Contributors to this thread:
Pictures for goat hunters - - - Part ll
OK everybody. I hope you are not all burned out on goat and sheep hunts quite yet.
Some of you were good enough to look at my last thread named Pictures for goat hunters. That was the one where I had taken my wife on a backpack trip to get familiar with the terrain and habits of goats. She had drawn an AK goat tag and was in need of a confidence booster. Well we just got home from her goat hunt. I thought I owe some of you a follow up story.
It is going to be tough to follow up bowonly's awesome saga and I should give it a little time, but we are leaving for elk next week, as many of are, and I want to do this while it is fresh in my mind.
I would also like to take this time to thank the Bowsite members that took time to share some of their knowledge on equipment and technique. I have been doing these hunts for 40 years and I still feel there is a lot to learn. Equipment changes and we learn new lessons all the time. We should remember how lucky we are to have a place to easily share what we have experienced.
Here goes. Mike
This all started when my college age daughter who I had promised a hunt to for getting through college finally came up with the idea she would like to try a goat hunt. Because of her schedule and not wanting to be on a waiting list forever an August Kodiak Island goat hunt seemed to be the perfect solution.
At the last moment we contacted Paul Chervenak of Kodiak Outdoors to see if we could still get in the draw. My first question was if he had any interest in guiding a woman goat hunter. He didn't even flinch. Next I approached him with a woman goat hunter that was a bowhunter. He actually sounded kind of excited about it as he said no problem and told me about his past experience which was extensive.
At the last moment we said why not and put my daughter in the draw. When I looked at draw odds which were not terrible, but not a sure thing, I decided to throw my wife's name in the hat also. She had been thinking about a mountain hunt for a while but just never committed yet.
Well you can guess what happened and who drew the tag on the first go around. My daughters first reaction was are you kidding me!! But then we all decided to get behind her and make this happen.
We arrived in AK a few days before the hunt and spent some time with some great friends that live in Anchorage to do a little fishing. One of the reasons I really like AK for a destination. Nothing is better than shipping home a box of halibut and fresh salmon on your trip even if the hunt is strike out.
We went fishing with Frank Sanders of Alaska Trophy Outfitter's. Some of you may know him. He is a registered AK guide and outfitter and does a lot of bowhunting himself. We had a blast! It rained hard on us all day but that was the only rain we had all the while we were in AK. We did limit out so at least we would not go home empty.
Finally we got to Kodiak. We arrived a couple days before the season started so we could be up on the mountain for the opener. It was to windy to fly that day so we just explored Kodiak a little. The wind was going to be our nemesis on this hunt.
There was a little time to reflect on what really was ahead on this hunt!
Cool pics so far. Keep it up
The winds did eventually let up and we got dropped off with the one of the Beavers that Andrew's flight service uses. Amazing aircraft that have an amazing payload and gives you the ability to fly in a nice base camp to work out of.
We got base camp up in short order. Mountains look even more intimidating up close than from town. Old sheep hunters tip -- all mountains look easy from above on the flight in, not so much when you get there and you are looking up from the bottom.
After a short night the time finally arrives. We assess the best approach to the ridge above base camp.
Luckily there was a nice natural approach to give us flatlanders a chance to get our mountain legs under us. We soon were about to crest out on the ridge. Always hope this is the real top and not another false summit.
As always no matter how you cuss the mountain while you struggle up I have never been disappointed when I have reached the top.
Your wife has my utmost respect Mike! Great story and thread so far. My wife is an avid bowhunter as well but I also know she'd take one look at those mountains and ask me where the nearest winery was located! Ha!
Great start so far Mike! Keep it rolling!
Brotsky tell your wife that the wine taste so much better after an adventure like this! My wife can attest to that. LOL!!
Mark you and some of the other Bowsite crew have given me some tough acts to follow!
First night in the alpine and we set up our spike camp. Used a couple of Paul's Hilleberg tents and a tarp. Hilleberg tents were very impressive. Easy to set up and most importantly to us, held up in wind quite well.
It so took us by surprise we did not get any photos but as we set up two billies got on the skyline fairly close to watch the whole camp setup. To late to chase that day, but really set the mood for the first day of actual hunting in the morining.
If anyone can tell me what is better than a hot cup of coffee in the morning on top of the world I would like to hear what it is!
Great stuff Mike - I'm savoring every last detail of this one!
Midday on the first day, Stig, one of the guides came trotting up to us. He had been down on a point below us and out of nowhere a billy had shown up on the next mountain.
We all went down to look him over. We decided he was a good billy and we should give it a go. Only problem we had was the wind. It was starting to pick up to 30mph with gusts to 40 as forecasted. Not the best scenario for an archer.
Paul and my wife dressed in there whites. Finally she gets to put on the goat horns she sewed on this summer.
I was a little worried the billys would be intimidated and terrified by her horn size. On the other hand I figured once the word got out nannies would be coming from far and wide to check out the new stud on the block!!
By the way if this is my last post it is because my eyes are swollen shut from getting punched for posting this picture. I was warned!
Here is a new scenario for me. Try sending an inexperienced loved one down a chute like this and then keep your head down while you hear significant rock slides. Lots on weird thoughts start to pop up in your head as the time crawls by.
After a couple of hours they finally reappeared far below us. Turns out she had a perfect quartering away shot at 40yds. This is in her comfort range. She had drawn back twice but backed out because the gusty wind in the chute made it impossible to settle in. The goat fed away clueless as to how close he came. Maybe tomorrow.
Great stuff MT, keep it coming!
Hey, you can't get enough of quality bow hunting adventure stories on Bowsite. I heavily considered Kodiak for goats, so this is going to be great.
But, now I know how it feels waiting for the story to unfold quickly. I leave for elk hunting in the morning. I will just have to wait, I guess.
Good luck bowonly! I didn't mean to crowd your thread but we are leaving for an elk hunt on Monday. I did not want to let this wait or I might not follow through. Shoot straight and stay safe.
After the failed attempt we dropped down the alpine lake below us to get out of the wind somewhat. It was better but you can see from amount of clothing everyone is wearing it was not perfect.
The following morning we were faced with a decision. Do we look for the goats on our mountain or do we take off to the next mountain and look at some new county? I was undecided because I knew it would be a hike. On the other hand what is a goat or sheep hunt without at least one death march during the hunt? The far ridge catching the sun is the next choice if we want to try it. It would be across the flats and up over the top on the right shoulder.
We spread out and looked for the goats for a couple of hours with no success. Best option at this point was to pull up camp and head for the far ridge. Going to be a long day!
Giardia??? What is Giardia? LOL! Best tasting water ever!
You can tell the temperature by the pant legs.
Getting to the snow fields finally!
Higher we get the steeper the snowfields and the less leg that is showing.
Great pics, keep them coming!
What an adventure! Keep it rolling!
man, what a really cool place to be... PLEASE keep rolling... I am loving the pictures
When we got to the top we spread out to look for goats. Dang wind again was howling on top. Forecast was for at least 2 more days of it. It sure was getting old.
Wife I tucked back in as calm of area as we could find, which was still miserable, and guides circled around the bowl to check our side out. Was not long when she looked below us and spotted a band of nannies and kids. There were at least 16 and it looked like a couple of shooter billies. Didn't matter there was no way to stalk them in such a large group.
Soon goats started to show up in other places. A band of 3 billies. The problem with them was they were right in the a calmer flatter area where we had planned on camping. As you can see from the picture camping where we were at was not going to be a option.
We pulled back a bit anxious not to loose any of hard gained altitude to set up for the night. The landscape was similar to what one would imagine the moon would be like. Options for a comfortable place to set up between the jumbled rocks and the howling wind were few.
This is one of those moments on just about every sheep or goat hunt where you really question your sanity. Your a few days into the hunt. No real success yet. Your for sure not having much fun at the moment. Why did your save so long for this? I didn't even want to know what was going through my wife's head at this moment. She was not complaining though. So far so good.
We settled on a flat ash pit with a 4 foot rim around it to block the wind as our camping spot. These ash pits were scattered around the island and were from the 1912 Katmai volcano eruption. Animals loved them to lie in and roll around in. This was my first experience with them and they were pretty neat. Volcanic ash is kind of misleading it was more the consistency of very fine sand. They ended up being a huge pain when we tried to get home because the high winds still pick up the ash into huge clouds and can ground commercial jet flights immediately.
Another plug for Hilleberg tents. Unbelievable strength!! All night the winds would calm down for a few minutes and you thought they were over and then a gust would come and pop the tent making it sound like a small explosion. Tents held together and stayed upright through it all. Makes you respect the people who choose to climb mountains like Everest and others for their fun.
You know it is cold when you have to wear every piece of clothing you own including your whites into the tent to stay warm!
Still a smile.
This is great Deerhaven. Will be archery hunting goat in unit 479 on kodiak starting 9-18. Looking forward to the rest of the story.
Awesome TANGERS! The best of luck and be safe. I will expect to get the story on your hunt when you get back.
Sorry for the pause but I do have to work today unfortunately. I will try to get in a couple of posts in over lunch then try to finish up tonight or tomorrow morning at the latest because then it is off after elk.
After a long restless night of getting beat up in the wind we were back up looking for the 3 billies that had taken over our comfortable camping spot.
It did not take long before Paul and Stig had the goats spotted not far from where we left them. We were only a couple hundred yards away but it could have just as well been a mile because of their location.
We would have to wait them out since there was no way to get in on that snow patch with 3 sets of eyes on us.
Nothing to do now but hunker down and play the waiting game. I hate this part!!
You can have a fresh bunghole sandwich as lunch time comes and goes.
But then all there is to do is burrow in again.
Just so you know it was not a day at the beach check out the yellow sitting pad of to our side with a rock holding it in place. You can see it standing at attention when the photo was snapped.
We actually were quite worried about the goats getting up and another blown opportunity because of the wind. It was not lying down at all.
You do get a chance to think about somethings and wonder about them. Like how the heck did that get here and why?
Eventually time passes and things start to happen!
It is time to make a move before the goats drop over the cliff and bed in an inaccessible spot. The wind is still blowing but that will have to be dealt with. Like always 0 to 60 in a split second!
enjoying the story. I usually don't get online during the weekend but this will be on my mind so I will be checking in. your wife is top notch. if I was to suggest a trip like this to my wife I would get the evil eye and laugh.
Here we go again. Paul and wife get on whites. I am instructed to sit down behind a rock and be quiet and off they go. Been a whole day of sitting and now I got more coming. The wind was still blowing but what can you do. I am expecting a couple of hours of pain again.
It seemed like I had just settled in. It could not have been over 15 mins when I hear our decided upon signal the crow call. I peek over the ridge and all I see is a lot of commotion. Paul looks to be fist pumping and waving Stig and I down. My wife does not look as happy but kind of dazed.
She was apprehensive as she thought the hit was a little high and awful close to the shoulder. Paul was happy because he said you could see the goat weave a little before he went over the edge.
It turns out they had not gone far when one of the goats stepped out in front of them. She drew back but the darn wind kept her from settling in and she let down and he walked. The next goat stepped out just as the wind took a breather for a moment. It was his unlucky day. She was presented with a 23yd slightly downhill and quartering away shot and she took it.
Even with her fears the blood at site of impact looked good.
Confirmation came shortly when they moved up and looked down the chute into the hell hole. There the goat layed where he had piled up. He hadn't gone far on his feet but he had slid for a long ways. It would take a bit to get down there but it looked like his horns were intact as far as we could tell.
My immediate concern was for my wife's safety as she was standing on the edge looking down and getting vigorous pats on the back by the guides. LOL
We quickly scrambled down the shale chute. Well maybe not so quickly but we worked our way down and their her prize was at the very bottom.
A picture of a very happy lady!!
Awesome!!!! Congrats!!! What a tremendous accomplishment!
What a memory maker.....together!!!
A huge congrats to you both!!!
After an extended photo session. We started to butcher the animal. When we retrieved the internal organs we discovered that she kind of underestimated her shot placement!!!
Wow, look at how light the color is on that heart.
Very nice!!! Congrats to your wife. Great story and pics. Hope to follow your success in a couple weeks.
In bowonlys words the realization slowly sets in the adrenalin slowly leaves and you start to remember that now you have to get back home. With at least one more pack weight of meat to split between you.
Getting out of the hell hole was the start. The only way back was the same way we came.
Was very proud of the wife. Coming up that slippery slope was really the only time she had help with her pack and that was only the last 100yds or so.
A great shot to boot!!!
Looks like the beautiful markings of a slick trick?:)
Aaaaarrggh! Great looking pics and the story wants to suck me in, but I've got too much to do.
I've gotta come back to this later. It looks too good to miss.
Wonderful story and photos! Thanks for sharing and best of luck on your elk hunt.
Mark you guessed it. That is the mark of a slick trick!! Actually a vipertrick.
Idy there could not have been an ounce of blood left in the muscle tissue or the circulatory system.
TANGERS if you have half as much fun as we had you are going to have a blast. Good luck stay safe.
Incredible country, perfect spot, and a beautiful animal. Congratulations Dawn! And you too Mike! That was a great trip for both of you.
Last night on the mountain. Still pretty breezy. I threw this picture in because it portrays the only real accident we had on the trip. Stig had gotten up of his sleeping pad which he had been sitting on and last we saw of it it was headed for Hawaii. Everyone held on tight to theirs after that. His night was going to be like sleeping on a bed of nails!!!
Heading home. Last snow slide to get across.
Wow what an accomplishment. Awesome hunt.
Last steep shale rock to negotiate. If you ever been there you know going down is usually harder than going up. This is why goat hunters get in trouble so much. Would really hate to break an ankle at this point.
Finally down in the stuff where you can half slide and half ski and not worry about dying quite so much anymore. LOL
Eventually we end up back at base camp. As the designated Camp B on this trip my first job is to go to the refrigerator and get the cold drinks.
Mike, Great story and congrats to your wife! Beautiful goat, great shot, well done! Kurt
Holy wow, amazing on all aspects...
Second thing was to put on the crocs and serve the fine wine. I never drank $100 a bottle wine but I am sure none of it tasted any finer than this Franzia out of a box. I doubt any slippers felt any better on the feet than the crocs either.
Great hunt report. Congratulations to your wife on the beautiful Billy.
Awesome photos and story! Congrats!!
What green tents are those in the pic? One is a hillebeger akto. But what's the other one?
Congrats young lady
Thanks for sharing
Good luck, Robb
Awesome! Congratulations to you and your wife!
Great job and congrats to you both on a great adventure and trophy.
Awesome! Great story, thanks for sharing and for all the wonderful pics!
The other tent was a Hilleberger Anjan 2. Awesome tents! I just bought a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL. I really like it and I am sure it will do fine for my needs but I have to admit if I was to do it over I would have gone with the Hilleberger.
Wow, what a cool hunt! Thanks for sharing!
Great pics, awesome hunt. AS far as the tent goes, the BA Fly Creek is a great tent for most of the lower 48, but on Kodiak you NEED a Hilleberg. Congrats again.
Sweet hunt !! Thanks for sharing !!
LOVED THE PHOTOS and the story. congrats to DAWN, so proud of her, We knew she was worried about the hunt.. BUT SHE DID IT. Congrats. Our Best wishes.
One for the Bowsite archives. What a great hunt recap, your photos are great. A huge congratulations to your wife, that's a great billy.
Congrats to TEAM TRAUB!! Great job by Dawn and by you on documenting the hunt w/ great pictures and story.
great job on the hunt, dawn for shooting and mike for the write-up i got written up for daydreaming watching this unfold
Nick want you to know I did not let wife take two steps without primos neoprene cable/string guard on that bow. LOL!
Spectacular story and excellent goat! Congrats and thanks for sharing.
It is remarkable how much more in-depth and clearly a story can be retold by someone who was watching and documenting it than by someone wrapped up in experiencing it. Incredible recap of an experience of a lifetime!
That is awesome, congratulations!
That was a wonderful thread. Thanks for posting. Congrats. Hunt
Great story Mike. Congratulations to Dawn!
Awesome thread. Loved all the photos. Will be doing this hunt myself next fall.
Great pics and great thread. Congrats and thanks for sharing.
Congrats to the both of you! A great accomplishment!
Your halibut guide is sitting at home waiting for the weather to break so he can fly out and see if he can go relocate a large bull moose closer to God! That is an awesome story, so happy for you both. Place is always open to you guys, sent a text a few minutes ago too....
Great thread, Mike. Congratulations to both of you on such an awesome adventure. Your wife killed a great Billy.
Now that my friend is AWESOME! Congratulations on all accounts!
Sir, your wife is an incredible woman. Anyone who has ever chased goats will know she is too! Congrats to her and to you for having the good sense to marry her. Mike
Wow wow wow! Congrats to your wife on a well deserved goat!
Congrats and thanks for sharing !
What an awesome adventure, yes your wife is incredible . Thanks for sharing. Forrest
One of best threads ever. Awesome
Awesome story, thanks for posting!
Can we get some specs on her bow/arrow/broadhead/sight combo?
I just skimmed through photos for now. Awesome! Will read later.
Sure Jake I guess I forgot to add that into the original post. She shoots a Hoyt Carbon Element set at 51 lbs, an ACC 349 tipped with a 125 grain Viper Trick. She uses a Spot Hogg Real Deal 5 pin.
A side note is last year in a P&Y raffle she was fortunate enough to be drawn for the top prize which was the trophy mountain caribou hunt donated by Jim Lancaster up in the NWT. She is currently preparing for that hunt and is booked for this August plus we were both drawn for a unit 7 Wyoming elk tag which will be in September of this year. I truly hope to have another post in the fall with some good pictures.
Thanks for your interest Mike
Good luck to you and Dawn!
What a great story, congrats!!! Somehow missed this one first time around, glad I got to read it now!
Awesome thanks Mike!
My wife is getting after me about upgrading her bow setup prior to our move back to Montana, trying to get some good ideas!
Tell her congrats!!!
This was even better the second time through Mike! Such a great story and the picture taking was on point! congrats again to you and your wife! When is your daughter's turn? :)
Great Story and your wife is AWESOME!
Congratulations and good luck this Fall!
Congratulations on a Fantastic hunt and story. Can't wait to get to Kodiak Island for the first time.....a friend and I have Bob Ameen's buck shack reserved for September 2018. It can't come soon enough! After reading this, maybe a goat hunt is in order for the future.
Deerhaven, this was an awesome story (still). One follow up question-- if you and my wife both get hit by trucks, is it ok for your wife to marry me? LOL In all seriousness, a lot of men would fold on a hunt like this, many of them "accomplished hunters". Congrats to your bride on many levels for the success she had on this hunt.
This was a great write up with wonderful pics! I hope you get lots more great pictures this fall and can share a couple more great stories with us again.
I missed this one last fall. Awesome adventure, great photos...I missed this one in 2015 as I was more than likely hunting at the time, but definitely worth the two year TTT!
I have to thank you for resurrecting this post Jake. It made me relive the hunt again and made my day a lot better as it brought back some of my best memories. Hope your wife finds a good fit in a bow. Their are a lot of choices out there in bows just for women today plus a lot of good regular bows that have a lot of adjustment capabilities. Tell her my girls have shot a lot of animals including moose, elk and other big critters with 40 to 50 lb setups so don't be intimidated. The kinetic energy in the new bows exceeds what we used to shoot in high poundage stuff a long time ago and it is not unusual to get pass thru's with the right broadhead. If she has any specific questions for my wife feel free to pm me.
Brotzky my daughter is out of the house now living in Denver and has a real job. Her turn comes when she either draws a tag or can afford it :)
Scoot you need to think that one thru. Unless you are prepared to give up all your best stands and take on another job to support the habit :)
"Unless you are prepared to give up all your best stands and take on another job to support the habit :)"
Amen Mike! I can't remember if you met my crew at the P&Y Rendezvous last summer or not but if so you can certainly see that I rarely get a good stand anymore! Ha! That said I wouldn't trade it for the world, the memories of being in the woods and hills with my family could never be matched by anything that would happen hunting solo for me.
Haha, I understand what you're saying, but I'm still a little green with envy. I already give up most of my hunting season to sitting with a camera while my kids hunt. Like Brotsky, I wouldn't trade that for anything either. I'd love it if my wife was in the mix, but it's not her thing. She does encourage and support me (most of the time) in my hunting efforts, so I have complaints at all.
Congrats on a great hunt and I look forward to this fall's write ups...
Amen guy's. I have never regretted a minute. I sure do remember your crew Brotzky. You are a very lucky guy! I was really hoping to touch bases in St Louis. Maybe next time. I got a couple of grandkids coming up that could use a little encouragement from your expeirenced crew.
Thanks Mike, I wish we could have made it to St Louis as well. It will take a team if wild horses to keep us away from Omaha! Best of luck to you and your family this year!