I've also drawn a unit 36 NM elk tag, but this goat tag is first priority for sure.
Wow Ziek nice goats! It sounds like you and your wife had a great time.
I live in WV so I doubt that I will be able to do much (if any) pre-hunt scouting. I can come out early before season, but I doubt that I can go before that.
My hunt is September 8 to the 18th.
I'll give you a shout Ziek as soon as I round up some maps and do a little more research on the unit.
You might notice in Ziek's pic above the larger bodied scraggling goats....without even looking at the horns or anything else I can guarantee those are nannies. The 2 goats on the left side of the same pic are likely immature billies (without any scrag). During the first couple Colorado goat seasons you can pretty much tell billies from nannies by which goats have scrag. Unfortunately goat hair on billies will be somewhat short but you'll have first crack at them. If you take a look at the Colo goat harvest reports you will notice that there are very few mature (5+) year old billies left in G16, 15, and 7 so it would likely pay to spend a lot of time in the preseason finding and keeping track of the very few that exist. I've spent a great deal of time in those units the past 15+ years and would be willing to share a bit of advice if you PM me.
You would be amazed how many guys can't tell the difference between nannies and billies so you may want to spend time in the summer in the goat hills. They are an incredible and exciting species to spend time watching, filming, and hunting....and live in some of the most scenic country in the West!
Age and sex have less to do with score than in any other big game animal. And there really isn't much difference in appearance between a 'good' goat and a real trophy anyway. My billie was only 2 1/2 years old with 9+" horns and scored 43 2/8, taken in 2002. My wife hunted in 2013. Her billy was 5 1/2 years old. It's horns were 8 3/8" and scored 42 0/8, although it was a larger, heavier goat.
Many believe good hair is almost as important as horn length. Besides, they're likely to launch off a cliff and break their horns anyway. Something that both of us were spared. I killed on 10/7 and my wife on 9/19. Both had really nice hair.
Justin, I think this photo was taken near yours just in a different direction.
I wouldn't say that jims. My wife's goat is about 1/3 - 1/2 bigger than mine. That's a lot different than mine being 1/3 the size of her's. I suppose that's possible, comparing an unusually small 2 1/2 year old with a monster 5 1/2, but not typically.
Here's another photo of part of the same group the day before Cindy's success.
You guys are spot on that it is common to see billies the past 8+ years hang out with nannies in those units. However, the days of bachelor groups of 5+ year old billies is pretty much over in these units since the CPW increased seasons and tags. If you spent time in those units 10+ years ago and hiked into some of the remote cliffy country you know exactly what I'm talking about! It wasn't too uncommon to find 4 to as many as 10 mature 5+ year old billies in solitude groups...especially during the summmer months.
It doesn't sound like many believe me but if you have access to harvest reports from 10 to 15+ years ago you'll see exactly what I am talking about. You may also want to gaze through the stats and notice how many 2 1/2 year old billies and nannies are currently harvested compared to 5 1/2 year old billies 12 years ago. I was excited with the CPW finally opened up nanny tags a few years ago...that was definitely a step in the right direction.
There are so few mature billies currently left that the few 3 1/2+ year olds that are left spend a lot of time socializing in nanny groups year round. I agree that billies can have almost 9" horns at 2 1/2 years of age. I also agree that there are mini and maxi goats in herds scattered across Colo...although I've pretty much only seen maxi goats in G7, G16, and G15. I would really like to see photos of some mini bodied billies in those 3 units that are 5 1/2+ years old. I guess the thing we can agree to disagree is that there are very few 5 1/2 year old billies left in these units. There are a few that survive the gauntlet...but very, very few!
I have lots of photos of 5 1/2+ year old billies in those units from the "good ole days". If anyone is interested I would be glad to forward them to you....along with pics of nannies vs billies...plus photos of different age classes of billies in those units.
But some of the CPW stats could be skewed because of either errors or ineptness in aging goats. On Cindy's check in form, it says they counted 5 growth rings. Under estimated age it says 4 1/2. Actually, goats usually don't produce an annulus ring their first winter, so one with 5 growth rings is probably 6 1/2, (which is what my taxidermist aged it at) not 5 1/2, and certainly not 4 1/2.
"...almost 9"horns at 2 1/2..."? Mine were 9 1/8 and 9 2/8. On a relatively small goat in a group of nannies, kids, and immature billies, they looked pretty big when I shot him.
This is how we found her goat. Is it dead, or not? You can just make out the stick it's head came to rest on.
I would agree with the CPW error statement! When a girl measured my son's goat horn length she measured from the base across to the tip rather than following the length of the horn. She came up with 7 1/2" length rather than over 9". She also somehow counted 6 rings and his billy was 4 1/2 years old.
Goats certainly are a unique species and a bonus high alpine species in Colorado and other states!
Please keep it coming.
Thanks also for all of the congratulations, I know that you all can appreciate the rush of emotion when you finally draw a tag for one of your most wanted animals to hunt!
Ziek, that is a cool picture of your wife's goat!