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Sheep vs. Goat Hunt?
I am looking for some input from those who have done both Dall Sheep and Mountain Goat Hunt's.
My plan is to do both at some point but having a hard time deciding which hunt I should do first.
Naturally I haven't hunted either, the lower cost of the Goat hunt is appealing but it also seems Sheep hunts are going up every year, but its tempting to possibly combo up the goat hunt. so I go back and forth.
I would be looking at Alaska for sheep and BC for the goat. NWT is out of the budget right now to go soon.
I am leaning towards going after the goat with my bow.
looking at 2017 for either hunt, thanks for any advice.
IMO, (I've done two of each) get your feet "wet" with the goat first. Generally speaking, more animals, and more chances. If you can handle goat country, you can handle dall sheep country. Goat hunt prices seem to by climbing as fast if not faster than sheep hunt prices. Goat was my first Alpine animal and now some 8-10 Alpine hunts later, I'm hooked.
Haven't hunted Dalls but have hunted sheep, deserts in particular. And have hunted goats. Sheep live in mountains, goats live on cliffs. Sheep usually involves hiking mountains, goats often involve technical climbing of mountains. Goats are easier to stalk, but harder to get to. Sheep are the opposite. Goats are a lot cheaper. Both are majestic and worthy adversaries!
I've done both. Like you mentioned goat hunts are reasonable priced compared to sheep hunts. I would go sheep hunting first then goat. Both are physically demanding hunts. Personally I feel goats are easier to hunt than sheep.
I would go for goats now and save for a nwt sheep next.
My first mountain hunt was a Canmore Bighorn hunt, done on a last minute cancellation (24 hr notice) at a price that was practically free.
I failed to kill a ram but that hunt changed me forever, and I promise you, your first mountain hunt, regardless of species, will change you as well.
I hunted goat next, in coastal BC, because although I was hooked on life above timberline, I couldn't afford a sheep hunt. My goat hunt was an unbelievable adventure. The terrain, the challenge, the brutality, and the beauty, all, at least at the time, for a reasonable price.
I tagged a really good Billy and came home dreaming of a way to hunt sheep again.
Alaska was next, where I killed a good Dall, and it was a price conscious decision. Then the NWT for Mountain Caribou, and finally, back to Canmore to finish what I started.
I'm retired from high country hunting now, at least for a while, as I finance expensive educations for my two sons.
In retrospect, I'd tell you to absolutely go on a goat hunt first, if that's the first hunt you can afford. Pick a great place with great people, and go climb cliffs and hang from ropes and kill a big Billy. Then figure out how to afford to go kill a ram. There are still good opportunities that are fairly affordable for Dall Sheep in AK, so that's what I'd suggest you do for your first sheep hunt.
I would not consider a combo hunt for any mountain species with a bow unless you focus, with discipline, on your primary species first. Otherwise, you'll run all over the mountains and have a hard time killing anything.
I envy you. Good luck.
I actually gave a power point presentation to an outdoor group at lunch today on this very issue. My advice was to do both, and use the goat hunt as a learning experience for the sheep hunt. The comments above are accurate that a goat hunt will be physically demanding, but is an easier animal to hunt. The "mental" challenge of a bowhunt for sheep is very different, in my opinion. You would have no problem getting a quality goat hunt booked through a quality outfitter as early as 2016. However, for a quality Dall Sheep hunt, especially in NWT, you may be looking as far out as 2018 just to find an opening(at least that's what I'm running into right now.) So if you could make deposits work, you could literally book both right now, with the sheep hunt getting pushed so far out that it gives you time to save for the NWT hunt, and then do the goat hunt in between. It's never too early to start talking to the sheep outfitters, because you may already be waiting years to go. I do know that Lancaster has had good luck on combo sheep/goat hunts. You don't typically hunt them at the same time. You do the sheep, and if time permits, move to a goat area. Of course, the cost goes up, so may need to break into two trips for financial reasons.
Goats are cheaper, easier to spot, and there are no horn size restrictions I'm aware of.
Besides, they make great mounts!
I agree 100% with kota-man & NvaGvUp for the exact same reasons they stated.
Hunting the alpine with a bow is certainly not for everyone. Goats are a great animal to test yourself on. They have a much better temperament than sheep for targeting with a bow IMHO. If you can do a goat you can handle any of the other alpine animals, and the terrain they live in with confidence.
Good luck with whatever you decide. I promise it will be life altering.
I love goat hunting. No pressure in terms of age or size restrictions, typically see several options and in my experience the country they live in is spectacular.
Also much cheaper than a Dall in most cases.
I have hunted sheep twice/2 different states drawn tags (Rocky's) and Mnt. Goats twice/ 2 different states drawn tags.
See my link above as what has been stated in your thread is very true as to terrain of each animal.
Which ever species you decide, have fun, enjoy and pick-a-spot------>
Good luck, Robb
Facing the exact same dilemma myself.
This is a great topic with valuable and interesting opinions being offered here. On the same note lets talk outfitters. Who are some of the best in BC for mountain goat with a bow?
Some say goat hunting starts where sheep hunting ends,meaning goat country is much tougher but it all depends on the location south east AK is a real challenge when you start at sea level and hike to the glaciers, i think you earn all sheep and goats but hunt them when you can they will not get any cheaper, like others have said try and start communicating and if possible putting some deposits down. Good luck !
Good advice given above. Do the goat first.
There are quite a few good goat outfits in BC. My hunts have been with Babine and would have no reason to hunt them with anyone else.
"This is a great topic with valuable and interesting opinions being offered here. On the same note lets talk outfitters. Who are some of the best in BC for mountain goat with a bow?"
Babine Guide Outfitters, Lonesome Dove, Bolen and Lewis just to name a few. Check out the outfitter reports here on bowsite.
I've hunted with Babine twice now and plan on at least one more hunt with them. Goats are amazing animals and so fun to chase with the bow. On my two hunts with Babine we probably averaged 15-20 goats per day. I know of sheep hunters who never saw a legal ram on 14 day hunts.
bbates, I had the same question. I decided to goat hunting first. It's been said "goat hunters look down on sheep hunters...literally!"
If you can find an outfitter who prices by the Canadian Dollar you will save yourself a pile of cash right now. Very few do it but I know of one great goat hunting outfit that does....Babine.
Great goat outfitters mentioned above. Also check out Sugar Valley Outfitters (Scott McKenzie). He's in northwest BC near Atlin. Great success on goats. Small, family run operation. Terrain was steep, but not the "crazy" stuff. Also good options of for additional animals on trophy fee only.
I just arrived in Ft. Nelson on my way to hunt with Jake Gunson for goats. Should be fun as it is my first goat hunt. Will also have a moose tag if the opportunity presents itself. It's an 11 day hunt in an area no one has been for 15 years. They believe goats are there based on trails from the plane, but it could be an expensive camping trip but expectations were clearly set. 15 years ago, a local native killed three goats in rconsecutive years. No trails though to get where we need to go, but once above tree line, it should be a little easier. I was also surprised by how low the altitude was at only 4500-5000 max.
I saw a Dall hunt advertised this morning in Alaska for $9k. That seems to be significantly less than others I have seen and more comparable to a goat hunt??
Goat hunts in my opinion are tougher in terms of terrain, raining etc, however you will have more opportunities to get a relative easy shoot that sheep. I have done both and personally the landscape of a goat hunt is nicer that sheep. Both hunts are getting expensive, even so sheep had been always higher in cost and your success rate are much lower with a bow than goat. If I could repeat any of these 2 hunts, i definitive will go for a mountain goat
I haven't hunted either yet, but I booked the goat hunt first and I'm going next year with Babine. Now, I'm talking with the NWT outfitters and plan on booking a Dall hunt for the first available when I decide on an outfitter.
As mentioned above, the NWT outfitters are pretty booked out for bowhunters. I don't think you would have to book out as far with a gun. I only mention that as your comment about doing the goat with a bow sounds like you may do the sheep with a gun. Good either way with me.
Thanks for all the comments.
I am probably leaning more towards doing the goat first after lots of thought. its been at the top of my list for a number of years now. as far as outfitters I have looked at a bunch and working with mark at Bsc
i will check out Babine i didn't realize until now the prices listed weren't in US dollars, now is a bad time to talk to outfitters.
yes I would lean towards a rifle hunt for dall's in Alaska, at least for my first hunt, then go to the NWT on an archery dall hunt later on.
My plan is a big hunt every 3 to 5 years,
I have shot a CO goat on a diy archery hunt and I think I would spend the money on an elk, mule deer, grizzly or mtn caribou hunt. Each his own but there other more exciting animals than goats that you can hunt at high altitude. Then again if you are after a big Billy that puts more challenge into the game. The challenge is the altitude and terrain. I had goat sausage made and it was outstanding.
I've been on a number of sheep and goat hunts in both Colo and Alaska. There are so many types of terrain that both sheep and goat live that it's pretty tough to say unless you narrow down exactly which area and terrain you'll be hunting. There are goats almost shot right out of boats at certain times of year in SE Alaska and at the same place earlier in the fall you may have to climb jungle type terrain through God forbidden Devil's Club. There are goat hunts in other parts of Alaska where you might get dropped off near a glacier and climb similar country to where dall sheep roam.
I had one of the easiest dall sheep hunts of my life this past fall in Alaska and shot a gorgeous ram only 1 mile from our base camp. A few years ago I shot a ram in goat country that was rougher and steeper than any goat country I have ever hunted.
I've been on over a dozen goat hunts here in Colorado. Each one was a little different. On several of those goat hunts billies were harvested within a stones throw of 4 wheeler trails in relatively easy alpine country...while others were in secluded cliffs.
I guess what I'm saying is to figure out what type of terrain, location, and style of goat hunting you want and go from there.
I guess I should updated this thread.
After a lot of conversations and thought, I booked a rifle dall sheep hunt in the brooks range for 2017
I am going to follow that up in either 2018 or more likely 2019 with an archery mtn goat hunt with Bolen Lewis
super excited about these upcoming hunts.
Who are you sheep hunting with?
I've hunted with Jonah 3 times. Great choice, great outfit.
Bolen and Lewis has allowed archery hunters in past to shoot a goat with a rifle if you wanted to bail from archery. I chose not to but later had second thoughts. Haven't carried a rifle in so long it didn't seem right but conditions were poor and I would love to have a mount. Be sure and ask them if you are interested in that option. Guides carry a rifle , at least on my hunt they did
To even have this dilemma is a blessing. I wish you well.
I have been on two goats hunts and one sheep hunt in Alaska. The goat hunts were done on the Kenia Peninsula and the hiking to get to the goats was brutal. There was one point that we "free climbed" several cliffs. The weather was bad on both hunts, rain, rain and more rain. The last goat I shot fell 52 yards strait down(we checked the distant with a range finder) a cliff, landing on a ledge about 10 feet wide. If the goat would have went off the ledge, it would have fell hundreds of feet.
The sheep hunt was very hard as well. We hunted in the Alaska range. The mountains were not as steep and cliff ridden as the goat hunt. With that there being said the sheep hunt was no cake walk. Saw 50 plus sheep but not shooters.
I would go on the goat hunt first, any way just my thoughts. Plan well, train hard and good luck.
You will have a great hunt with Jonah....post up the story and pics when you get home in 2017!
Goats live on cliffs some of the time. But I've seen a lot more goats on hillsides and relatively open high grassy benches than I ever have on cliffs.