome post that really sums up a goat hunt. I went on a goat/deer hunt with muskeg during the same time frame in the mistys and POW. I learned a lot about myself, my equipment and whats important in life. The goat cliffs scared me nearly to death. I've had time to reflect and it truly was a life changing experience for me also. My next few years are going to be commited to a lot of rough hiking and backpacking in very steep cliffy terain. I'll have a round two. Thanks for sharing your experience!!!

From: SDHNTR(home)
29-Sep-14
Muskeg, talk to me about the caulk boots. Specifically what makes/models?

I'm going to try the Seal Skins or Rocky Goretex before next go round. Any experience with the Rocky ones Muskeg?

Also, the tent I was in was a Hilleberg Nallo. Not sure how you can do much better than that in terms of quality. The weather was just that bad.

29-Sep-14
There is a reason mountaineers dont wear leather boots anymore. most plastic boots have removable liners that can be put at the foot of your bag to dry off and keep warm for the morning.

From: SteveB
29-Sep-14
All I can say is WOW. I'm not sure at almost 60 if I should even plan to try this? I hunted the AK peninsula 25 years ago and got VERY wet and cold and I found out then that early year model gortex was not made for Alaska and practically worthless. Had my guide not loaned me a jacket I'm not sure it would have had a pleasant ending. But that wet and cold with steep slopes and I'm not sure at my increasing age that I could still do it. Kind of sad actually. Maybe with the perfect gear..........hmmmmm

From: tthomas
29-Sep-14
SDHNTR

Nothing better than the Hilleberg. Just with 100% humidity then you will always get condensation. If it gets to freezing then you will have frost for sure. Almost always your sleeping bag will get wet and without wind or sun, just can't dry out.

Don't think a bivi sack inside a tent will help.

The plastic boots might not be so great for stalking. Maybe others can elaborate.

From: SDHNTR(home)
29-Sep-14
Tom, in this case it really wasn't condensation that got the tent wet. That Hilleberg just wouldn't shed water. The DWR finish must have worn off or broken down as the water would not bead and sheet off. I was also constantly tightening guy lines and regardless of everything I tried there was just enough of a flat spot on top of the tent that would allow water to pool. Eventually, it started to drip, and ultimately made it through the inner wall. Not too bad, but it's was not fun lying there watching your tent drip. Then the bottom was soaked through from being on ground that was so saturated. And of course setting the thing up in a driving downpour didn't help either. That said, the other tent we had in spike was a Marmot and it did a much better job of staying dry. It did get some soak up from the floor, but not as bad as mine. Whatever, I lived. But a bivy as a back up would have eased my mind some. Just insurance.

The Koflach plastic boots my guide had had a typical rubber vibram sole. They weren't noisy at all. I was thoroughly impressed. Some guys love em and some hate em. From what I understand they can be hard on the knees. Since your ankles are locked in, your knees take on all the torsional stress. Again, I'll have to try them out myself as like most things with boots, it comes down to personal preference.

From: Nick Muche
29-Sep-14
A 5 day hunt only? Man in that country, as you've now experienced, that could be 5 days in a tent.

Tell us about the Billy you stared in the eye?

From: SDHNTR(home)
29-Sep-14
It's a full 6 day hunt. Ended up being only 5 days for me because my feet were so tore up. Every step was agony. 6 days is normally way more than enough time, even if you lose a couple days to weather. Other than the country they live in, goats aren't that hard to bow hunt from what I saw and there were lots of em.

As for the close encounter, we had goats up on the tip of a peak with a good approach from the backside. We got up there perfectly and had a goat in a perfect spot. We assumed his buddies were right next to him.. It was going to be a shot inside of 30 yards on one of em, I just had to work my way up to the ledge to shoot down. As I was poking along with about 20 more yards to reach the ledge, we almost stepped on a big billy that was unseen off to the side of us. It was a stare down for a few seconds, then he spooked and ran towards the initial one, And spooked that one. I was at full draw as he ran around a knob underneath us, and then stopped to look back. Without ranging, I guessed him at 40 and cut the shot just over his back. He was downhill at 34.

I had one other perfect stalk on a big billy that just decided to up and move for some reason. We never spooked him, he just headed for greener pastures. When I peaked over for what should have been a 25 yard shot, he was out feeding at 140.

In both cases, I had all day to reach over and take the rifle off my guide's shoulder for an easy shot, but that wasn't what I went there for.

From: Nick Muche
29-Sep-14
Heck well the somewhat miserable trip your story portrays wasn't at all bad man, you had a good hunt. Obviously you'd change a few things but as we all know that's part of the game. Sounds like your next trip will be much better, that's good!

I'm taking a Hilleburg Nallo 3GT to Kodiak in two weeks, hope ours holds up better. Did you have the vents open in it? This is one of the first reports I've read of a Hille leaking or having condensation. Although I've had minor condensation due to the vents being closed, thankfully nothing serious.

Wet sleeping bags suck... What did you use, not sure if you mentioned it up above.

From: SDHNTR(home)
29-Sep-14
Yeah, I had a good run, despite the weather. I can't even imagine the opportunity with good weather. No complaints here!

Actually, the zipper on the door was broken so all I had was the screen and then the vestibule. I had plenty of ventilation so no condensation. My issue was soaking up from the floor and the slow drip from the small pool of the roof.

See above for bag comments.

From: StormCloud
29-Sep-14
After reading your entry..The list. I felt a strange pang in my stomach. An uneasy feeling in my arms and a anxious feeling through out my entire being. I could have written the exact words 31 years ago. I feel blessed to have had the experience . I also feel blessed to still be alive. Deer have nothing on a Goat…They would die off in that environment, as would anything els. Thank you for letting me know Goat hunting has still not changed. Great Story.

From: t-roy
29-Sep-14
Holy smokes! I thought I had a good "Crap that ain't nuthun story"!

First, I'm glad that you made it home to your family OK. Second, you are a great example of attitude is everything. Loved your original post, short & succinct.

Awesome post! Thanks for sharing your amazing experience.

From: weekender21
30-Sep-14
Sounds like fun, glad you survived. I'm headed back in 16 or 17 for moose. Goats will have to wait until I'm a resident.

From: glass eye
04-Oct-14
Great read Nate, looked for this post after we talked. I had a similar experience in New Zealand Alps west coast, or wet coast as it is commonly called. Like pitching a tent in a high pressure car wash for 40 hours straight. Nothing like extreme weather to test your gear, body, and mind. After that the first thing I bought was a PLB. All these comments about gear are very enlightening.

From: FLGator
05-Oct-14
What an awesome experience, thanks for sharing! Wow...

From: bsbowhunter
07-Oct-14
Wow Nate! what an adventure! I had completely forgot about this trip you were taking. There's nothing like "near death" experiences to sweeten the hunt! You can always tell a "True Hunter" when you hear his story and can picture the beauty and excitement regardless of harvesting an animal. Thanks for sharing and I'm glad you made it back in one piece!

From: SDHNTR(home)
07-Oct-14

SDHNTR(home)'s embedded Photo
SDHNTR(home)'s embedded Photo
Thanks guys. The view alone was worth it.

From: glass eye
07-Oct-14
Cool pic............more please

From: SDHNTR(home)
07-Oct-14
That's all I got. Camera died. Guide sent me that one and a few others just Ike it.

From: Medicinemann
08-Oct-14
Nate,

Great thread!! Man, you really brought back some memories for me!!

08-Oct-14
Great pic nate

From: cityhunter
08-Oct-14
its the close calls to our end that makes us fell alive !!!!

From: Ron Niziolek
08-Oct-14
Don't know how I missed this, but great write up Nate.

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