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'22 Mtn. Goat w/ Babine Guide Outfitters
The quest for this hunt started at the 2020 Dallas Safari Club convention when I met Jack Hooper with Babine Guide Outfitters. I was there looking for an archery mountain goat hunt and Babine Guide Outfitters was on the short list. After 2 unsuccessful bow hunts for mountain goats (I killed a goat with a rifle on the last day on the first hunt), I had an idea of what I was looking for that would give me the best opportunity for success. My first mountain goat hunt was in Southeast Alaska. The weather was really bad and greatly limited the days we could hunt. My second mountain goat hunt was in Northeast BC. I had great weather, but the area was very steep and made it almost impossible to get close enough to the goats for a bow shot. I liked Babine’s area because it was further inland than Southeast Alaska, so the weather should be a little better. But a lot of the mountains were still more like coastal mountains than the steep Rocky Mountain range in Northeast BC. I also liked that their hunt doesn’t involve a float plane flight. So, if the weather is bad, you can bear hunt around the lodge. This sure beats sitting in a tent for days at a time in the mountains waiting for the weather and visability to improve. It also didn’t hurt that Babine had so many great reviews and write-ups on Bowsite. I originally booked the hunt for September 2021. Covid restrictions caused my youngest daughter to postpone her March 2021 wedding and it was moved to the first weekend in October2021. Lloyd and Jack Hooper were nice enough to let me reschedule to 2022, thus saving my 36-year marriage.
I arrived in Smithers on September 9th. Lloyd met me and another mountain goat hunter at the Smithers Airport and drove us to the lodge. Once there, I organized my gear and met my guide. My guide Gavin, was only 23 years old but was mature beyond his years, polite and a very experienced bowhunter. We went for a quick bear hunt after dinner but didn’t see any bears.
The next morning, we loaded our packs into the truck and drove to a trailhead. Once there we rode in a UTV for several miles down a forest trail until a creek ended the ATV trail. The first several miles of hiking were fairly easy. The trail was an old road that was formerly used to access a mine. The brush was really thick and overgrown in places and shale slides had covered the road in a few places. But overall, it was a smooth trail with a gradual grade and way better than most mountain trails. We had to leave that trail for the last 1/2 mile or so and that section was really steep. And the boggy ground and full packs made for a tough climb.
Once we made it to the alpine, we immediately started seeing mountain goats. We set up camp so we would have a view of the mountain where the goats were expected to be. This mountain was fairly flat at the top with lots of grass for the goats and ridges and trees for stalking cover.
After setting up camp we went to a place to glass and inventory the goats in the area and possibly find something to stalk. That afternoon we saw around 15 mountain goats. About an hour before dark, we saw 2 billies on the top of the mountain. They were about 300 yards away when we first saw them. One was mature and the other was younger. We got to around 80 yards, then the wind swirled and scared off the goats
That night we were treated to a full moon rising over the mountain range before calling it a night.
Love this! Can’t wait for the rest!
Gav is a great guy, a great guide and a superb archer. So I know you had a good time!!
Looking forward to pics and story!!
Looking forward to this. Really makes me want to go back for #3.
The next morning, we were up at first light and was treated to a beautiful mountain sunrise.
We immediately started seeing mountain goats from our camp. The weather was great. Clear skies and not too cold. In fact, the weather was great the entire time we were mountain goat hunting. For a mountain goat hunt it felt like cheating.
That morning we saw 3 mature billies feed across the top of the mountain and eventually they all bedded down in the same generally area. Gavin recommended we find a spot near the where the billies bedded and wait for them to come back out to feed. That morning we saw 28 mountain goats.
Good stuff, so far. Keep it coming!
We walked to the top of the mountain and found some cover on a high knob to glass and wait for the goats to come out to feed. After a few hours of seeing nothing, we went to look at some bedding areas on the other side of the mountain top. We didn’t see anything there, so we headed back to our glassing knob. When we got to our glassing knob there were 4 billies feeding about 200 yards from the glassing knob. 3 were shooters.
The goats were moving to the right while feeding so we ducked below a ridge to get out of the goat’s sight and moved parallel to the goats. When the goats started feeding in our direction it looked like they were going to cross at a low spot in the ridge we were hiding behind. We set up for the goats to cross the low spot. The goats eventually fed into the low spot. The closest goat was one of the shooters. When the billy passed at 56 yard and offered a quartering away shot, I took it. The shot looked good, but the goat ran out of sight. Gavin had taken a video of the shot with his phone, so we had confirmation that the shot looked good.
Video of shot. This is my first time to post a Youttube video so hopefully it works.
We decided to give it 45 minutes before looking for the goat. We killed some time around the shot location, then decided to go back to the glassing knob and give the goat some time to expire. When we got back to the glassing knob Gavin said, “look, a dead goat”. The goat had died mid-stride less than 75 yards from our glassing area. The goat had gone about 150 yards after the shot. With the relatively flat mountain top, it died far from the cliffs that can turn an archery mountain goat hunt turn into a nightmare. The billy was 6 years old and had 8” horns.
I used a Vortex 100 grain steel broadhead and it did it's job.
Congrats, Ken! Sounds like things worked out perfectly for you. Like you alluded to, seems like lots of times, goats seem to end up tumbling off a cliff, or making it to some hell hole before dying.
I'm doing a Centerfold shoot for Playgirl next month. For Turn On's I'm providing one answer: Mountain Goat write-ups on Bowsite.
Hell of a hunt and a beaut of a goat. Congrats man! Thanks for taking us along!!
Congrats! Very cool getting the shot on video. My son and I will both have our quivers full of Vortex broadheads while in Alaska in two weeks! We are hunting Sitka Blacktail but hopefully we will at least see some goats from the plane.
Nice write-up. Appreciated the read
Great goat, congrats!!! Thanks for sharing.
Beautiful billy goat!! Your thread makes goat hunting look easy, but I understand it isn't;)
Congratulations.. Looked like a great shot for sure... Thanks for sharing..
Congratulations! Hell of a great hunt!
Congrats Ken! My hunts with Babine are still some of my favorites.
Awesome! Great photos and write up. Congratulations on a beautiful billy.
Very cool stuff!! Congrats!
Congrats on your goat, and thanks for sharing your story!
Congratulations, love to see Vortex in action!
What a beautiful area! Congratulations
Very cool. Enjoy your success and thx for posting
Congratulation!! Thanks for a great post. Babine Outfitters are a excellent outfit and loved hunting with them last year. It was a hunt of a lifetime.
What a Dandy---->
Congrats on a your hunt and Billie. Thanks for sharing! Enjoyed the read.
Very nice goat. Well earned. Congrats.
Congrats, definitely an animal on my list for future hunts.
Wonderful writeup,congrats for the hunt ,and thanks for taking us along.
I had some out of town guests so I hadn't finished the write up. Here is the rest:
Since it was only 3 pm when we finished breaking down the goat, we decided to pack out that evening. With the long daylight hours this time of year in BC, we planned to make it to the UTV by dark. After a mostly downhill hike with heavy packs, we made it to the UTV right at dark. My pack was heavy for a 60-year-old man, probably 70 pounds, but Gavin carried most of the meat and his pack was crazy heavy, well over a 100 pounds.
The next several days were a blur of days spent looking for bears, shooting grouse and eating berries. The bears were mostly in the clear cuts. The great weather that made the goat hunting so nice caused a lack of wind that made stalking bears in the clear cuts with all the downed timber and dead branches difficult. I missed 2 longish shots at bears over the next few days. The first miss came when I ranged a bear at 42 yards in the brushy ditch on the side of the road. When it stepped into the road, I thought it was the same distance and didn’t range it. The arrow went under the bear and Gavin told me the bear was actually 52 yards. The next miss came when I had a steep uphill 37-yard shot. I think I rushed the shot because the bear was walking in and out of the brush. Whatever happened, I missed.
We went to Babine’s cabin across the lake for one overnight. The cabin is only a few years old and has 5 bedrooms. It is really nice for a remote cabin and has beautiful views of a lake. I even got to see a Grizzly when we crossed the Babine River. It was nice to be able to watch the grizzly from the safety of a bridge.
The last 2 days we hunted bears with Lloyd’s hounds and Karlian bear dog. Both days we had some long chases with either 2 separate bears or the same bear twice. The bear or bears were smart and took the dogs for 5- and 6-hour chases where the dogs ultimately lost the bears or were just worn out. Even though we were not successful, watching hunting dogs work is something I have always enjoyed, and Lloyd’s dog were enthusiastic and hardworking.
I cannot say enough good things about Jack and Lloyd’s operation. They were very organized. All the staff were hardworking and great people. They were responsive to my questions before the hunt. Their area has a lot of mountain goats and is very conducive for bow hunting mountain goats. Gavin, my guide was an excellent bow hunting guide All of the pictures I posted that were taken through the spotting scope were taken by Gavin. I had a great time, and they were able to fulfill my dream of killing a mountain goat with a bow. I will definitely be back to hunt with them.
Thank you for sharing the write-up. That is a beautiful picture with the goat, you and the mountains. The mountains make up for the guy holding the goat ;).
Beautiful goat ! The ones I have laid hands on had the customary rock rash from those long tumbles. Yours is just gorgeous. Wild blueberries are hard to beat. Congratulations and thanks for letting us in on your trip. Jim
What a beauty! Congratulations!!