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Upcoming goat hunt with RVO
Hey guys, so I've got my first Mtn Goat hunt coming up in October with Robson Valley Outfitters (mountainhunt.com) out of McBride, BC. Does anyone have any experience in this area hunting goats? I've read most of the threads regarding gear lists, weather conditions, training etc but if you guys have any input for this area or outfitter I'm all ears.
I hunted with beaverfoot in 2017 and killed a 9 inch Billy on day 1. It's about 300 miles south of the area you are hunting. Really pretty country. That area typically has better weather than coastal but terrain can be pretty steep. Get in shape and you will do great. Hunting October you should have some snow to push the billies down. Good luck!
I live close to there and have hunted goats there as well. The country is steep and often brush choked until treeline. There are quite a few access forestry roads though.
Goats in that country have a very tough life, so don’t expect a coastal class goat. I would suggest any P&Y class goat would be a good one and don’t hesitate to chase it.
October can be winter in the high country around Mcbride.
Day one! That’s awesome. How far was the shot?
I was expecting the terrain to be milder in that area and less steep than other places but I guess not.
Hey ambush, how’s that grizzly ban going with the locals?
Bowj , the grizzly thing really sucks!! The area you’ll be hunting has a good population and they will be about done with the salmon streams and slowly heading up to hibernate.
Hopefully your guide has a rifle with him and you have a green light on any and all wolves.
I’m also of the opinion that outfitters should include a black bear for the price of the tag and small processing fee. We are over run with the calf killing buggers!!
Hey Bou! I’m head to toe Kuiu aside from a stone glacier pack and Kenetrek boots.
How’s the weather that time of year? The historical data seems to put temps in the 40’s.
The days will be beautiful and you will have a blast with whatever nature deals you. Visibility is the bigger piece. If you can see you can hunt
The guide will carry a rifle and Wolf is included! Shame that black bear isn’t.
When in October are you going?
6-15th. According to my guide he only takes one guy to this area a year. It was a more expensive hunt than the others he offered and was advertised as “archery friendly” so that obviously caught my eye. Bowzone (Emery) on YouTube has a video of his goat hunt from that same area with the same guide and it looked amazing.
It might be a little wintery by then, but if you kill a billy, it will have a gorgeous cape!!
Emery is a local and is unguided.
Ahhhh, rgr that. I must have misunderstood him when we spoke.
Drove through your valley again today. Only saw one goat.
LOL! That's awesome!!! I've gotta get a pic of that when I'm in town.
I had a great convo today with a previous client that was successful in my area (rifle) with RVO a couple years back. He had lots of solid first hand knowledge about what to expect in camp. I feel like I'm being obsessive about hording as much info as I can come across but it helps me feel more prepared so I'm gonna run with it. I've been walking up and down the 5 flights of stairs at work with my boots and pack on and getting cardio in on my treadmill regularly. I think I'll have the fitness side of the house covered come show time.
Is it normal to be this anxious about a hunt? I feel like I've got a huge test coming up in 6 months that I HAVE to pass!
No you won't have the fitness side covered. Just know that. You just do what you can and can’t do better that. what is your elevation in VA?
I know your outfitter and you made a good choice. tough country but quite a few goats, Work hard on your fitness, but you will feel you didn't do enough. Important to stay mentally strong. I have had hunters not get their goat because they didn't want to stay on the mountain over night. Be ready for anything.
View fromMcbride. March 21.
View fromMcbride. March 21.
Winter is starting to let go of the lowlands under your mountains.
I hunted that area in 2015 (resident on a draw) and managed to get a decent billy with a rifle. Like Ambush says, the bush can be really ugly all the way to tree line, and we found that most of the creeks draining from the alpine had really steep canyon walls, which forced us into some uglier terrain than we would have liked. Be ready for rain, snow, and a lovely mix called snush.
Looking back to where we got my goat, I think we could have worked around them and gotten in position for a bow hunt, assuming they cooperated when leaving their beds.
Do you know if you’re hunting the NE or the SW side of the Fraser River?
Good luck - it’ll be an awesome hunt!
Bou, the elevation in Bristow is a whopping 327ft! There’s a “mountain” about an hour from my house called Old Rag that I’m going to start hiking. It’s got 3284ft of elevation. Not exactly goat country but a decent sized hill nonetheless.
Skinner Country, I wouldn’t have an issue staying put and/or being uncomfortable over night if it means putting me in the right spot the next day for a shot opportunity. In fact I think I’d really enjoy the “suffering” aspect of an overnight on the mountain!
Silver, I’m not sure which side of the river we’re hunting. Daniel said the weather would dictate that decision so I left it at that.
From the sounds of things I’m gonna be hoping for lots of snow to get the goats down. I fly weather satellites for NOAA so I’ll have my eyes peeled a couple weeks out from my hunt for any possible storm fronts near McBride.
I agree with Bou...no training is enough for elevation. I'm at 700 ft at home and nothing even close around much higher. I was up to running half marathons prior to my goat hunt. It definantly helped and made the hunt much more enjoyable but I was definantly sucking wind.
Do all you can! Throw a weighted pack on when you do that hill with 45 lbs or so and hike with the boots you will be hunting in. I had my kennetrek boots broken in well on flat ground until I put weight in my pack on a 30% incline treadmill and I was wrong. Also I would recommend taping with leukotape prior to hunting. Best bet to avoid blisters and boy do they suck.
Leukotape is your friend for sure. Meet him before you need him
Leukotape, gotcha! I'll check it out. Thanks for all the advice fellas. I really appreciate it!
Leukotape is the best for hot spots and blisters, both will ruin a mountain hunt quicker than most anything else. I wrap a bunch around a bic pen casing. Best of luck on your hunt, goats are hard earned and usually the hunt is quite miserable, but damn is it a blast!
I hunted about 100 Miles south east of McBride on Kinbasket lake. DIY type hunt with the BC hunter host program. I did a late November hunt as I am busy guiding leading up to this time I was in hopes that snow would push the goats down lower and that the rut would have the bullies on the move. We didnt get much snow but lots of rain and a low laying cloud making it tough to glass from down low. We camped low on the lake and would climb after goats daily if they positioned themselves for a stalk. The terrain was very steep and and the bush and scrub was very thick until you got near the top of it. several times we lost goats that just vanished into timbered areas and did not re appear. Work on legs and cardio and mental toughness, just keep positive and you'll get it done. I saw goats every day and had 5 stalks in 11 days. The largest challenge for me was daylight hours in late November didnt allow much time to spot goats wait till they settled into an area then make the stalk 3-5 hour climbs on average. I ended up killing on Day 11 with a rifle at 60 yards. I had my bow with me but I didnt feel comfortable with the shot. I only had 2 days left and wanted to get a goat regardless of weapon. All the more reason to go back and try again. Also the fishing was incredible for bull trout! It was the best hunt I have ever done. You'll have a great time I'm sure.
Thanks for the info Tyler and congrats on the goat!
I drove through Mcbride on Thursday and there was fresh snow on your goat mountains. Most new stuff was gone when I came back through today.
New stuff? Like its snowing in July?
It’s been some kind of summer!!! Steamboat had 20” the third week of June I believe
Yup, new stuff. Goat country here can go from heat and bugs to winter and back to heat all in the same day. You just have to be prepared whether you need it or not.
Wow! Sounds like CO. As of today I'm 74 days, 22 hours and 46 mins from having a Goat tag in my pocket and glassing for animals. I've lost nearly 60lbs (mostly muscle) and have been doing my cardio regularly. Still want to shed a little more and get my heart in better shape but overall I think I'm gearing up nicely. I can't wait to see what the mountain has in store.
Thanks for the update Ambush!!
Emery is just finishing up a full body mount of his goat from the area. Not sure if he has or will post it on their website.
I caught a pic on FB. Looks great! Is there someone in the area that you'd recommend should lightning strike and I get lucky on a goat?
I hunted a coastal area on my goat hunt, but there are a definitely a few things I learned for next time.
Regarding fitness, yes, cardio is the foundation to solid fitness IMO. That said, I wish I would've focused a little more on strength training for my goat hunt. The reality in the country I hunted was that you never were really able to move fast enough to wind yourself (I was doing a lot of cardio prior to the hunt, so obviously that helped too). However, my legs were definitely straining under the load of my pack and battling the steep terrain. Others' miles may vary, but that was my experience.
I second the Leukotape recommendation. I was even wearing it during my hunt...and I still got a blister. Living in Louisiana, we don't have a much of an opportunity to train on sloped terrain. I did everything I felt I could...jack the treadmill incline up, hike stairs till I was blue in the face, etc and thought my feet were conditioned and my boots were broken in. What I couldn't replicate was walking downhill on sloped terrain and how that might feel in my boots and on my feet. As such, I managed to get a blister on the outside of my pinky toe that nagged the hell out of me for the rest of my hunt. So, two lessons...get off the stairs and on terrain if you have the opportunity and Leukotape not just your heels but anywhere you might feel friction.
Beyond that...keep doing what you're doing and good luck!
Great info Jason, thank you! I'm heading to the closet "mountain" here in VA once this week and again this weekend. It's around 3K of elevation so that should be more realistic. I hiked stairs every other am on vacation. The hotel had 13 floors and I'd do 10 up and downs. Pretty solid little workout. I get in gym days 3 - 4x a week to keep strength in my muscles. Super excited about this one even though I know success is gonna be hard to come by with archery tackle.
Take a sheet of paper that mailing labels come with, RMEF for example. Cut the lepotape tape in strips and plug them on the paper to fold up. Two with me on ever mountain hunt. Way easier then seeing with a roll of tape.
For a taxidermist, I use the same guy Emery did his with.
Practice shooting up , down and across slopes. Learn to religiously check your sight level before shooting.
You will get within bow range of goats, with patience. Do everything you can to be able to execute that shot when that opportunity comes.
Daniel is scouting my area as we speak. Things are getting exciting!!!
Good luck .... Never, Never, Quit...
Echoing bigeasygator. While cardio is certainly important, don’t discount the strength element of the equation (core, quads, hamstrings). My experience was generally moving at a slower pace with plenty of opportunity to rest. As a fellow flatlander I did pretty much the same as you - bleachers, stairs, etc. My advice would be to find some natural grade (I used a local ‘sledding’ hill - laughable) and work the sidehill, graded lunges, squats, etc. I feel this helped solidify my base for relatively uneven ground and aid in breaking-in my boot leather.
Important, as others have suggested, to be ready for virtually any type of shot. That being said, I spent a lot of time shooting at distance and ended-up shooting mine within 4 yards (strange feeling and not something I could honestly say I was properly prepared for).
Lastly (& most importantly) really focus-up and enjoy every moment. Looking back, the goat itself (respectfully) was just one part of a ridiculously cool experience.
Have fun, be safe and go make some fond memories.
Thanks Billy! Definitely solid advice. My gym time consists of a mix of weights and cardio with more emphasis on the cardio side of the house. I have a background in bodybuilding so I feel very comfortable with the strength I’ve gained over the years. I still hit them now but a lot more reps and lighter weights to try and replicate the thousands of steps I’ll be taking on the hill. I’m hiking a 3200ft “mountain” this week and I’m treating it like a actual hunt day so that will be an accurate test of where I am. Daniel says that if we go up the hill we’ll have 20-25lbs in the packs so I put 30lbs in mine just to be on the safe side. The goal is to keep a steady and consistent pace and make it to the summit in a timely manner. It’s getting super exciting at this point. Daniel scouted my area over the weekend and found 7 goats, 4 of which were good billies. They’re the same billies I’ll be hunting on my trip. Seeing the pics of the terrain and the goats is gonna make all the training a little easier from here on in. 67 days till wheels up! I’m down 52lbs and shooting for another 8lbs more. So far everything is right on track training wise.
Wheels up this weekend! Weather is looking iffy in McBride but we're gonna give 'em hell regardless. I feel like I've done my homework and I'm as prepared for this as I've ever going to be. Any advice on dealing with the pre-hunt nerves? Booking this over a year and a half ago was all fun and games but my anxiety has been building as the hunt gets closer.
Good luck Eric, Hey either way your living the dream. Chasing Goats. Be safe, smell the roses and have fun.
Just relax and enjoy the adventure. Good luck!
Thanks fellas! This is my first time on a big hunt like this and during my initial planning I never factored nerves into the equation. The nerves have definitely shown up but I'm sure once I hit the ground in BC I'll be focused on business. I've yet to see a picture of BC that didn't resemble a postcard and I can't wait to take it all in. It's gonna be a trip of a lifetime.
I really appreciate all the Vets here that have taken their time to give me advice and insight. It's been a dramatic help. Thank you!
I'll keep the thread updated with pics and my progress as service allows.
The capes are beautiful and thick already!! We've had some early winter conditions, but it's looking better for the next few weeks. And the first snows bring them down until it builds up and starts to blow off higher up. A buddy shoot one way down in the trees last week and we saw several more very low. Be prepared to stick out the wind and weather and you have a very good probability of going home with a billy. A wind proof shell and some down layering for sitting. And big puffy over-mitts can be very handy.
Good luck Eric. I'm sheep hunting when you come in, but hopefully we can meet up on your way back through. I'd love to see your goat and hear the story.
Take a bunch of pictures for those of us just wishing to hunt goats one day!
Take a bunch of pictures for those of us just wishing to hunt goats one day!
Best of luck Eric and as said take lots of pictures to share with the rest of us.
Good luck, can't wait to see your follow up with hunt pics!
Nice looking Greater Swiss Mountain Dog....good luck on your hunt.
I’m making a list and I’m checking it twice! Here’s what I’ve got so far:
Kuiu Yukon Rain jacket and Pants, Kuiu Guide Jacket and pants, Kuiu Super Down Pro jacket and pants, Kuiu Peloton 130 LS crew-t, Kuiu Peloton 200 zip-t hoodie, Kuiu Peloton 97 fleece neck gaiter, Kuiu Peloton 97 fleece beanie, Kuiu Kenai beanie, Kuiu Yukon Pro gloves, Kuiu bino harness, Helly Hanson Lifa Merino shirt and pants, Cabelas ECWS bottoms, Hunt Guard top, Stone Glacier Sky Archer pack, Kenetrek Mountain Extreme boots w/extra laces, Kenetrek liner socks and over socks, Kenetrek boot gaiters, Leupold RX-1600i rangefinder, Leupold Cascade 10x40 binos, Vortex Intrepid spotting scope, Sirui tripod, Leki trekking poles, Mountain Hardware Hyper Lamina bag, Klymit sleeping pad, Thermarest Z-seat, Leukotape, Mathews Halon 32, 12 Black Eagle Carnivore arrows, 6 Rage Slipcam broadheads, 6 G5 Montec broadheads, Stan Perfx release, Arrow Tube, Spyderco knife, Headlamp, Uline painters suit, Passport, Batteries.
Guide covers that end. Tent, food, etc.
Eric, If you have time. Get something similar to a Yaxtracs cheap light boot traction device. Not quite (Crampons) Life saver on early wet slippery snow over leaves and grass.
Actually Ambush is loaning me a pair of crampons. Gonna swing by and grab them after I land.
Thanks again Rod!
Great. I’ve hunted with guys that said you don’t need them. While they are exerting 3X the energy walking around.
Also if you aren’t used to walking with them be careful to not snag them on the other leg and trip. Tight Gaiters are a big help with crampons.
Here’s a hair reference to what you should be dealing with!
Here’s a hair reference to what you should be dealing with!
Missed this thread up until now, my goat hunt was in Golden, looked it up and it’s just south of you. I went a tad later (Halloweenish) and the hair was awesome, you’re in for a great hunt! That area is the only place I’ve ever been that’s prettier than northwest Montana.
We are all excited for you Eric. Living the hunt through your experience.
Wow!!!! Talk about an absolutely gorgeous animal. Very well done sir!! I can't hold a thought outside of heading up the mountain. How long was your hunt? Did you guys stay on the mountain?
What about a bow repair kit? This type of hunt is hard on archery equipment. I carry an extra of whatever is likely to break and the allen wrenches to fit the bolts on my accessories. General emergency kit? - space blanket, lighter, first aid, paracord, zip ties, extra batteries etc. A paperback book is good to have in case you get weathered in and have to spend a day in the tent. Depending on your weather and how heavy your pack is, you might have too many shirts. I just got back from a BC Mountain Goat hunt last week and I wore the same merino wool shirt for all 10 days. Despite being drenched from sweat several times a day, it didn't smell too bad at the end of the hunt.
Good call on a first aid kit and the book. I'll add those in. I always have my allen wrench tool with me as well as a spare string and sight. After looking at my shirts last night I had the same thought.... too many. I'll probably just take the long sleeved hoodie and call it good. Thank you for the advice!
If you PM me your email address I can send you my packing list that I used for my BC Mountain Goat hunt. Your hunt might be different than mine but you could use it to help you think through what you might need. You can always leave items at the outfitter's base camp he thinks you don't need to carry something.
I’m under way! The butterflies are gone and I’m as calm as a Hindu cow. Time to go to work!
Smell the roses. Before you know it. You’ll be headed home. Trying to get back.
Good luck Eric, look forward to hunt recap when you get back.
Good luck and safe travels
Bowjangles oughta be getting back soon! After reading Nick's goat hunt, I'm ready to hear about another!
Yeah me too. Especially since it’s one of his dream hunts and His first one. Very exciting
They were seeing goats but struggling to find stalkable ones. as of a couple days ago. The weather has not been kind here for the past few weeks and it's not looking to improve anytime soon. Sure hoping they can pull it off!!
sounds like a normal goat hunt, Ambush
Yes Bou, it is. I’ve been waiting for a weather break to get out again, but it ain’t happening. So I’m going this afternoon anyway for a few days. Hoping the snow has moved them down to shorten my happy misery.
Well the jury is in......no goat! Between the weather and goats being goats it never came together. Here's a break down.
Arrive: I get to Prince George around 3:30pm and met Dan, Shawn and Zach at the airport, collect my gear and off we go. The scenery impresses right from the jump. Easily the prettiest place I've visited. We get to Dan's place, have a hot dinner and Shawn and I headed to camp. Zach was an Aussie and was chasing White Tail and Black Bear and stayed on at Dan's place. He came up with a mid 130's class deer and the bears didn't read the script. Shawn was from Mississippi and was after Moose and Goat with the bang stick. He took a 44" Moose on day 5 and a nice nanny on day 9.
Day 1 (Saturday): After a hot breakfast at the Sandman Inn we were off. I can't speak enough to the views. Every inch of this place is a post card. We get to the hill and spot goats instantly! Nanny's and Kid's but to see goats inside of the first hour had me on cloud 9. We shuffled down the road a bit and there they were, 6 Billies and 2 were absolute smashers! They were high in a bowl and the plan was to observe for the first couple days to try and establish pattern before we made a play. With rain and snow planned for Monday and Tuesday we planned to stick to watching before heading up to make camp.
Day 2 (Sunday): More of the same. The goats are high in the bowl with the Nannies and Kids being closer to the edge of the lip and in a prime spot for a stalk from above. We watched and waited......
Day 3 (Monday): Rain and fog and lots of it! Visibility was next to zero but we still headed up to see if we could get eyes on the goats. Sure enough we picked a couple of Billies out that had set up shop near where the Nannies and Kids had been the day before. At this point I'm ready to bust. I've been training for ~18 months in preparation for this one and I was ready to run up the hill. With the weather socking in the mountain we spent that evening looking for a Wolf to tag but didn't have any luck
Day 4 (Tuesday): The weather for Tuesday was clear but had a cold snap moving in that night. Dan advised that we wait it out since the weather was forecast to break Wednesday through Saturday and staying on the hill in those temps could prove dangerous. The plan was to watch them for the day, put them to bed, head up first thing Wednesday and hunt from above for 4-5 days, weather allowing. I was HYPED! They had been in the same general area for days on end and I could see an opportunity playing out in my head. I had goats in my dreams that night.
Day 5 (Wednesday): The alarm wasn't needed. I woke up at ~4:15am and was pure giddy with excitement. We slammed breakfast and hit the road. This was it! We had a plan, the goats seem to have a solid routine and we were finally heading up. Prior to going up we made a quick pass to check on our boys and make sure they were still there before we pushed up the mountain. My heart sank!!! They had moved down the mountain 1500ft and to the right about another 1500ft into the middle of a cliff face in a completely unreachable spot. I was crushed but still excited. We glassed the goats that day and hoped one bedded in a stalkable spot. It never happened.
Day 6 (Thursday): I wake up with a very uneasy feeling. The hunt is more than half over and we hadn't left the truck. The goats had moved into a really awful location for a stalk with the bow and I felt like we were winging it. I'm very much a planner so not having a clear path made me anxious. We set up and watched the goats mill around in that spot all day. Another day peeled off the calendar. I had a Moose tag and suggested that tomorrow morning we check on the goats and if they weren't playing ball that we get out and chase Moose.
Day 7 (Friday) After breakfast we head back to the goats. After locating a good Billy on a different side of the mountain we watched him for a bit and as if on cue he walks down to a small point under a little knob and plops down! That was it!!! A good goat in a spot where I'd have a pretty steep downhill shot which looked to be 25-30 yards!!! It was on!!! we suited up, I strapped the Mathews on my pack and we headed to the canoe to cross the river. To my horror no sooner had we gotten to the boat we threw some eyes on the Billy and he was on his feet. He stood there starring into space for a few minutes before casually walking off into some cliffs and into the trees. I felt sick. They just weren't bedding down and staying put. I don't think we ever saw a Billy bed more than 15 minutes at a time. We checked on the other goats that still seemed to be content with life on the cliffs and they were still there. It was time to chase Moose. We went to a cut block and called for hours but nothing showed.
Day 8 (Saturday) At this point the very real idea of coming up empty was haunting me. Of course I understand how tough goats could be and knew there was a much greater chance of me eating a tag sandwich than actually killing a goat but was hoping that all my training would improve the odds somewhat. The goats aren't in a doable location, more weather is coming in and time is getting short. We headed up to check them out and more of the same. Nannies and Kids exactly where you'd want a Billy and yet they were still in the cliffs. The 2 bigger Billies had pushed damn near all the way back up the hill in a totally inaccessible location. Moose was the move. We hit a couple spots. Called, waited, nothing. This scenario played out over the next 3 days with another goat bedding in a somewhat marginal spot, us gearing up again and him moving off after being bedded briefly and heading to an inaccessible spot.
We never got to stalk a goat or see a moose.
Obviously I'm super disappointed after having done so much work preparing for the hunt but the whole "it is what it is" adage applies. I knew going in it was going to be a tough hunt and it was. With a rifle this was over on day 2 or 3 and I'm happy that I stuck with my plan of only bow hunting the goats and not using the rifle. Daniel was top shelf in my rookie opinion. I've never hunted goats or this type of terrain and have nothing to base my opinion on but he seemed to go above and beyond to make my hunt a success. Overall it was a hell of a time but the animals did what animals often do and didn't cooperate.
My goat hunting days are far from over and I WILL take one with my bow!
Cheers fellas! I really appreciate all the advice and encouragement along the way. You guys are world class in my book!
Good recap Eric. Congrats on a safe enjoyable hunt.
It will make your future Goat Success that much sweeter and more appreciated.
With an attitude like your’s, there’s no doubt, you will definitely get it done with a bow, Eric! Bummer that it didn’t work out for you.
“I’m as calm as a Hindu cow”. I’m gonna hafts steal that one! :-)
Good job Eric. You experienced something few do. Well done. The memories will not fade.
Great attitude and effort on your part. Bowhunting Mountain Goats is tough but gets in your blood. I have been on 2 archery goat hunts without killing a goat and am already planning a 3rd.
Good for you die hards. Stick with it.
Sucks to not get the tags filled but that is such a small part of the "hunt". All the preparation will pay off in the future and desire to go back will only get stronger. You will get it done!
Thanks for the write and good perspective. I just booked a goat hunt in BC for 2021. Is this thread was helpfull
Bummer you came home empty handed! I would have a very hard time watching the animals I traveled to hunt from a distance for several days without going after them.
" I would have a very hard time watching the animals I traveled to hunt from a distance for several days without going after them. "
you've never hunted goat. seeing them is nothing. seeing one you can get to is rare. Getting to the rare one is torturous. then getting a shot is icing on the cake. there is no reason why goats go many of the places they do. they would be just as safe in places that would be 10 time easier for them to get to, but they still go to the most insane places you can imagine.
example of the above...............why go there
Or,,,,,, learn to rock climb real slow and quietly from Jim the bow zone whitetail killer.
I admit I have never hunted goats, from the sounds of it I may not enjoy a goat hunt. If I ever draw a tag I guess I'll find out.