During that week we occasionally talked about mountain goat hunting with a bow.
On the last day, I stated that I wanted to go bow hunting for goats. Lloyd asked in a serious tone, "Are you scared of heights?" "Well, I'm not the biggest fan of ladders, but I can get used to heights" I answered.
A 10-day goat hunt was booked.
Cloudy in the lower elevations, the mountains would be socked in.
We hunted moose, bear, and did some fishing.
Here the local natives are netting salmon as they migrate upstream.
Months of training will soon be tested. My first backpacking mountain hunt.
The pace was slow, this made the climb a joy.
is this a screening question? if someone is, is this not a good choice in a hunt?
You have to go where the goats are. Lloyd has had clients that wouldn't climb down into the valleys; they weren't successful during the bow hunt.
love hearing these stories, thanks for taking the time to share!
This group caught us looking into the valley as they were cruising the ridge.
No mature billies seen the first day.
Hard to find a flat spot in the mountains. Lloyd found one that was almost flat.
First billy that I stalked.
Out of sight, we arrived at the staging area for the stalk.
I got dressed in my white painters outfit and donned my goat horns.
As I peaked around the corner of a rock wall, Mr Billy was looking my way. Dang!
I sat back and thought about my options.
The fog/clouds were rolling in and out. Maybe a thick one would roll in and I could make my move.
No dice. The skies cleared.
Trying to act like a goat, I bent over and slowly walked along the rock wall. The goat got up, and soon was heading for the cliffs.
Stalk over. Closest I got was 195 yds.
The one we stalked yesterday was gone, but the other one was bedded further down the valley.
Lloyd asked me if I wanted to go after him. (knowing another rainy system were moving into the region tomorrow afternoon and this maybe my last day to hunt) I said "lets go get him."
The day prior, he feed uphill on the cliffs. Today, we were hoping he wanted the green grasses of the valley.
It rained, snowed, sleeted, and got fogged in all in the same morning.
The billy was bedded near the top of the far green strip.
Once the fog cleared, he was gone. Did he go up and feed like yesterday? We continually glassed.
After a couple hours, we saw him leaving the valley and heading up to bed. Dang!
We had to wait another few hours till he feed again for the evening. (they typically feed three times a day).
We are staged waiting for the billy to get up and start feeding.
Man,do they chew their cud for a long time!
Once he was out of sight, we quickly moved down to where he disappeared some 800 yards away.
Once we got in the general area, I took point and snuck along the bushes searching for a large white animal with long black horns.
This went on for 3-400 yards with each knoll, thinking he must be just over the lip.
Checking each game trail looking for fresh tracks leading uphill, I found one. Is he feeding up the other side of the valley?
The search continued.
He was in this small pocket facing away from me.
I crouched behind a small pine while contemplating on what to do...You see, I've never stalked a mountain goat, nor much big game.
Sounded good on paper, but as I got to the bushes and readied for my shot, I realized I didn't have the clearance for my arrow's flight.
I crouched some waiting for the goat to take a couple more steps to clear the bushes.
At this point I was like 8 yards away!
OK...I quit looking in his eye and started hoping he would go back to feeding.
No dice! He took off running down hill. I drew putting my pin on his shoulder and shot.
I thought I hit him far back...I swore I hit him.
He stopped on the other side of the stream out about 70 yds.
Thinking I hit him with my first arrow, I drew and placed my 60 yard pin a foot high and released.
The arrow hit the rocks low near his hoof.
I never ranged him...my fault. Later, I ranged him at 85 yds.
Lloyd came over and we stalked the billy.
We glassed looking for blood. None was seen. He just stood there looking at us from about 125 yds.
Dammit, why didn't I stay behind that small tree waiting for the billy to move clear?
Everything happens for a reason...it wasn't my time.
Best of Luck, Jeff
We discussed options, and I decided to break camp, head down, hunt bears and moose.
I needed meat and my freezer back home is empty.
I got busted at 45 yards and he took to the cliffs.
Man, I like this type of goat hunting...next time I'll get him.
She wasn't too happy with us as she told us to leave from 30 yards away...she won.
Made three stalks, the weather wasn't too bad, and Lloyd cooked my Mountain House meals real good!
A big thanks to Babine Guide Outfitters, Lloyd Hooper for being a great guide, and to Edie the lodge chef. She's a real nice lady and a tremendous cook too.
I'll be back someday to hunt and fish...until then, I'll reminiscent in my dreams.
We saw 3-4 moose, and a few more black bears. One I practice stalked to less than 20 yds.
Saw a med size grizz too.
I'm make gear changes, and have notes on lessons-learned.
Also, nice to meet you in the lodge and thank you for taking all of the bad weather with you when you left!!
The pleasure was all mine meeting and chatting with you huntmaster.
The hunt took place the last couple days of Aug thru the first week of Sept.
It rained all but two days. Weather was a factor, but I'm not all that good at hunting.
Sometimes I smell the flowers more than I should and don't concentrate on the hunt. It's all good.
Well, it sure makes for some great photos, anyway!
Well done, Congrats.
Best Wishes, Jeff
- Wool socks that are easy to put-on/off to sleep in. - More Propel drink mix - Carry blunt and judo points - Buy Kuiu bino harness - Tape foot before leaving truck - More baby wipes - Don't need fleece vest - Don't need merino wool baselayer bottoms - Wear a watch (I kept asking what time it was) - Use a four-arrow two-piece quiver (modified one I had). Starting this wt deer season, I'm using this quiver. No more removing quiver in stand UFN. - Buy only a goat tag. Then if successful, go fishing.
I weigh everything that I planned to use on this hunt. Not all wool socks, baselayers, etc weigh the same.
There's world-class steelhead fishing going on in the Smithers, BC area every September. First half fish are fresher and fight harder. Second half of Sept there's more fish. It's catch and release. Next time, I may book some flyrod steelhead fishing along with hunting.