How would you feel about paying 20 plus g's knowing that the biggest goats in the area are being taken by them?
Two things I've heard about Bolen Lewis....get in shape, make room on the wall.
Fall and Winter Goat Hunt Pricing Information
1x1 Fall Goat.............Aug 10 - Oct 31, 2015.............$11,900 (plus $2000 trophy fee)
1x1 Fall Goat.............Aug 10 - Oct 31, 2016.............$12,400 (plus $2000 trophy fee)
1x1 Fall Goat.............Aug 10 - Oct 31, 2017.............$12,900 (plus $2000 trophy fee)
1x1 Winter Goat..........Nov 1 - Feb 28, 2015.............$18,400 (plus $2000 trophy fee)
1x1 Winter Goat..........Nov 1 - Feb 28, 2016.............$18,900 (plus $2000 trophy fee)
1x1 Winter Goat..........Nov 1 - Feb 28, 2017.............$19,400 (plus $2000 trophy fee)
* Hunt prices do not include license, tags, and taxes. All bush flying is included in hunt prices.
And yes, that price is for their winter hunt. Fewer tags and better hair quality, so guys pay a premium for them. One thing to take note of is that their prices INCLUDE BUSH FLIGHTS. The majority of outfits don't include the bush flight in the price.
Here's the billy that we were stalking when we were rudely interrupted by a wolverine. Never saw that goat again. We were 60 yards from him here but he was feeding closer to us all the time.
Shug, sorry that I hijacked your thread. To answer your question, I would feel just fine booking a hunt with them, even if the co-owners take some huge goats, because I know that I wouldn't have a hope in hell of getting to the goats that they shoot. I'm not capable and my life isn't worth a goat. I feel so good about booking a hunt with them that I'm headed back in 2017.
Shug, that fact that B&L clients aren't complaining about it should be telling.
I would rank them at the top when planning a bow hunt for goats!
Good bunch of guys!
I wouldn't care if a general contractor who built my home had a larger and nicer one than me.
If I were to pay that kind of money for a goat hunt, I'd want it to be with somebody whose killed a fistful of monsters himself.
I in no way shape or form see them as taking something away from another hunter.
Now if they were hunting the same time as you and were stalking the same goat as you....then by all means.
But this certainly seems like getting in an uproar just to get in one.
Sorry, I disagree. Costs haven't doubled in a few years. This is purely capitalism - which I have no problem with. I just don't like prices so high the average guy cant do them without sacrificing several years of hunting trips to save up for it.
Of course, not taking away one bit from their quality and success. I'm quite certain they are great guys and a fantastic outfit.
1x1 FALL Goat.............Aug 10 - Oct 31, 2015.............$11,900 (plus $2000 trophy fee)
1x1 FALL Goat.............Aug 10 - Oct 31, 2016.............$12,400 (plus $2000 trophy fee)
1x1 FALL Goat.............Aug 10 - Oct 31, 2017.............$12,900 (plus $2000 trophy fee)
1x1 WINTER Goat..........Nov 1 - Feb 28, 2015.............$18,400 (plus $2000 trophy fee)
1x1 WINTER Goat..........Nov 1 - Feb 28, 2016.............$18,900 (plus $2000 trophy fee)
1x1 WINTER Goat..........Nov 1 - Feb 28, 2017.............$19,400 (plus $2000 trophy fee)
Their prices don't almost double between 2015 and 2017, they go up by $1000. The cost of a WINTER goat hunt in 2015 is $18400. In 2016, it's $19400. The cost of a FALL goat hunt in 2015 is $11900. In 2017, it's $12900. Make sure you're comparing apples to apples.
I've been on this hunt and I honestly don't know how they make a whole lot of money on these hunts for what they charge. They own their own plane and incur the costs of that, plus they have to pay a pilot, plus all the backpacking supplies (tents, food, stoves, etc.), plus paying guides. Once you factor in all that plus the fact that it's co-owned by 3 people, I don't think they're exactly making a killing on a goat hunt. If you look at their prices, they're right around everybody else's price in BC and Alaska, for a similar quality hunt.
If a guy can't afford that, then he's either going to have to save longer, go on a cheaper hunt or try to draw a tag in the lower 48. But he probably won't see as many goats or have as many opportunities as he would on a coastal hunt. It's the same reason most guys suggest going to the Northwest Territories for a Dall sheep hunt and not Alaska. Sure, it's $8000+ more in the NWT, but that's because it's a better area with more sheep and better odds, not to mention minimal to no resident pressure.
Is $15k expensive? Absolutely, it is.
Is this hunt worth $13k, $15k if a person gets their goat? Absolutely, it's worth it.
Great people and great hunt.
These are a truly wild population in a true wilderness setting. The goats may range a vast rough area and die of old age without ever having been threatened by a hunter. Killing the largest and probably oldest does not necessarily mean depleting the gene pool since the best breeders may actually be somewhat younger billies. Sort of like in sheep populations.
And consider they are obviously managing their business to maintain the highest quality over time. The record book shows that. They are the professionals here, as are the biologists. Both have the knowledge and a real stake in the matter. I guess that is why business and wildlife management should be left to professionals.
I goat hunted the same general area over 20 years and as their record shows it produces some of the biggest in the world. Like I said in my original post their record and the fact that people are paying the prices they ask speaks for itself.
I only have one huge problem with this thread!!... My last name is spelled wrong! HAHA. JK.
You guys are all great. I figured I'd shed some light on how I kill such big goats. Dave and Spike really aren't part of this specific discussion because Spike has never killed a goat in our area and Dave has only killed one.
First of all, you should understand the scope of our area. It is gigantic. We have around 4000 square miles of country where we have exclusive guiding rights. To put that in perspective...it's a land mass that is 25% larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined. We have over 25 different alpine lakes in our area that we can access with our plane. We also have many hundreds of miles of logging roads and ocean coastline accessible by our boat.
I've been goat hunting for myself 7 times in the last 11 years. I've killed 6 goats, all with archery. Yes, I hunt in very remote areas, but considering the size of our area and goat population, that doesn't really matter. One guy killing 6 goats over an 11 year period out of a 4000 sq mile area is inconsequential.
I have never gone into an area to hunt a specific goat that we knew about. I've always gone in blind and found a goat while hunting on the ground. There are basically 4 reasons I've killed some world class goats:
1. Remember I have been on 7 goat hunts. If you took the biggest goats of any 7 random Bolen Lewis hunts, those goats wouldn't be that different from mine.
2. Every time I goat hunt, I pass 3 to 5 very nice billies, that most of our clients would never pass. These are goats in the 48 to 50 inch range that are fine trophies. Since I already have goats like that, I choose to be more selective.
3. I work very hard to be in very good mountain shape. Not only does that allow me to go deeper, but it allows me to not feel pressure to take a "nice" goat because I am tired. I keep looking for an exceptional billy. #keephammering
4. Finally, I do admit, I am a lucky hunter.
Guys, I gotta tell ya; Spike, Dave and I love this business. We love the people. It is a dream come true to be able to take hardworking bowhunters on their vacation of a lifetime. Every time my phone rings with a Bolen Lewis customer, I am excited to answer. We are blessed to be part of this industry. Thanks again to all of our past clients that were willing to share their success stories.
I get it that these guys are killing bigger, better goats, but for most hunters a goat hunt is about the experience, since it's a one time affair. That said, I've done it more than once....
As far as the guides and their goats, let's see, 4,000 square miles is over 2.5 million acres. A total of 7 goats taken by the guides. Yup, looks like they hunted out all the good ones !!?? But if you really want a non-hunter to guide you, maybe the Sierra Club can take you on one of their outings.
Doubt I'll every have the coin to do one of their hunts. If I did, I'd sure as heck be prepared for it. There's no better mountain shape than goat shape. How many of their clients truly make the training commitment to be in that condition? I have little doubt that if you were, and you told Allen, Dave, or Spike what you were holding out for and what you were willing to do to get it, they'd do a heck of a job giving you a chance. So where's the argument?
I just read through this entire thread. I may have missed it but I didn't see one negative comment from anybody that has actually hunted with B&L. Just speculative criticism from guys that have never been there, and probably never will. It's telling that all the guys that have actually hunted with B&L have no problem with the speculation raised in this thread.
Two issues that have been questioned, the price and the fact that the owners hunt.
First, if you can't afford it you have two options, stop considering it (and questioning the value) and move on, or work harder, make more money, save longer, sacrifice more, do whatever it takes to be able to afford it. Because if you really want the best chance to hammer a huge archery Billy, B&L are the guys.
And if you can afford it, trust me, it's worth it.
Second, if the owners don't hunt, then any outfitting operation is just a business. I want to be outfitted, and if I'm lucky enough, I want to be guided by someone that shares the same passion I do for the hunt. I want to be around other passionate bowhunters, and who better to understand my needs then another successful bowhunter? And if they hunt and are not successful, I'd be less confidant that they could help me succeed. As far as them killing huge goats, well if you know them you would never question if they are "saving" the big ones for themselves. That's silly. That's your whitetail mentality doing the thinking. A mountain goat is not a whitetail. I would certainly question it if my midwest whitetail guide was arrowing B&C bucks on a regular basis but a mountain goat hunt isn't a whitetail hunt, it's different.
I was one of the first Bowsite regulars to hunt with B&L way back in '05 or '06. I posted a long trip report that was really popular on this site and a lot of guys booked hunts because of it. I've had many follow ups from guys that thanked me for inspiring them to go on the hunt and guess what, almost all of them killed a big goat. I never had anyone get back to me and complain about the price or the fact that the owners killed a big goat that season.
So I don't think the question is about the price or the fact that the owners are passionate and successful hunters, the question is, should you listen the the long list of credible and overwhelmingly positive reviews from guys that have been there with "boots on the ground" experiences, or the concerns of a few that question the value and the fact that like you, the owners also love to bowhunt?