Sitka Mountain Gear
A Billie's Wheelhouse
Mountain Goat
Contributors to this thread:
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
brettpsu 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Pyrannah 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Pyrannah 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Ziek 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
moosenelson 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
elkmtngear 29-Sep-16
CurveBow 29-Sep-16
Toby 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Chief 419 29-Sep-16
brettpsu 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
loesshillsarcher 29-Sep-16
GhostBird 29-Sep-16
huntmaster 29-Sep-16
HuntingAdict 29-Sep-16
RymanCat 29-Sep-16
Bou'bound 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Chasin Bugles 29-Sep-16
Jodie 29-Sep-16
elkmtngear 29-Sep-16
Russell 29-Sep-16
Drop tine 29-Sep-16
HUNT MAN 29-Sep-16
Bowboy 29-Sep-16
bowonly 29-Sep-16
Buffalo1 29-Sep-16
From: Russell
29-Sep-16
This adventure started back in January 2015 during a week of trapping with Lloyd Hooper of Babine Guide Outfitters.

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.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
View of Babine Guide Outfitters base lodge.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
Lloyd getting some gear ready.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
The rains came soon after I arrived in Smithers and stayed for nearly a week.

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.

From: brettpsu
29-Sep-16
Awesome! I'm ready for a good goat story.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
The weatherman was finally correct on the forecast and we head for the mountains.

Months of training will soon be tested. My first backpacking mountain hunt.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
Lloyd put it in first gear with frequent breaks, we climbed for a couple hours.

The pace was slow, this made the climb a joy.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
These two guys were my best friends.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
We took a break and I mentioned the hike up the mountain was easy. Lloyd laughed and said the mountain is up in those clouds (or something like that).

From: Pyrannah
29-Sep-16
"Are you scared of heights?"

is this a screening question? if someone is, is this not a good choice in a hunt?

From: Russell
29-Sep-16
Pyranna,

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.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
Lloyd inspecting some goats.

From: Pyrannah
29-Sep-16
understood, i can tell from the pics how steep the drop offs are, but i also know pics do not do it justice....

love hearing these stories, thanks for taking the time to share!

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
First day we saw 16 goats.

This group caught us looking into the valley as they were cruising the ridge.

No mature billies seen the first day.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
A basic camp with million dollar views!

Hard to find a flat spot in the mountains. Lloyd found one that was almost flat.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
Here's a good example where my "best friends" were invaluable.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
Some local mountain flora.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
Don't eat the shrooms!

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
We watched this billy for two days. He would stay high feeding and bedding in the same general area.

First billy that I stalked.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
The climbing was tough. I didn't feel comfortable as the rocks were loose and wet.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
I swear Lloyd is part billy goat!

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
We climbed and hiked along the base of the rocks for 1500+ yards.

Out of sight, we arrived at the staging area for the stalk.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
Because this goat was bedded in the wide open, I wanted to try my "goat costume."

I got dressed in my white painters outfit and donned my goat horns.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16
I got within 195 yards and ran out of cover.

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.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
We hiked back to camp. This trail sucked but was the best route out of the valley.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
Next morning we once again hiked to the area we found two billies.

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."

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
We hiked down to an area we could glass the goat and wait for him to getup and start feeding.

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.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
This was our view for 6-7 hours.

The billy was bedded near the top of the far green strip.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
The fog would roll in and stay for while. One time the billy got up and fed.

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).

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
During the cover of fog, we moved a few hundred yards closer.

We are staged waiting for the billy to get up and start feeding.

Man,do they chew their cud for a long time!

From: Russell
29-Sep-16
Finally, around 430 the billy finally got up and slowly started heading down to the valley. Dang! We just might get a shot at him on this last evening.

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.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16
Finally, as I stalked along the bushes, I saw the billy feeding in the bushes not 20 yards away.

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.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16
I decided that I needed to climb up the bank to the bushes and make my shot.

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!

From: Ziek
29-Sep-16

Ziek's embedded Photo
Ziek's embedded Photo
Good story. Your 3rd photo reminded me of our 2015 trip through the area. We stopped to take some photos and watch them "fish".

From: Russell
29-Sep-16
Good catch Ziek!

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
In the next few moments as he took a step or two in the right direction, his head went up and I was looking in his left eye! Dang....I was in his 'wheelhouse" and he just busted me.

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.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16
Not knowing how long he would stand there looking at me, and Lloyd telling me before the hunt started, "if you can get a second arrow in the goat, do it."

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.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
The billy went beyond the trees and was up on some nearby cliffs.

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.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
Lloyd said he was a good one. Unscathed and a bit more wiser, the goat climbed the mountain as I kicked myself in the butt.

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.

From: moosenelson
29-Sep-16
AND!!!???

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
Once again, we climbed that trail out of the valley and back to camp.

From: elkmtngear
29-Sep-16
GREAT pics and commentary...keep it coming!

Best of Luck, Jeff

From: CurveBow
29-Sep-16
Great story and pictures! I don't think its quite over yet though, is it? :)

>>>>-------->

From: Toby
29-Sep-16
keep going!!!!

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
Bad weather was forecasted to arrive the next day.

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.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16
I forgot, but two days ago we stalked the same billy as he feed in the evening.

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.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
The beginning of a five hour hike back to the truck.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
Fresh water was readily available and sure tasted good.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
I had a wolf tag, but this is as close as I got. We did hear some one day while bear/moose hunting; Lloyd tried calling them in.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo
A day or two later while hunting bear/moose, we interrupted this sow with three cubs.

She wasn't too happy with us as she told us to leave from 30 yards away...she won.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16

Russell's Link
That's about it...my first mtn goat hunt was a huge success...I had a great time.

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.

From: Chief 419
29-Sep-16
Thanks for sharing your pics and story. It takes time to put one of these reports together. Sometimes the animals win. Did you see any moose or bears?

From: brettpsu
29-Sep-16
Nice write up Russell. Goat hunting is addictive. You'll be back before you know it.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16
Thanks!

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.

29-Sep-16
Thanks for the recap!!

From: GhostBird
29-Sep-16
Thanks for taking us along... nice report.

From: huntmaster
29-Sep-16
Nice Recap Russell enjoyed following along!

Also, nice to meet you in the lodge and thank you for taking all of the bad weather with you when you left!!

From: HuntingAdict
29-Sep-16
Awesome story Russel, I'm booked with Babine for end of august 2017, what dates did you goat hunt? I can't wait to get up there!!!

From: RymanCat
29-Sep-16
Fantastic coverage its like we were there. What an experience. Your blessed and was safe that was a big plus.

From: Bou'bound
29-Sep-16
great hunt if fully appreciate what you experienced. awesome in all regards.

From: Russell
29-Sep-16
Thanks all.

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.

29-Sep-16
Great hunt and write up, thanks for taking the time! Any insight on a lesson or two learned?

From: Jodie
29-Sep-16
Very nice, thank you!

From: elkmtngear
29-Sep-16
"Sometimes I smell the flowers more than I should and don't concentrate on the hunt".

Well, it sure makes for some great photos, anyway!

Well done, Congrats.

Best Wishes, Jeff

From: Russell
29-Sep-16
Let me see: Lessons learned and notes for next time.

- 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.

From: Drop tine
29-Sep-16
Great story, thanks for sharing.

From: HUNT MAN
29-Sep-16
Thanks for posting. Sounds like a great hunt. That fishing sounds fantastic !! Hunt

From: Bowboy
29-Sep-16
Great post thanks for sharing.

From: bowonly
29-Sep-16
Thanks, it really brought back memories. I think I may have hiked up that very stream climbing out of that basin last year. I know I recognize the campsite! Too bad you didn't get a goat, but it sounds like it was just the first chapter in your goat hunting story.

From: Buffalo1
29-Sep-16
Awesome story and man did you get some experience. Your day will come !! Thanks for sharing your adventure.

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