Normally, I hunt all I can all season long as in the past it was just my wife and I. This year all that changed as we now have a 7 month old at home that loves to crawl and get into everything. My wife and I eat nothing but wild game, so not hunting was just not an option. My wife told me I would have 3 weekends to hunt and I could take a week off to go hunt my goat tag that I drew DG890.
I was excited because I figured I would get a weekend and my goat hunt. I told my wife I had plans on hunting and harvesting 4 animals this year, Black Bear, Caribou, Moose and Mountain Goat. WE both chuckled at the thought and found it funny how much work it would be to even attempt to pull it off.
Weekend one- August 22&23- Headed north to the state park to chase bears up in the berries. Saturday I passed on two small blackies and a little brownie. Sunday at around 9 AM I harvested animal #1. A five footer. Sorry no pics as I didnít carry a camera or phone on the hike.
Weekend two- August 29&30- I met my usual group that I hunt with in Tok and headed to our spot for Caribou. On Saturday we seen a few bou and felt odds were good for tagging out. Opening morning we seen a couple cows and that was it. Later that afternoon 4 bulls came through and we took two of them. One for me and my buddy John got one too. I had to work on Monday, so it was clean up and get on the road as fast as I could. Smallest bull I ever shot, but tasty tender vittles for sure.
Weekend three- September 5-6. On Saturday at first light I passed on a good sized bull. I had just a short window to judge him and decided to pass as I just couldnít tell if he was 50 or not. Afterwards, I believe he was but caution is the best medicine not to get in trouble. I seen a total of 5 bulls and 4 cows that day. On Sunday morning at 8 AM I harvested a forked horn bull. Another, young tender moose for the freezer.
Finally My goat hunt- Flew out on Saturday the 12th. Spotted a good billy up high in the snow and called it a day. Sunday morning I went and looked and there he was perfect spot for a stalk. I ate breakfast and headed out. There is three finger ridges that come off the mountain and he was in the middle on looking to the left. I decided to go up the right side and come up over top of him. I hiked up to where I was in line with about where he was and I noticed the wind went from left to right to right to left. Not good for me. I peered over the crest of the ridge and sure enough he was standing and looking my way. He climbed up a bit higher and bedded down looking to the right, which would put me in plain view of him the whole time.
I decided the heck with it, I am busted already so I am just going to go down the shale slide and head towards the middle ridge in plain sight of him. I had nothing to lose as he already knew I was there. He got up and watched me for a bit and walked off up the hill slowly out of site. His only escape route was to the right or left of where he was as it was sheer cliffs behind him. I figured if he spooks, he will be seen leaving and I will just call it quits. I never seen him escape either way.
I continued to climb up the middle ridge. I came to his tracks and started to crawl between each false summit on the ridge looking over trying to see him. Finally on the last summit I spotted him bedded down about 425 to 450 away. I couldnít go any further as I would be exposed to him.
I have practiced out to 400 regularly with my .375 H&H. I hand load and had confidence that if he stood up, I would take the shot. I sat for two hours watching him and he never budged. At this point itís getting late in the day, I am solo on the hill and something needed to happen or I needed to start getting off the mountain as it was slush and snow and slick conditions I didnít want to navigate by head lamp.
I decided that I would stand up so he sees me and pop a shot off the sticks when he stands up. Well he didnít stand up at all. He did however sit up more erect and exposed his whole chest to me. I picked a spot that would get me some lung from a frontal shot in the chest, adjusted my aim for elevation and touched one off. He got up and I cycled and fired a second round as he was escaping on the other side.
I climbed up there and sure enough I located blood everywhere. The other side of the ridge was a shale slide and he tumbled about 2000 feet below. There he lay, dead as a door nail. I was beyond ecstatic.
I climbed down to him and hit exactly where I wanted to. I realized he had great mass and was bigger than I originally thought.
I packed him down to safe ground and headed to camp.
The next day I got up and packed him down the remainder of the way to the airstrip. Upon arrival at home I had a friend look at him and he said he may make book by the minimal. Sure enough he scores 48 1/8 which if he doesnít shrink much, he will make the book.
I by no means am a trophy hunter, but it is my greatest hunting honor to harvest such a cool dude like this goat.
Some would say I am a lucky hunter. Some would say I am a skilled hunter. I say I am a very blessed man.