I've been home a few days, got all the gear sorted and dried and finally have a few minutes to give a report on my goat hunt on Kodiak. I'm sure it's not much of a surprise that the weather was a serious factor for our hunt. We got to Kodiak on Sunday the 16th to a sunny, cloudless day. It should have been an omen! The previous day's windy conditions had several groups of hunters backed up in front of us so we weren't going to get out on that day. And, to add to the dilemma, each group was going in to one of the three lakes that are accessible by float plane in unit 475. Plus there were already hunters working out of Windy Lake and Goat Lake. We got on the maps and started looking for other options. We found a lake that looked like it would hold a Beaver, but it wasn't in our unit. It looked like an easy 3.5 mile hike to the border of our unit so we asked Roland at Seahawk if he used that lake. He did! We mentioned our plan about hiking into our unit from that lake and he said no one had attempted it from his memory, but he'd always thought that it was a possibility. We decided to give it a try. The next morning, Monday, we took off and flew past the lake we were going to land on and did a recon on goats in our unit. There were several bands just over the border in our unit. The hike looked pretty good (doesn't it always from the air?) so we said put us in there. After a smooth landing, we downloaded our gear, stashed what we weren't going to pack, donned our packs and hit the trail. Honestly the hike was extremely easy....for the first 3 miles. We finally came to a deep gorge that had steep banks and about 10 feet of vertical drop at the bottom. We keep walking upstream on the gorge and finally found a place that we could get down. We crossed to the other side and had to climb on hands and knees up the other side. The grass was wet and extremely slippery. After making it to the top, we rested for a few minutes and then hiked on down the grade to a spot we'd picked from the air for our camp. The next morning we awoke to wind and rain with low ceilings. It rained the whole day so we stayed in the tent. Day 3 dawned with low clouds, but no rain so we decided to give it a go. We went down the remainder of the hill we were on, crossed the river and finally were in our unit and could start hunting. We climbed up a steep pass and were met by gale force winds at the crest. We moved to the other side, got behind some rocks and starting glassing. I immediately saw a band of goats in the very bottom of a grassy bowl that was on the other side. Although the band primarily was nannies with a few kids we were able to pick out a couple of billies that were hanging near the rear of the group. We waited until they fed out of sight and then hustled down the moraine to a rocky ledge that should give us a view of the area the goats had fed into. We eased up to the edge of the ledge and peered over. I saw the tail end of the group just rounding a corner, but the two straggling billies were directly below us at about 150 yards. My partner and I have both killed goats before, but I was too poor at the time to have mine mounted. I was looking for anything with horns over 8 inches and good, long hair. The biggest of the two was just what I was looking for. I lined up the crosshairs on my 325 WSM with 200 grain Accubonds and center punched him with a double lung shot. He went down on the spot, made a slight attempt to get back up, but laid over and expired. We went down to him and I was elated. The hair was perfect. The horns were 8 5/16 on both sides and 5 3/4 bases. I was perfectly content. While I caped him out and boned the meat, my partner went on to hunt and found a good billy on the opposite side of the bowl, but he was in an unapproachable area. Since it was getting late we loaded my goat into our packs and headed back to camp, arriving just after dark. Unfortunately the weather turned south after the 3rd day and we never made it back over the pass. We packed my goat back to the lake on the 5th day and then returned to camp. On the 6th day the weather wasn't any better, so we packed up camp and moved back to the lake. Roland picked us up on the 7th day and we moved to an area for deer hunting. All in all, it was a great hunt, but definitely falls into the "tough" category. At 48 years, it definitely had me questioning my capabilities at times. Now that I'm home and rested, I'm ready to do it again! Here are a few pictures.
The lake where we were dropped off
The pass we climbed and crossed over
My goat. What a beautiful setting to take an animal in.