Contributors to this thread:
Climbed up, but can't climb down!!!
How many goat hunters have been in the horrible situation where you climb up a rocky face/chute that looked challenging, but doable. Then you come to a point where you can't go any further and decide to back down. Then you quickly realize you can't back down!!! If you have never been in this situation, it is a pretty hopeless feeling that is hard to put into words.
I was trying to describe this feeling to someone the other day and I couldn't find the words to decribe it.
I have been in that position only once and I will never return!
How many other goat hunters know exactly what I am talking about?
Been there....done that once Sheep Hunting, and once just hiking. Never want to do it again. Had to slide down 15 feet first time, and 25 feet the second. Luckily I had my cross country ski/hiking poles with me and used them as sort of a brake. If I had not been able to stop it would have been over 1000 feet down the first one and about 500 feet the second.
My life is not worth any animal to try that stuff again!
Been there once, gets the old pump ticking for sure!
Not sheep hunting - elk hunting. I hiked up the mountain in a deep fog. Toward the top the fog lifted and I was terrified. I got that 'shakey-leg' thing and controlled it enough to get over the top.
I need some of those horse blinders and I could climb almost anything...
Been there a few weeks back on a goat hunt, me and my son had to slide 300yards back down. He twisted his knee and we had to end the hunt later that day. Pure terror. Mike
Choclab: Are you posting this from the top of the mountain? If you couldn't get back down..........
Pat Lefemine's Link
Thats what I was wondering, should we call search and rescue? I've done that once hiking, never on a hunt. BAD feeling for sure.
Been there. Oh boy that is terrifying. I came very close to dying. Read down this page from an AK goat hunt in 1998.
Happened to me on a BC goat hunt. Found myself clinging to about a 4" ledge for about 15 minutes trying to figure out what the hell to do. Decided it was probably safer to climb about 30 feet of sheer cliff rather than risk going back down the hundreds of feet below. Without a doubt the most terrifying experience of my life.
Only other thing that came close was being caught out on a very steep slide, in ungodly winds, on a sheep hunt in Alaska . Standing up with the high profile of a full pack would have resulted in a long tumble into a rushing glacial river. 20 minutes of crawling using trekking poles for extra stability got me to the safety of the alders. Found out later that two goat hunters fell to their death that day in the same mountain range. Major dose of reality.
Oh yeah. Ya get those tingles that start at yer but and go right up to the back of your neck. Not a nice place to be and they get worse the more it happens.
Ed Viesturs (famous high altitude climber)
His number one rule when climbing. Getting up is not the problem its whether you can get back down that counts.
Never been in a situation like that but i can only imagine
I've been there! I thought I was gonna take off my guttering on the way down. Scary!
I had that happen in a new truck of all things. I was driving an old mtn. road that I hadn't been down before and had trouble crossing several ditches and squeezed between two trees on the edge of a pond. Then, it started raining hard and things got slippery.
I came to a place that the willows had grown over the road and I had to cut a path through them. I thought that I was close to the end of a very steep hillside road when all of a sudden the road stopped with a staight down dropoff. I didn't have room to turn around and knew that I couldn't go back through the wet uphill places I had been.
I decided to go over the side of the hill and drop down about 60 yards. The guy that was with me got out and would not ride down with me. I backup up the side of the hill a little bit so that I could get a better angle on the hill, otherwise, I would have rolled it over on it's side. I had to decide which gear in 4 wheel drive to use. Couldn't go to fast or I would go end over end and, if I didn't go fast enough I would high center or turn sideways going down the hill.
I chose 3 gear in low range. The guy with me said that I high centered but kept moving and when the front end didn't have anything but air underneath it, it dropped down and the back wheels came off the ground but barely settle back down. I was really shaking after that little ride. I will never go down that road again!!!
Looking down makes it even worse!
Good luck, robb
My mother always said I did not catch on too quick. I have been in that position at least three times and can remember the terror I felt. Four times if you count the narrow ledge over the river that ended abruptly. Somehow you forget just enough that you go back for more and remember just enough that it still scares the hell out you when you think about it.
Had it happen on a Mt Lion hunt in Utah. Had to get to the bottom of this hugh canyon where the lion was treed. Started down a route and started to slide all I saw was the big drop off at the end. Lucky I caught my footing climbed back up. The thought of having to climb back down scared the hell out of me.
I found a new route and on shaky legs made it to the bottom to shoot my lion. I will say this not an experience I want to experience anytime soon.
I am not sure what is worse....the first second that your predicament hits you, or the first step that you take once you realize that you have to do something.....
I remember on a goat hunt, we were retrieving (or attempting too) my goat. Hunting Partner looks at the guide and says "I don't see a way down", Guide without hesitation says "Bob shut the F up, theres always a way down!"
Pulled the guide aside later, asked him way he was so rough on Bob. Said he'd seen a lot of guys "lock up" with fear and found harsh words we needed to get their minds around it!
We found a way down!
Same here on a goat hunt in BC. Only way down was thru a rockchute that had no angle other than 90 degrees. Stick your hand in a crack till it stuck and find a foot hold...repeat for 2 hours. If id had a lump of coal I could have made my wife one hell of a diamond.
How many of you think a length of climbing rope and some slings would help? Probably get a guy in more trouble but better than lowering pack, bows and stuff down with your shoe laces.
Any rock climbers have any thoughts?
I'm no rock climber but my guide had a 100' rope on my Goat hunt. After I shot the goat it bailed over the mountain into a partially timbered and very cliffy area, far above a river that led to the lake our float plane had landed on.
Shot late in the day, we waited till morning to recover the goat. We crested and began following the bloodtrail, descending the back side of the mountain. We reached several areas where we had to double the rope around a tree or solid rock, and rappel down. Upon reaching the end(s) of the doubled rope, we simply let go of one side and pulled the rope down from it's anchor.
It didn't take long for me to realize we were obviously on a one way street down this very treacherous mountainside. It also didn't take long for me to realize we were totally screwed if we came to a cliff that was any higher than half that rope length!
They call that "Cliffed Out".
I am absolutely terrified of heights. What we went through on the way down that mountain was something I never, ever want to go through again.
We got the goat and despite the odds, made it safely down to the lake many hours later but looking back, we truly made a mistake and having that rope very nearly did get us into a lot of trouble.
Sheep hunting is no joke, I've been rubber-legged many times on my sheep hunts. But Mt. Goats look down on the sheep from above and chasing them can really define the term "extreme" hunt.
Never got in that tight of a pickle when hunting. Thank God. But as an SF lead climber I have found myself in that same situation in both the Western mountains and Alaska Glaciers a handfull of times. It's a horrible feeling. Even worse if you're responsible for others behind you. Especially when they look at you and ask the obvious questions. A cross between wanting to cry, scream and puke....at the same time.
Always been able to work a way out...but came close once. Fell about 30ft to a skree-slide below trying to free-climbing as the last man down. A Lot of bruising, but no bones broken, team thought I was dead. Got lucky. I think skree has more sharp angles on it than a box of broken glass. Thank God it does because it grabbed my unconscience Butt and stopped me from sliding another 20ft and off a 5-600ft ledge. Out for about 2 minutes. Patrolled for 8 more days like that...nobody bothered with concussions back then. :)
"I am absolutely terrified of heights. What we went through on the way down that mountain was something I never, ever want to go through again."
I agree Busta.
I honestly said to my self on my goat hunt..." What am I doing here?"
Dennis yelled at me a few times, saying don't look down, don't stop etc. Sometimes a guy needs a good coach :)
Goats sounds fun but you WILL come home with grey hair.
I think Jack Frost said on Miranda's recent SS video, "Never once on a goat hunt did I at some point not fear for my life."
You gotta think about coming down and can you do it and how AS you go up!
"I am not sure what is worse....the first second that your predicament hits you, or the first step that you take once you realize that you have to do something....."
Ain't that the truth!
Been there twice, once on an elk hunt and once packing out a mule deer. Both times I remember thinking to myself "You really did it this time genius." I can't even put the feeling into words other than sheer, absolute terror. The thing that I'm most proud of though is that in both situations I was able to swallow the fear, clear my mind and come up with a way out of it. The mule deer one I has crawling up out of this bowl in a chute with about 75 lbs on my back. I got stuck and my first thought was "Why did you not leave the pack and just pull it up after you with your rope?" Well I wedged myself in and tied on the rope and got the pack back down and finished the climb and pulled it up. Something I never want to do again.
My son came with me on my goat hunt here in CO. The problem started with my goat tumbling down an avalanch chute and ended up near the bottom of the hill. We decided to carry it out using the grass slope that worked it's way up near the top where we were headed. I was very tired and had to lay down for a couple of mins.. He snapped a picture of me and it captured just how tired I really was.
When we arrived near the top, we had no choice, we had to climb up about 150 yards of loose shale. He went first and I found out real soon that you do not follow someone up a hill of loose shale...it really stings when they hit you and could do some real damage if it hits you in the head.
We were sweating like dogs, he didn't have a shirt on and all I had was a T-shirt on my back. Then, it started to sleet and it stung pretty good. The big problem was wet loose shale. We slid backward quite a bit. He finally made it to the top and took his pack off. I still had about 25 yards to go but everytime I tried to get up and move I would slide back down the hill.
Finally, he came back down and took my pack and I mustered the strength to get up and started moving up hill again. I don't think that I have ever been so tired in all my life. We still had about a mile to walk to camp so I told him to go on and that I would walk at my own pace. Not easy walking and climbing at over 10,500 ft. high. I don't plan on hunting another goat in this lifetime.
This is one of the most eye opening threads of all time.
I know on my goat hunt that we hunted and "easy" area. I slipped in a snow pack on the way in and that got into my head. I really could have used DR Phil up there for an hour or two. Jack's reassurance and confidence helped me get through a couple of what I considered tough spots. One spot in particular still sticks in my mind and when I think about it I can still relive the emotions knowing we were approaching it. I never mentioned this to Jack but for the first time in my life I felt like I put myself in situations that could result in my death. While I never mentioned it to Jack, I'm certain he could sense it and see it in my face. Now, two months out, I keep thinking, I need to shoot another goat and when I do maybe be a little more picky on the routes. Thanks Jack for the psychology consultation on the mtn. I owe you one
I have a problem with heights and it isn't a laughing matter when it happens to you, but just thought about a new business venture.
Push a button and say: "Help, I've climbed up and can't get down!"
"Only the laundry knew how scared I was"
Going to retrieve my goat, I sort of knew I was getting into trouble following my guide. I made the right choice to stay behind and hunt another day. It took me a good 1.5 hrs to go a very short distance to a hill top from the chute I was in while he went for the goat. He may of been at the goat before I reached the hill. Anyway I did not get hurt, and I am here to write about an adventure of a life time. Now for the next one as planned. JJ
If you go Ibex hunting expect it. I got cliffed out a few times and the free climb down was harry.
I took a potentially ending fall this year. Walking out in the dark, down a narrow water-way, slid down about 15 feet of loose dirt, tried to arrest with an ankle- snap! That flipped me over, I bounced off my right ear, almost got it stopped, then flipped backwards off an 8 foot drop into the bottom, landing flat on the pack full of goat meat. Chewed up ear, broken ankle, purple from hip to knee on left thigh....
Spent a very cold, sore night, then hobbled out in the AM for about 3 hrs. Overall, I am amazingly blessed considering.....
Crap man... That deserves a story and a pic. Nasty..
Wow, probably did not seem like it at the time but you got lucky. Someone was watching out for you. Glad it worked out ok.
I have very limited mountain hunting experience but a few weeks ago I was hunting elk around 12,000 feet and crawled up to the edge of a few cliffs and said "I'm wasting my money on goat and sheep apps - no way could I stand up on the edge of this cliff and shoot if I had to" as I was getting whipped with 40 mph plus winds. I'm glad it's only been 3 or 4 years of applying in 4 states so I haven't lost that much money, but no way do I have the courage to hunt cliff dewelling animals.
Its called, "Up $hit Creek without a paddle".
Was scouting goats and spotted some up higher so I decided to cross a steep boulder field to move around on them for a better view.
Half way across, the rocks became VERY unstable and a few started to shift. I froze like SpiderMan on the side of a 50 story building and eventually made my way back and down.
My body would have never been found under the pile of rubble if things would have gone wrong.
Once was enough for me. Was in the Brooks for sheep and I honestly don't know what I would have done if I hadn't been able to make it out the side of the chute.
Looking down was shocking to say the least. I hadn't bothered until I got to the point I thought I couldn't go further.
I hunt the ridges of Buffalo County, WI, and Houston County, MN. Not necessarily flatland, but this thread has me petrified of goat and sheep hunting!
When I was just a little feller, I would climb up trees with big limbs. I would stop when I got scares and then I would say too myself, well this isn't to bad and then I would climb a bit higher and get scared again and repeat the process and I would get too scared to come down! Can any of you remember those days? ;>)))
Ya, been in a pickle once or twice elk hunting in sw Colorado. Side hilling over avalanche chutes with loaded packs is zero fun but makes for a good moment of reflection back in camp that night. I still think about the "death chute"!
There is ledges that animals can make that humans can't!
Seven years ago, got busted on a stalk for a goat which ran around corner ledges. In the heat of the moment, I followed in anticipation for a shot jumping from ledge to ledge only to find that I have bit more than I could chew! Sheer face cliffs in all direction and no foot holds to get back the way I came (STUCK!). Luckly there was a lone tree growing 20ft bellow the leadge I was on. Slung my arm through my bow and proceeded with my back pack against the tree to Spiderman my way to the lower ledge and eventually back to safe ground. Never again!
Paul @ the fort - you can rephrase that as:
"Up the proverbial estuary; lacking the appropriate means of propulsion"!!
(up s*&% creek without a paddle)!!!!
I can honestly say to the guys that have "been there- done that"- congrats on making it back.... I also have a fear of heights, but in different situations. I can climb a tree to 50 feet with no hesitation, but freak out on balconies at hotels that are 5 stories or more. We travel Michigan a lot and all the wonderful light houses that can be climbed, I climb them only due to peer pressure....... from my kids, lol. I get the willies just watching some of the hunting shows where you more testically enhanced guys are traversing peaks with sheer faces on either side. Everyone will say no animal is worth a life, but a bunch of guys sign up for the challenge!
I know a lot of sheep hunting nuts but no goat hunting nuts. I hunted sheep 5 times and goats 1 time the last time. In the country i hunted compared to goats sheep hunting was a walk in the park. I wouldnt go on another goat hunt if it was free. One time was plenty.
Been there done that. I was with a friend who drew a MT tag in the 80's. We climbed all day, All Day, and we shot the goat thirty minutes before dark. Full Body caped and bone out along with a 80's Camera and deck we started down. Couldn't go down the way we came. So we climbed up and around only to discover there was no around. IN the dark! Staying was not an option as bad weather blew in. So we held on to the heavily roots short shrubs on the cliff and went hand to hand down the side with 100 lb. packs. I remember praying with every grip, praying for my baby daughter while I still had a breath left in me before smashing on the rocks below. About 50 feet down with almost zero visiblity the next shrub de-rooted and I fell. It was one of the calmest moments of my life. It took about 10 minutes to hit bottom or so it seemed. And I only fell about 5 feet and then hit a steep grassy slope and slid about 50 yards. But I will promise you that there has never been a longer five feet in history. Several hours later we reached our buddies and horses to find that they had left for camp and left us a pack mule, a draft mule, and a horse with a thrown shoe. The mule, 99, was an old skidder mule that stood about 6 feet at the shoulders and had no sense of humor. But she could out climb a goat. I loaded my pack on her, grabbed her tail and told her get to the barn. She guided me in the darkest dark that I have ever seen safely to camp where I thumped the guys that left us without a flashlight. I lost it when they said they were afraid they would get lost and need my food and that they didn't know what would happen if their lights went out. So they took ours.
GOOD TIMES, some of the best. Thanks for making me remember it.
I really want a goat one day. I can fly a plane upside down, can spin it like a screw for 1,000 feet straight towards the earth, but can't do balconys or edges straight down. This thread makes me nervous.
Altizer thats a good story .
I think anyone who has spent anytime at all in the BIG mountains chasing critters has found themselves in this predicament. That moment you realize that the next move you make could be your last and your legs feel like they aren't going to hold you up is the worst feeling ever. I was a much younger and fearless man at the time, but Never again will I put myself in that position. Just had a little palpitation thinking about it!!! lol
When you see this and the adrenalin is flowing you can do more than you think. I love goat hunting. I killed my Montana goat in 2007 and have been on three other hunts with friends since then. I hope another friend draws next year :)
While I had my biggest near miss this year, I drew a tag in Washington 3 yrs ago. Ended up hunting in November with my brother up high. Screwed up a stalk on a great billy, ended up shooting a 16 yr old nanny later in the day I would have bet $10K was a billy. Anyway...Couldn't find my goat after I shot! I saw the impact, only 100 yrds away. The goat was standing on a little ledge when I shot, and was gone when I recovered from the recoil. Worked over there (took about 15 min due to the steep terrain) and couldn't find the goat anywhere!
Finally peeked over the edge, saw a rub in the needles on a ledge about 10 ft below. I crawled down there, looked over and my goat was upside down, 80 ft below me in a cedar tree! Good luck! To add to the joy, my brother had busted up his knee and hobbled to the bottom a mile or so away. I was by my self. I climbed down to the goat, sliding and literally hanging off trees that were growing out of the cliff. Once I got to the goat, it was too steep to do anything but hang on, so I belayed the goat with as much rope as I had in the pack. I straddled the tree, and anchored to hold the goat. Problem was I ran out of rope and the goat was free hanging off a ledge. Sucked to watch it tumble out of sight. I had to do that twice before we got down to fairly level ground and I could take care of the animal.
Again, thank you Lord! I am alive. If I had fallen there, it would be all over and probably would not have been found.
I still love it.....
the neat thing is all the posters in this thread survived. i feel badly for the families of those not posting.
Personally I love goat hunting or just climbing up where they live and watch them up close.
I've been called a mountain goat per my folks and hunting friends many times. I must be one of those rare individuals because heights don't bother me.
I've been in some pretty tight spots but just kept going.
They're pretty amazing animals to watch and hunt. It's not for everyone that's for sure!
It's definitely not for the faint of heart. I'm not really afraid of heights, but I do get vertigo up there sometimes and have to keep my nerves in check! I found the more I hiked in rough terrain the easier it got.
I went on my first (and probably last) goat hunt this fall. In my area the terrain was either good hiking or you needed ropes, not much in between. One side of the mountain was steep talus/grassy slopes and the other side was cliffs. I stayed on the good part, mostly because I was solo and I've got a family to think about. I managed to get lucky and got one on the good side, he never made it back to the cliff for refuge. I figured if he did I would just hope he fell all the way down and maybe my taxidermist would have to rebuild the horns! I know people have shot them in that area and never were able to retrieve them.
It still wasn't easy though, had a buddy with me to help pack out and we each fell 2-3 times on the way out. Could've gotten banged up pretty good but we made it with just some bruises and scrapes. We were at almost 14k elevation so packing out 90+ lb is exhausting.
I put myself into a bad situation sheep hunting a feww years back.... looking nack it was really stupid! I was side hilling some shale and came up on a decent cliff that i saw some sheep goup and over ans I started up it as it was only 30 feet high off the shale. about half way up I got stuck, frozen realizing I couldnt go up or down as this was happening some sheep were above me breaking rocks loose that were falling right past me.....I evenyually picked my way down the 15 or 20 feet. I know that doesnt eem high but it felt like i was a million feet up! Ill never forget the nervousness and anxiety that came over me! It really was a scary situation! I havent hnnted goats yet but get up in their country often and take pics and it always amazes me of what theyre capable of! there are some great rock climbers in the world but not even the best out there compares to the worst goat climber!!!! lol
It's just not that hard to find yourself in that position! I've done some rock climbing and down climbing is extremely difficult! My son is an experienced rock climber but he and a friend, also an experienced climber, were ready to spend a cold night on a small ledge at several hundred feet in the Tetons and they were just hiking. fortunately a group with a rope hit the ledge with enough time to get down before dark. They rappelled down 100 ft. to where they could go on foot. He said the feeling was one of complete helplessness coupled with anger over being so stupid.
I shot a goat in 2010, been there! crazy heights!
I shot a goat in 2010, been there! crazy heights!
Not hunting, but I've been in two really bad situations hiking.
The first was hiking in the Eastern Sierras with my brother. It was after an "el nino" year and we were hiking over labor day weekend. Everything was pure snow.
We went up from Convict Lake and about 2K ft up, we were walking on the south ridge about 700 ft up from the creek which was flowing at a 45 degree angle downhill and we were walking on essentially a glacier that was feet thick. The slope we were walking on was at points more steep than 45 degrees.
We were wearing only in-step crampons and didn't have poles.
All the sudden, my brother slipped and fell on his rear and instantly was gone...sliding downhill, he reached what seamed like 50 mph in seconds. At the bottom of the gorge was the creek which was about 30 ft wide and running 4 to 6 ft deep and on a 45, it was moving really quick. Shortly after where he was headed, the creek went under snow for about a mile... sure death.
I watched with horror as my brother slid on his butt feet first across the ice-hard snow to what I thought was his death. I even sat there imagining how I'd have to tell my family what happened.
About 100 ft from the creek, it leveled out a bit and my brother dug his crampons into the ice and came to an immediate stop and stood up all at once... I still to this day don't know how he did it.
It took him an hour to climb back up to me.
For the rest of the climb, we tied a rope to each other... I guess so that we'd both die if one of us fell.
The creek on the way back a week later was uncrossable and we had to cross the frozen part of the creek over the ice...that was hairy too...
The second time I was hiking alone on my mt on a very sheer area of Tacquitz mt called Lily rock. This area is actually the rock that the very first technical rock climbers practiced on in the 50s before tackling Half Dome and El Capitan in Yosemite. Google the rocks and you'll see its about 2500 ft mt with a 1k foot rock that is really rugged.
Anyways, I was trying to take a shortcut off the rock to the south to get back to the South Ridge Trail that leads to my house and when I started down a section of granite that was about 200 ft, it started gradually at about 45 degrees. I had on really rubbery soled boots so it gripped the granite really well and I just walked down with baby steps.
Well, at a point about 75 ft from the bottom, it dropped off gradually to about 80 degrees. It was so steep that with my boots on the granite, toes pointed down, that I had to be careful if I turned not to hit my shoulder on the face and knock myself off. To this day, I don't know how my boots stuck to that rock.
When it got to the point where I didn't think that I could go another inch because of the face, I just sat there for about an hour since I figured I was going to die and I might as well extend the last remnants of my life out a bit, cursing myself for making such a stupid decision.
After about an hour, I decided that I would continue on and when I fell, I would hurl myself towards a snow bank that was a good 20 ft from the base of the rock/cliff. It looked to be a good 3 ft thick and I figured that I might have a chance of not dying if I hit it... at least it sure looked a lot softer than the granite boulders all around.
I started off again, about 1/2 inch steps at a time, each step thinking that this was gonna be it and I would slide... I'm really surprised how far I made before I finally slid off, a mere 30 to 35 ft off the ground. I slid and launched myself just as I had planned so that I could control my fall. I fell just how you're supposed to, landed feet first and rolled, landed right in the snow.
To my surprise, I stood up without even a scratch or bruise. My exposed skin was kinda burned from the snow, you know how it gets like when you drag your hand in snow trying to slow yourself down on a sled.
I walked home and for sake of worry, never even told my wife what had just gone down.
It wasn't goat hunting but I was caribou hunting in Alaska in the late 90's and had separated the whole day from my dad. The area we were in had dried up so I wanted to see if I could find any and said I would be back around dark and left at daybreak. I climbed up this knife ridge and was following the spine for a good while when I came to a rock slide that was quite a drop and very steep. Knowing I either had to cross the slide or hike back a long ways the way I had come I decided to cross. I was clinging to this rock slide and got about 1/2 way across with no problem when I started thinking that if I slipped I was DONE! I had no radio contact, certainly no cell phone, no one knew where I was, and no one was due to check on us for days and I doubted anyone would ever find me if I ended up hundreds of feet below smashed on the rocks! All of a sudden I started climbing straight up at a ridiculous pace rather than the sidehilling that I was doing and involuntarily! I did not make a conscious decision to do so. Realizing this was really dumb I FORCED myself to sit down, eat a sandwich and relax for a bit. After that I was fine and continued on my way making it across the slide and back to the knife ridge. I assure you that I did not go back that way, though! Only time I have ever freaked like that and it was not a fun feeling.
In my 20's and 30's I was fearless. I got stuck a couple times and had to invent a descent. Once I slid down about 50 yds. of skree, but none of those times actually scared me. I never thought the areas where I found sheep were bad; where goats hang out is much worse. The times I've been scared were when I was out after dark during a white out or once when a Grizzly got to arms length before deciding to walk away. Now in my 60's I'd still sheep hunt, but I don't think I could get in shape for goats.
I am like Gerald Martin been a couple times helping friends and can't wait to go back. I've been cliffed out before but if you are patient and think you can usually find a route around. I shot my sheep with my dad laying across my knees while my upper body hung over the ledge to shoot straight down on them. I think that thrill leads me back. I really do hate when darkness is approaching though and your pressured for time thats about the most uncomfortable for me.
"I shot my sheep with my dad laying across my knees while my upper body hung over the ledge to shoot straight down on them."
There's a fine line between having balls of steel and stupidity.
That's just this side of the line on the "balls of steel" side.
Like said above I've been on 6 sheep hunts and one goat. Will never go on another goat hunt.
My goat died on shale and when I tried to move it all the shale 10 feet around us started to slide down hill and not too far from a drop off. I was thinking of giving up and leaving the goat, BUT it took me 13 years to get the permit. I was alone. If I got the goat up 20 feet I could work on it. Took me a scary 50 minutes to get it the 20 feet. Once I got it processed I couldn't go up the way I'd come, so I had to side hill it. This might have been worse than the shale. I know I wouldn't be writing this if I didn't have a 50 foot rope in my pack. AND being young and stupid, I went back for a second trip (thought it would be much easier, because I wouldn't have my bow). The second time was worse with a bigger pack - almost all meat. The rope saved me again - it's still there. But I really needed it for a second spot. Slid a bit, but I survived. Had I known how "good" the goat meat was going to be - I'd have never gone back and I don't care what anyone thinks of the ethics of that.
"Had I known how "good" the goat meat was going to be - I'd have never gone back and I don't care what anyone thinks of the ethics of that.Bowmania"
No worrys of criticism from me I've "been there done that" and got the gray hair to prove it! I'm just glad I made off the mountain. Mike
It helps big time to practice in the rocks , its a whole diff world , different muscles come into play , balance is the key . Plus with bow in hand and pack on back , many are asking for trouble !
I've done three mountain goats hunts and guided another (for my wife). You will find yourself in the position of not knowing how to get back down sooner or later. Several sheep hunts have left me in the same situation, and I'd like to think I have learned from these experiences, but some others would disagree....
I learned a lot about it on a sheep hunt many years ago in AK. Three different times in the space of a week I actually thought I was going to die. After crossing one particular cliff face, with a sheer drop of over 1000 feet, and using an ice ax to carve footholes and handholds to get across, the two of us sat down and had a talk about the stupidity of our route, and how important the sheep really were. I took a fall down an avalanche chute later in the week, and managed to roll to the side of the chute into a boulder field to stop my descent before going over a 500' cliff rapidly approaching. I was black and blue from my calf to my shoulder from slamming into the boulders, but incredibly thankful to be alive and still hunting. The sheep from that trip brings back fond, and not so fond, memories every day I look at the mount. And my knees get just a little wobbly even sitting here at the keyboard.
Unfortunately goat hunting is usually worse. I also shot my mountain goat in AK with my guide laying across my legs to make sure I wouldn't come off the mountain at the rifle shot. We were both wearing crampons to enable us to stand on the near vertical hillside, and coming back down with a load was infinitely more difficult.
I will close with a picture from my wife's goat hunt. Feeling the responsibility for someone else in this situation, who you care about deeply, adds an entirely new dimension. We spent almost 8 hours navigating about 600 vertical feet in this country to retrieve her goat, without ropes or any technical climbing gear. We spent a lot of time talking about nearly every step, and she talked me out of a few of the riskier routes I proposed. In the end, when we finally reached the vehicle, she cried for hours in relief at having accomplished such a feat.
While most of us don't cry, the sense of accomplishment and living life to its very fullest is a large part of the allure to mountain hunting. I don't need the gut wrenching fear of being stuck without a way to get back down to enjoy my mountain hunts, but realize it will likely happen again sometime if I continue spending so much time on mountain peaks. And while I don't look forward to these moments, with a cool nerve and a steady grip I fully expect to get out somehow, God willing.
Still can't get it right.... one more try.
Bill, that last photo has me puckering a bit.
Let me get this straight, you took your WIFE there?
wish i had an emoticon for puking my guts out...
complete dismissal of sheep for me....
Busta, Yes, that is my wife in the pictures. She was a real trooper and did a fantastic job. The funny thing is that I am afraid of heights, and she really isn't. Go figure.
We worked pretty hard to take a reasonably safe route through those cliffs, but there is nothing inherently safe about this country. During the really hairy parts I didn't have any extra hands for a camera.... Bill
Finally got around to showing some of the pics from my "adventure this fall" (yes, pun intended. Pretty typical mountain hunting. By the way, my Dad is 66 y/o
Sorry for the double. Climbed up and over, finally waited for the goat, then made a move down on him. Steep country
"We worked pretty hard to take a reasonably safe route through those cliffs"
I think it's safe to say that "reasonably safe" and "those cliffs" are mutually exclusive terms here Bill.
No offense but your wife has bigger balls than me!
Dad made the shot, everything was loose on this hill side
11 2/8th inch Billy. Likely the #1 goat ever in Oregon
Started down at dark, got a bit dicey in places crawling down the waterfalls. Several places, I leaned up on the rock and acted like a ladder so Dad could crawl down. This picture was taken at dawn after spending the night in the middle of that wash after my fall.
this is where Dad said enough and crawled back up and out the top. These water falls had been pretty scary at night. Come to find out, we were only about 150 yrds from it opening up and the rest was no big deal. Took a while on the busted up ankle, but what the heck- everybody survived inspite of ourselves and it was a great adventure and trophy.
I said it earlier, but seriously, this is one of the most eye opening threads ever on the Bowsite...
Would make a great sticky for all newbs looking for info on hunting goats....
Ever read the book, No Way Down, I guess it's all a matter of how high you want to turn the adventure knob.
There's always options.
And here I thought I was alone and did not want to talk about it.
Hollywood I just watched the youtube video you posted, I'd love to do something like that but I don't have the b@lls. That would stop my heart! Mike
Bill in MI,
You couldn't have said it much better...Very eye opening!
I used to want to go on a goat hunt...then I read this thread.
Great pics guys, I knew it would be a tough hunt, but these pics show how tough it really is.
Great pics and information. This is why I love bowsite.
An experienced rock climber once told me that rock climbing is all risk management. The problem is that poor risk management subjects you to natural selection.
Wow, have I been there. Bow strapped to my back, holding on for dear life, granite crumbling under hand and foot. Sucks!
I did a lot of rock climbing in my younger days. Its a double edged sword. If you listen to the common sense side it will keep you out of the bad situations. If you forget your not 20 and bullet proof, well it will get deep in a hurry.
Im going on my first goat hunt in September. Cant wait to visit the high places.
Yes it gets crazy at times but man do I love it.
After reading the thread about being scared in the woods after dark I thought I’d bring this one back up too cause it was a pretty hair raising thread back then!!
Great find “Eagle eye”. I see why you chose your handle:)
living life to its fullest
living life to its fullest
This thread reminds me of Someone who didn't make it down.....be careful in the mountains. I met his dad the other week and its the ones we leave behind that pay the price. Roy Roth fell to his death Oct. 4, 2015 while sheep hunting.
Since this thread started several years ago, I've since gone goat hunting. In order to recover my goat, I had to circle round about 1/4 of the mountain and ended up on it's knife ridge which had a nice goat path pressed into the top. The problem was, I had to choose one of the three chutes to go down on that side and while I'd picked the least steep one when I saw it from the other side, when I was above it, I ended up picking the steepest one.
It started off as scree and turned into cliff. I got to a point where I got myself stopped and still had about 200 feet of cliff below me, but I was running out of scree to slow my "controlled slide." I sat there for quite a while just enjoying breathing and the view before taking the plunge. It was hairy, but I was able to find handholds and footholds the whole way down, but much of the time, they was no more than an inch of rock that my fingertips and boots were clinging to. And then 1/2 way down, it started to drizzle and got all the rocks wet.
If I hadnt had my larger pack to be able to put my bow, quiver, and trecking pole into, I couldn't have done it. It was 3 points of contact the entire way down. It was hairy, but obviously I made it.
Most of us lead rather ordinary daily lives. If I was parked near the front of the grocery store and the entry required I scale up a steep wall for 30' where the rock was crumbly then I would turn around and go to a different grocery store. Now, change the scenario so I am on a mountain ridge and I barely pause to work up that steep wall. Is easier to climb a wall than get down safely though, so I take a few seconds at the bottom to make sure I can see a path down once have gone up. Stay safe out there.
Glad I got my goat. I have doubts I'd attempt another climb like that again. As difficult as it was for me, my hunting partner said it took his guide nearly six hours to talk him to start moving to safe ground. "Petrified," was the word he described his experience.
Well, goats and sheep were likely never really in my future to begin with, but they are definitely off my to-do list now. Yikes lol
Great bringing up this thread again. I found my post from 2012 and it brought those memories up like it was yesterday. Somethings you never forget!
Hell, I can do that on a stepladder, and have ! I got no business climbing a mountain.......
Not a goat hunt, but last year elk hunting I just had to see what was on the other side. Getting to the top scared the piss out of me and there was no way I was going back down that side. Cost me to have to walk 12 miles to go around back to the vehicle.
It was well worth it cause I found the elk.
I did that in Yosemite in 1979. Stupid! climbing rock in converse and cutoff jeans. Climbed past my skills then couldn’t go down. Had to just calm down for :10-:15 then slowly go sideways and down. Now that I know better. I watch some of those goat and sheep tv shows and think they should be roped up and how ignorance is bliss. It looks like some guides are border line irresponsible with clients. I would think for what they charge to guide they would know some basic climbing and rappelling skills.
Two years after I last posted I got into the exact described situation. I ended up carving foot steps into the rock with my walking stick, laterally to get me to a spot a couple feet over where I got lucky and wiggled upward and luckily extracted myself. It was skinny for awhile there!
Nothing hair raising on either of my Goat hunts but Sheep hunting I have had a few. Shot my Dall straight down a cliff face with my guide holding a rope tied to my belt. Got cliffed out while scouting Sheep and it was pretty hairy backtracking along the ledge. Had rocks roll out from under me a on a very steep slope and did a head first flop but lucky was able to grab a brush with one hand and stop myself as I hit the ground.
I got that t shirt in 96 when I drew a goat tag here in Mt.. I have my last will and testament somewhere around here on a hi 8 tape..
Only good thing it sparked an interest in climbing and over the next couple years I learned the ins and outs of climbing gear etc.. if I get another opportunity I'll be better prepared... Although, the years have made me a little wiser and I probably won't get myself in such a predicament... I hope..lol
Jack Frost told me once in his trophy room “If goat hunting were easy they’d call it sheep hunting”
I never got into scary moments on my goat hunts so far. My scariest moment was hiking in the Chugach early spring. I forgot my axe but went up anyway. Didn’t realize until I hit the summit how screwed I was trying to get back down. Still get the jitters thinking about it. Pretty certain I’ll NEVER put myself in that situation again. I’m much more calculated in the mountains now, even if it means calling it off for the day.
How do you get yourself in these situations? This is something I want to avoid!!!
Some of these I read, I would have to helicoptered off the mountain..
Two things scare the daylights out of me the most. One being lightning and the other is heights. I can scale trees up to about 20 feet and feel comfortable, but balconies, cliff edges and the like scare the crap outta me. I have come up on cliffs that i wouldn't get 20 feet from on my feet. Id belly crawl over to them to see the view which is usually enough to make my nerves start getting to me. Was in a rhino side by side a buddy was driving and when we got to about 40 feet from a cliff edge i told him to stop, he didn't, I bailed off at about 15 mile and hour and hit the dirt. he laughed and laughed. Nothing like the helpless feeling when someone else is in control. You goat hunters have balls! Happy your here to tell your stories.
Been there, done that. Two goat hunts, two falls, one dead goat. Never again.
It was one of the best experiences of my life. However, my size 15 feet are not ideal in goat country. In addition, I have the ability of a turtle. I don’t particularly like heights to begin with.
I would suggest it is the most dangerous animal to hunt with a bow and arrow. I have hunted lion, grizzly bear, Cape buffalo and nothing has been more frightening than my goat hunts.
I don’t know the numbers but I bet a similar number of people die each year goat hunting as ones hunting Cape buffalo.
Has never happened to me, but I have had nightmares about being cliffed. Guess I am just to cautious when awake to get myself into that situation.
Not Goat hunting, but I almost went over backwards while packing out an elk. My pack was probably 80lbs or so, and I was probably 20' up a small section of almost vertical rock face when my hand slipped, and I started to go backwards. It is terrifying, I am not sure how, but I managed to grab a small bush in front of me and it held! I slipped quite a bit , but managed to get my foot holding. I was very scared there for a bit, thought I was a goner. I made it to a small flattish spot and sat down for about 10 minutes to calm back down.
I believe this was the thread that crossed goat hunting off my bucket list. I don’t believe I am smart enough to avoid a bad situation chasing a critter.
Oh man, heights get my blood pumping. The video of Roy Roth and Cam Hanes hunting when Cam is holding a dall sheep as it dies right on a shear drop is insane.
I tend not to find myself around cliffs often. But will hike deep and realize how far I have to go out in the dark. I imagine that cliff feeling is that x1000
you can see the goat in bottom of the photo, small white dot in the gully
you can see the goat in bottom of the photo, small white dot in the gully
rappelling in to get to it
rappelling in to get to it
Chasing goats ten years ago in the Needles actually got me interested in climbing, which is now right up there with bowhunting for me as far as obsessions go, I was able to help a hunter in the same unit recover his goat last year with my rope skills.. skinning and quartering a goat while hanging off of a rope is definitely one of the more interesting mountaineering challenges I've faced...
I have never been cliffed- out and do have a fear of heights, maybe that explains why I wont let myself get there to begin with. Last year hunting goats in BC I did have several occasions where walking along the razor ridges with steep chutes below on either side puckered me up pretty good though. The worst part of that experience happened after I shot my billy. Being about halfway down one of these chutes in a scree field the wind became our nemesis. For the hour and a half it took to skin, cape and breakdown the goat we were continuously on the look out for dislodged rock screaming past us. The wind would start the smaller debris at the ridge line down the slope and as it made its way along, larger and larger rock would dislodge and head our way...i spent the majority of the time just watching and calling out when to duck for cover as sometimes melon sized rock would fly past us. I was never so glad to get off a hillside as i was that day. Very scary!!
Goat hunting is no joke...i killed my goat early on and wanted more....i asked my guide and outfitter to got across a certain trail i knew of just to say i did it and it was a no go...unless a tag was in pocket...packing a goat down with snow is a whole nother level...first few feet i slid a good ways until i figured it out....oh to be back...i wouldnt give up that experience
Many years ago a buddy and I were elk hunting in the Gila in NM. We had a couple of dang good mules that would go anywhere you pointed them. Well we were sidehilling around a cliff face and decided to drop down a bit to get around some sheer faces. Bad plan. We had to keep working our way down because there was no way to slide a mule back up those bluffs. Took us most of the morning to work our way down to the bottom of the canyon. When climbed up the other side above the trees where we could see what we just came down I would have bet someone a $1000.00 dollars it couldn't have been done. Looking at it from that side I wouldn't have even tried it a foot. I wish I had some pictures but it looked very similar to some of the other pictures in this post.
Also remember this goat hunter in Colorado who, iirc posted here on bowsite before falling to his death.
Luckily when my teenage son drew the same unit for his goat hunt last year we didn’t get in any dangerous spots
Best thing is to take a mountaineering course in the off season and learn how to use ropes, snap links and anchors. 120' ropes can save your life.
Just came across this thread and thought about my goat hunt last fall. Yup, I know that feeling. Seeing as my goat was never recovered, I still have the desire to bag one...but thinking about goat hunting makes me a little queasy in my stomach and weak in my knees.
Sounds like me on a ladder! Hate heights!
I think after reading this thread it may be ground blinds and whitetails...
In 2000 I was elk hunting at tree line and got half way across a avalanche chute when I “locked up” set down for 15 minutes to talk myself into going back the way I came . Saw a group of 9 goats across the canyon and it was steaper than the side I was on. Decided right there to NEVER goat hunt! But I do love to read about it. Greg
There are two goats on top of the knife ridge in the right 1/3 of this pic, not sure if you can zoom in to seem them in this format though. They go up, down, and across some wild, steep stuff...
goats are crazy. their easy places are safe from predators and then they decide to go to hard places for no incremental security. I think just because they can.
On one hunt, we had to use ropes to get down. On another hunt, we had an ice storm blow in while we were glassing in a spot that we should never have climbed to. The pucker factor was off the charts on the trip back down! Even the guide was puckered. In retrospect, you wonder how you could get yourself into that position, but it easily happens when you are more focused on the animal.