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Goat hunting options.
I've been researching my options for bowhunting Mt Goats. With guided hunts being pricey and the long odds of drawing a tag in the lower 48 difficult, what other reasonable options can a guy check into? Are there any landowner or governor tags available? At my age ,I most likely won't live long enough to draw a nonresident tag. I thought I'd post this to see if I had other options that I wasn't aware of. Thanks in advance for any information that you can share.
Suggest considering Babine Guide Outfitters.
Note the prices are in Canadian dollars. Currently, the US dollar is very strong.
I will second that. I had a great and successful goat hunt with Babine. I realized waiting on a tag, even though applying to several western states every year, was a losing proposition. Don't wait too long to do a mountain goat hunt. Alaska or BC are your best bet, it just requires a guide and money.
If minimum cost is your main concern, your best bet is go to BC. You could do a combo hunt for additional species, for even more cost efficiency. Governor tags (Utah, Colorado, etc) probably not a good option, since they sell for 2-4 times what a guided Mt Goat hunt will cost.
How much are you hoping to spend?
SBH, Looks like I'll need to spend $10,000 plus for a good quality hunt. I was just wondering if there might be other options that I wasn't aware of.
Do now while you can still climb the mountain
Mountain Goat hunts have gone through the roof....as are all guided hunts. The sucky part is 10 years ago you could get one for $6500....today our wages are the same but the hunt costs #13,000. Figure that one out.
Franklin, You are right,prices are soaring. Bou'bound, The clock is ticking, I'm not getting any younger.
Take a look at beaverfoot outfitters in SE BC. Great small family run operation. Being its not a costal hunt weather is usually better also
Definitely recommend Babine! First class operation and they understand bowhunting. Would go back in a heartbeat.
g5smoke21, I have spoke with Beaverfoot Outfitters. They are at the top of my list as of now. The chance of better weather, means more quality days of hunting. I have also contacted Babine.
Greg, i hunted end of Sept into October. Only had 1 day of rain showers on day 10 of my hunt, but i got my goat on day 1 and spent the rest chasing bears
Echoing Cajunarcher - Jack & Lloyd @ Babine are top notch. Hunted with Jack this past August and was fortunate enough to take a mature billy on our second day (at 4 yards - lol). Someday I will figure out how to post the video. Russell makes a great point - CAN$. Good luck - looks like you have a few quality options.
“Mountain Goat hunts have gone through the roof....as are all guided hunts. The sucky part is 10 years ago you could get one for $6500....today our wages are the same but the hunt costs #13,000. Figure that one out.”
Franklin I have figured that one out. If the above is true then the demand for a goat hunt has doubled while the demand for whatever services you provide to earn a living hasn’t increased at all over the Last decade............. which may say as much about one’s career choice and path as it does hunt price inflation. It's all about supply and demand. There is plenty of demand for goat hunts at 10-15K which is validated when seeing which outfits can book you immediately vs. waiting for out years.
They have 'Con'servation tags in Utah and there are some Mnt. Goat units offered.
With the tags going thru Non-Profit Org's, they can be a Tax Deduction ~~ check with your Acct. for sure.
Not sure if this is in your wheel house or not?
$15k---$20k is about what they go for......
Good luck, Robb
I would just book with a good outfitter and go! Another recommendation is Bolen & Lewis.
I would look for a cancellation hunt, maybe get on the list with a few outfitters you are comfortable with.
If the price of an guided hunt seems high to you, you can mix givernor's tags from consideration.
Also Lonesome Dove Outfitters in AK is another good choice. Right now an 8 day hunt is going for $12,500.
I'll second Lonesome Dove in AK. Hunting with them in 2012 for goat. It was an amazing trip!
Another thought on Babine. They do not require a bush flight to reach the hunting area. When looking for a goat hunt, understand those that require a bush flight can be weather delayed. You can end up losing several days or even your whole hunt by being grounded. It has happened to some hunters going to coastal BC in particular. They have lost their whole hunt to weather and end up paying for one of the most expensive goat hunts without ever going out in the field. Check the outfitter's policy on weather delays. Find out how many days you could expect to lose and how frequent they have delays.
Thanks, bowonly, I hadn't thought about the loss of an entire hunt due to weather delays.
In goat hunting you should plan on losing days even when not flying because visibility in and of itself Can cost you two or three days. It can become an absolute lost cause. I’d be leery of hunting them in less than 10 days booked for that reason. 20-30% of Hunt is always at risk. Could be more.
an outfitter this year had two bowhunters in and the first 6 days they literally did not bother to leave the lodge due to weather. Day 7 broke clear and with time winding down they set down the bows and took guns on day 7 (day 1 in field) and each tagged a goat.
You could lose days to fog with no precipitation or even to forest fire smoke on otherwise clear days.
if you can’t see to the top you’re not really hunting ........you’re just sitting In the wilderness waiting to hunt.
Greg, Wyoming is offering a new ‘type A’ goat permit in this year. WGFD has been concerned about its expanding goat population and these permits are being awarded in hopes of knocking back both the population and its range. The permit costs $2,177 and the probability of drawing one of these tags as a nonresident should be very high. There's even been talk of these permits being guaranteed in 2019 but we probably won’t know this for sure until after the application deadline has closed. Most of the goats on these hunts will be found in wilderness areas requiring you to hire a guide or be accompanied by a Wyoming resident. Also, these ‘type A’ hunts are not considered high population hunts. If you can spend a good amount of time on the hunt and focus on the high elevation areas bordering wilderness (if you go DIY), this may be an opportunity for you to consider.
I agree with boubound on having enough days to hunt and being nervous about a fly in only. If I wanted to make sure it was a bowkill I would want to backpack in and live as close to the goats as possible for the whole hunt, never going back down. Then you can quickly capitalize on just one sunny day. Agree with Matt too. Get on a cancellation list, stay in shape and practiced with your bow and it will happen for relatively cheap. Call the outfitter 2 months before the season and again a month before. Not email, so many outfitters ignore their emails especially just befor the season, as dumb as that seems.
Heck, if Jake can do it with a self bow at 73...
Here is a Link to the con-Org tags.
You will just have to scroll thru them to find the Mnt. Goat tags/units that are offered. As it list All tags/species/units available for bidding.
Good luck, Robb
Reading threads like this make me incredibly grateful I can hunt mountain goats every year OTC in several parts of BC and draw a relatively easy to draw area within a 2 hour drive from home. The Kootenays hold some great goat hunting and beautiful country. A bit cheaper priced hunts and I'd do one without hesitation. That being said, those NW outfitters like Babine, Bolen Lewis, Wildcoast, etc hold some giant billies that are truly magnificent and some very dedicated bowhunting guides as pointed out. Goats are amazing critters to hunt!
If anybody is an Alaska resident and is interested, I am looking for a partner or two or three to do a DIY goat hunt on Kodiak Island approximately (days flexible) March 10-20. I reserved the USFWS Deadman Bay Cabin, and my group kind of bailed on me. I still want to do the hunt, but not alone. With shared costs, the hunt should be around $2500. It is a 2 goat unit. I plan to rent an inflatable raft and motor as well to be able to look for goats up and down the bay. Is anyone interested?
Aaron, sounds like fun! Good luck and shoot straight! If you have a DoD CAC card, rent your inflatable through the USCG base and it’s very reasonable compared to the other options in town.
webber44 - Good luck! I stayed in the Deadman's Bay cabin a few years ago when I did a blacktail hunt, it is very comfortable. Had a brown bear stroll 75 yards away one evening. I see you are from Alaska so this is probably obvious, but be careful in the raft. We rented one and it was almost a death trap. When we left one morning the bay was calm and beautiful, by the time we needed to head back to the cabin, there were 2-3' rollers and wind. We took on some serious water and at times were in serious jeopardy of going under. It was scary as h@ll.
Thanks for the advice. I was just going to rent the raft/motor from Kodiak Camps. There are usually a bunch of goats up above the cabin, but I think there are some other groups that are going before me that may run those locals away and I want to be able to get to other goats that might not have been harassed. Just need somebody to go with me now...
Popular spot for sure. Any place with a cabin will be. .
The price of a raft from Kodiak kamps is nuts for an inflatable with motor, I’d swim before I paid that. But, people rent them I guess.
Yeah, $100/day...pay to play I guess. I don't have the DOD card you referred to so I guess I can't get that option with the USCG?
What does it cost to buy a used raft rig, fly it to the hunt and back out. Then resell used for 90% of what paid? How does that compare to the rental fee?
It would probably be an option if I had the time and ambition to try it. The convenience value of the rental is attractive for many reasons, but you make a point with the idea...shipping anything in Alaska is really expensive!
I honestly don’t know it’s worth the effort to buy and resell for one hunt. Shipping a raft and motor to/from anchorage even is a couple hundred bucks. Multi use gear is worth buying and transporting for sure but if it’s one time use I’d rather rent there, even at $100/day
Lonesome Dove Outfitters is a tremendous operation and Dennis Zadra is as good as they come. I highly recommend them and you could book the hunt 3 years out--then budget in what you need to do to make it happen--both physically, mentally, and financially.
Book it now and burn those ships!