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Just another Babine goat hunt
Well I'm at work and bored stiff. I guess guys don't want to use building materials when the wind chill is below 0. Oh well can't say I blame them.
I did another goat hunt with Babine Guide Outfitters this past August. I wasn't going to post the story because I made a marginal hit on a goat and had to clean him up the following day with the guides rifle. Honestly had no other ethical option other than using his rifle. The rifle was brought along for a wolf and wolf only. I'm proud as hell to get the goat even if I finished him with the rifle. I feel like Jack and Lloyd spend a lot of money to advertise on Bowsite and I should give them credit for all they do. If the rifle thing offends you then please just exit now as I don't want to debate it.
When I returned from my 2012 goat hunt with Babine I knew I would be returning as soon as I could convince my wife to let me book again. After begging and pleading for a few weeks I got the bright idea to see if she would like to accompany me on this hunt. She loves to fish, enjoys hunting whitetails and backpacks with me. Well she took the bait and said to book the hunt. Yeeeeeehaaaw! Here is her first buck. Not too bad for a south beach Florida girl.
Familiar story :) Bring it on..."Jack" might be the one offended for calling him "Jake". ;)
My training routine for this hunt was much different than the first hunt. For my first I did months of insanity, weight lifted, ran and backpacked my but off. The hunt was hard but I felt great. Problem was it beat the crap out of me. My feet and knees ached for months after. This time I just put a 70lb pack on at 5:00AM each morning and hiked for an hour before work. Then after work her and I would put packs on and hike for 90 minutes or so each day. The hunt this year was more physical than the first but I still felt great. No more running or insanity for this guy but I was slightly worried about how she would do.
Brett, go ahead and tell your story. It's bloody cold here and I am in the mood to read a goat story. And I could give a rat's behind how you had to follow your shot up. You no doubt made an ethical decision based you your opinion.
I love goat stories. Let us have it!
Good catch Corey! Got it fixed
It's C-O-R-Y...I'm so sorry...Now that we've had our spelling lesson for the day you can get on with the story. I love that place...
When we arrived in Smithers Jack asked me if I mind that he brought an apprentice guide along. I agreed it would be a good idea just incase he and I get into any hairy situations. It also brought a sense of comfort to Mellissa knowing she would never be left alone or put out of her comfort zone. Jack told me it was the younger brother of Rick, another one of Babines guides. Knowing the kind of person Rick is I knew Daniel would be great.
So the first day we had an hour or so drive to the trailhead, then an hour drive on the ranger through some tight, overgrown with willow trails. Picture 4 adults, all with packs, one traditional bow and arrows, and one rifle stuffed into a Polaris Ranger. Poor Daniel drew the short straw and had to ride in the bed with all the packs on top of him.
We started hiking mid to late morning. After a few miles we stopped for a snack and drink. This is the last place to get water for several miles. Mellissa is doing great so far. No complaining whatsoever.
Look familiar Kory;) I had to do it
I was kinda worried about the weather forecast for this hunt. Quite a bit of rain and pretty cool temps. Luckily for the hardest part of the hike it was pretty nice out....not too hot, not too cold. Once we made it into the alpine the weather turned to crap.
And no those aren't her boobs you pervs! It's a bino case under the rain jacket.
A wife who likes to hunt AND doesn't complain? That's a keeper for sure!
(Does she have a sister? :) )
We put a lot of miles on the first day and saw quite a few goats but they was all a long ways off. I didn't tell the wife but I knew the plan was to go after these goats the next day. It was going to require some miles, serious elevation gain and the route up would probably push the wife to her comfort limits.
Lloyd built this shack years ago and had it flown in with a heli. Didn't look like much but it felt like a four seasons that night. It was nice to dry some clothes out and have a meal out of the constant rains and cold temps. After we started unpacking some stuff for the night we realized between Jack, Daniel, myself and the tents left in the shack, we had 5 tents to use for this hunt.
After waiting in the shack for an extra hour or two for the rain to pass the next morning we finally got going. Our "trail" would require us to skirt the mountain to the left until we passed the far lake. Then cross the bog area and it would be up the mountain on the right and hike a knife ridge for a mile or so to where we saw the goats earlier. I knew this climb would really push Mellissa.
Gotta go for now. I'll try and finish tomorrow.
Great story so far Brett!
You must be one heck of salesman to talk your wife into coming along...
Korie and I were going to take our wives on a hunt but then we realized we'd be staying at the Ritz and it would quickly morph into a shopping trip:)
I definitely remember that "hill" in the background. I think I shot my goat in that shale slide! Never made it to Lloyd's cabin as the goat got in the way between us and the shack. Great stuff...
Marc,and our wives thought the Hilton in AZ for Pope and Young was "roughing it"...
Looks like the same area I killed my goat with them. That little shack was more than welcome during a hail storm!
Tick Tock... Only a few months to go and I'll be hiking some of those same hills!
Brett, great timing on the thread. We are all probably getting cabin fever at this time of the year. I am looking forward to hearing (and seeing) all about your trip. Thanks for sharing.
The hike over was like walking through a maze. The "tangle foot" made many areas impossible to pass. One time we had to bushwack into the heart of tangle foot and Mellissa slipped and landed flat on her back. She was fine but it was so comical to watch her try to stand up, with her pack on, in the middle of this jungle. We all got a pretty good laugh out of it at her expense.
This was shortly after her slip.
A few hours of navigating the tangle foot we arrive at a nice flat spot to set up camp. After getting the tents set up and eating some lunch we made a plan to bust up the mountain and try to make a stalk on some goats. This is her face when Jack told her about the climb ahead.
To the far right of this mountain is where we spotted 7 goats on earlier in the day.
We unloaded any unnecessary weight and only took the essentials needed for an afternoon hunt. Just before we started the hike up we checked to see the location of the goats. They was is the same general vicinity but now there was only 6 goats in the bunch. Jack was pretty sure the one missing was the largest body of the group.
Heading up. The goats are to the farthest right of this picture.
For you Kifaru guys.....the gun bearer also makes a great bow sling.
She's all smiles in this pic but I could tell she was getting very nervous. In no way was she ever in danger but she had never been on anything like this before. Jack and Daniel did a great job of keeping her calm and relaxed.
After a long haul we finally made it to the top. The weather for the climb was nice and cool with no precip. But that was about to change.
We started the hike along the knife ridge when some nasty stuff blew in. Visibility at times was <50 yds. But we kept going knowing that the storms have been coming and going rather quick.
The storm cleared after 10-15 minutes and we made our way closer to the last location we saw the group of 6. We slowly moved toward them glassing every nook and cranny but just couldn't turn them up. Someone looked down at the bottom of the mountain and there they were. Same elevation that we started at and not 500yds from our tents. As we was climbing the mountain they headed down for some water. After glassing them for awhile we come to the conclusion they was nannies and kids. Now we needed to find the 7th goat....the one Jack thought was a billy.
We made it past the nannies and kids trying to turn up the lone goat. We spotted up a pile of goats on some distant mountains but they was another days hike farther in. I do believe it was Jack who turned up a lone goat at the very bottom of this finger. With all the scrub cedars for cover this made for a perfect area to stalk. Only thing was it was getting late and we did not want to go off the mountain in the dark. The plan was for Daniel and Mellissa to stay on the right side of this canyon and watch with the spotter. Jack and I would take off and try to get within range for a shot. Jack told Daniel if we're not back by a certain time to take Mellissa, knowing she could struggle with the downhill, and start the long hike back to camp. Jack and I had to hike up the hill for quite a way and then start down the finger.
We did check this goat out to make sure he was a billy. After a quick check with the spotter we knew he was a good one. Not sure how good he will show up in this pic but this was at 60x from where we left Daniel and Mellissa.
Great story and pics, keep it coming.
The weather looked horrible before we started the stalk so I left the camera with Mellissa.....regret that now because I could've got some great close ups of this goat.
Jack let me take the lead and we was quickly within 100yds. After we made it to a thick patch of cedars not 50yds from the goat a nasty storm blew in. It was now snowing and sleeting with high winds. This took Daniel and Mellissa out of the viewing completely.
Jack and I huddled down discussing some options. The wind was mostly in our favor and made for great cover sound. I crept as close as I could go and peeked up to range the goat. I got a reading of 30yds.....to far with the recurve. So we snuck around the backside of the brush trying to get closer and took another reading of 40yds. Crap! When I was taking the reading Jack poked his head around and the goat saw something. This made for a long stare down in freezing temps. He finally looked away and we crawled back to the 30yd spot. It was now past the time we agreed on that we needed to turn back. I told Jack I'm going to try and go through the brush. I figured with the high winds it could hide the noise of my rain gear on the brush.
I took one arrow and started into the chest high brush slowly. At times I could still see the goat. Half way into the brush I slipped on a wet root and fell flat on my back. I just laid there for a couple minutes hoping he didn't hear me. When I got up he was in the same spot, still bedded, looking away. I took another range from here and got 24 or 25 yds. I need to get to 20yds for a shot. I was able to get through the brush and crawl into a depression.
I knew this was going to happen once I made it into the depression so I took a couple deep breaths and tried to calm down. I was frozen and the anxiety wasn't helping the shakes much but I managed to gather myself and rise up very slow preparing for the 20yd shot. As I started to rise and draw my bow at the same time the goat quickly turned his head. I rushed the shot some but the arrow was off. I remember the arrow fluttering some from the wind and then the impact was 4-5" back from what I wanted.
He quickly jumped off the ledge and into the cliffs. Jack came running down with my arrows to see if we could get a follow up shot. As we peeked over the edge there he was looking at us. His mid section and hind leg covered in blood. I grabbed another arrow and launched a hail mary 50-60yd shot. The arrow looked and felt good, tracking for a perfect shot but fell just under him by an inch.
"When I got up he was in the same spot, still bedded, looking away. I took another range from here and got 24 or 25 yds. I need to get to 20yds for a shot."
The adrenaline had to be pouring out of your ears at this juncture!!!
Great stuff Brett!
After he disappeared around the cliff Jack and I went running trying to keep a visual on him. The terrain he was heading toward was not good at all......thick pines amongst cliffs. We looked for an hour or so, probably seen another 20-30 goats, but couldn't turn him up anywhere. We decided it was time to make the long hike back to camp.
I was soaking wet, cold and dejected. The long hill warmed me up quick but I was now feeling the exhaustion from the hard day and not looking forward to the hike back. I was very worried for Mellissa knowing she would be scared to death climbing down the mountain in the bad weather. All this was really wearing on me and honestly made this the hardest time of the hunt for me. They say to be mentally prepared for hunts like these and boy are they not kidding.
I knew she was in good hands with Daniel but I really wanted to be there for her when she started down the mountain. Jack and I did catch up to them at the very top. We filled them in with the so-so results and began the trek down to camp. We put every layer of dry clothes on we had and had a quick bite before bed. All of us were hurting on dry clothes at this point. I was down to one pair of dry base layers and a dry puffy coat. It probably took me a couple hours to stop shivering that night. Coldest I've ever felt in my life.
Great story so far. keep it coming!
We woke up to a cold but finally clear sky, which was badly needed with this group. Brave Mellissa said she would stay back in camp for the day and dry all of our clothes out for us. Everyone knew, including her, that what we had in store for the day would be out of her comfort level.
Jack tells me to leave everything, including my bow and pack, in camp and he and Daniel will bring their packs with all the climbing gear and supplies we will need. I agreed to leave the bow, what would the odds be to get within 20yds again, but not my pack. If we find the goat there is no way I could watch them pack all the weight.
You had your hottie wife with you and you were cold? Dude them must have been some cold temps! Great story! Mike
The plan was for Jack to head down the right side of the canyon and Daniel(rifle carrier) and myself would head down the left rim. We would stay in contact with Jack every 30 minutes by satellite phone. Daniel and I made it down to where we last saw the goat and started to glass into Jacks side of the canyon. At the very bottom of the canyon we spotted a lone goat. It was a good billy from what we could tell but we could not see any blood or injury on him. We quickly called Jack and told him to stop that we found a goat and was waiting to see if it was injured.
Watching the goat, he would get up, re bed and even take a bite of grass. I was almost convinced this was not my goat but he wouldn't show us his left side....the very bloody side Jack and I saw after the hit. After some time he finally turned and showed his left side. Defiantly him. Blood from mid rib the whole way back to his hind leg and down the whole leg. How was this goat living, let alone we saw him eating!
We called Jack to let him know we found it. After describing to him where the goat was bedded and the condition of the goat it was decided that he needed put down now and no chance of hiking the whole way back to camp and get the bow. So I took the rifle from Daniel and asked him the yardage. He said he left his range finder back at camp, as did I. So we call Jack again to see if he could range us from across the canyon because the goat is on about the same level as he is. Well Jack left his back at camp also. So I guess 500yds, Daniel said 400yds and Jack thinks its only 300yds. Oh this is great, a rifle I'm not familiar with, unknown yardage and one hell of a difference in elevation.
Luckily the goat was lying in a vertical position....meaning I could put the cross hairs on his head and let the bullet fall into a vital hit. So I took the shot, instantly he stood up and walked into a cluster of trees. I could barely see him but could tell he was wobbly. After at least two minutes he started rolling and rolling and rolling. Probably 300-400 yds. This was a good thing because I'm not sure we could've got to him without the climbing gear where he was.
This is the view from where I took the bow shot and the rifle shot. He was near the very bottom of this canyon. Not far from the yellowish trees.
Man this awesome. Would love to do this hunt one day.
It took Daniel and I several hours to navigate our way to the goat. It was almost out of my comfort level at times but we did it.
It was an absolutely beautiful setting with the stream, goat, cliffs, waterfall, and the sun finally showing itself. Pictures can not do it justice. We spent a good 3 hours capping, deboning and just bs'ing about the hunt. Daniel was learning a lot on this hunt, Jack let him do some skinning and meat cutting.
Luckily all our packs were light, before the meat and hide, because the hike up and out of this canyon was brutal. Hundreds of yards of loose shale that made it very hard to gain ground when you slid back with every step. We finally made it back to camp just before dark. Mellissa was so happy for me but I was also very happy to see her. I hated to leave her at camp but knew it was the best choice. She said her day was good and she dried all the clothes out, took a nap, read some book and enjoyed the scenery.
If your wondering about the hit. I've watched goats bed down before and have always seen them "buckle" their knees and drop straight down leaving their spine straight up. Well this goat apparently was laying like a dog with his spine over. I could only see the upper half of his body because of a hump in the ground blocking his lower half and didn't realize this. I could tell a shoulder outline and aimed just behind it. Like I said before the shot was not perfect and back several inches. It ended up just missing his spine, exiting out on the same side of his body, through the paunch and then through his hind quarter, thus all the blood on one side only. Hard to believe he was still moving around and eating. Jack said as he was eating grass it was pumping right back out. Goats are tuff buggers for sure.
I think we all slept well that night after the long couple days we had. We woke to a beautiful cold frosty morning.
Looks like an amazing adventure Brett, glad you took a beautiful goat. Thanks for sharing your story and I wish you the best in 2016!!
Looks like a great hunt and Billy!!!
Keep it rolling!
Cool Congrats! Thanks for sharing!
We knew the hike out would be rough also but we took our time and made it out in decent time. I'll show a few pics along the way.
The highest point directly over my shiny dome is where the goat was.
Great pics, congrats on a beauty goat.
I had a bear tag but really didn't care one way or the other if I got one. I think Jack and I went out bear hunting two mornings and did put a stalk on a nice bear but lost track of him. Now it was time to do what she really came for....fishing. We boated and took a truck to this remote camp the guys just built. The camp was very nice and the rainbow fishing was awesome. We cooked up the fish on an open fire and ate every last bit of them. I helped Jack a little bit hooking up a temporary water supply.
Having a beer with Jack, Lloyd and Shawn in the new lodge. They did a great job with the lodge.
Well that's all I got. Didn't get near as many quality photos as I wanted, mostly because of all the rain the first few days. It was another great hunt that I'll never forgot. I want to thank the whole group at Babine for everything they do. I've now meet three of the other guides for them and I would have no hesitation to hunt with any of them. Any questions about the hunt feel free to hit me up.
Brings back memories for sure Brett. Congrats...Great story. I spent a few nights in that remote cabin fishing and bear hunting. Beautiful place.
Very nice!!! A bucket list trip for me. Thanks for taking us along
Awesome hunt and story Brett. Thank you for sharing! Congrats on a great goat! This hunt would be a dream come true!
Great thread. Congratulations on your goat! Your wife is a trooper. Not sure mine would be up for that!
Sounds like a great adventure in beautiful country. Nice recap and congrats on a great goat!
Cool thread. Grats on your goat.
Thanx for taking the time to post it.
I forgot to mention meeting Rich King aka bowonly from Bowsite while at Babine, good guy and another traditional archer. He posted a cool story on bowsite about his hunt after his return from Babine. Too bad you had to get going Rich, would've been great to have some more beer and tell some stories.
Too Cool of a thread Brett!
Happy for you and your Mrs.
I'll toss this over to my Mrs Email as she really enjoys these hubby/wife adventures.
Thanks for sharing
Good luck, Robb
Brett, thanks for sharing your hunt. I believe there are three parts to each hunt to enjoy. The pre-hunt with all the anticipation, the hunt itself with the experience, and finally, the post-hunt with all the memories. Thanks for letting me re-live some memories and hopefully giving some guys some anticipation for a future hunt!
By the way, your photo of your goat reminds me of another thing we had in common from our hunts. Both goats ended up in the creek! My video has Lloyd telling me I got a beautiful billie. I told him "of course he is beautiful... He just had a bath!". Great times.
Awesome awesome story and pics!!! CONGRATS on the a beautiful goat! A similar experience happened to me on my goat hunt and got it done with a rifle. It doesn't tarnish the achievement at all for me! Thanks for sharing!
Great story and even better adventure! Congrats
Excellent hunt and write up...
Great job writing this up. Awesome story and great billy. Congratulations!
Great story, awesome pictures and one heck of a wife great job!
After the wife read my story she said I forgot the best pics of the trip.
Thanks for the great story Brett. I really enjoyed taking you guys out!!! Jack
I've heard the fishing is awesome (in addition to the hunting)!
Congrats to all involved on a great BC adventure!
Thank you for sharing your adventure with us. I very much enjoyed it and so did my wife who loves to go on adventures with me. I feel so lucky to be able to share so many hunts with her.
As I'm approaching my hunt with Babine, I just reread this thread again and it was just as good the second time thru!
Looking forward to September!
Great recap. I had missed it earlier. Congrats!!
Great story, a hunt with Babine for goats is on my bucket list!
very nice write and pictures, congrats on the goat and great trip,.