Quick! Advice on bad weather goat hunt...
So, my plan was to go out on a goat hunt starting this afternoon going through Monday. It's an area that's relatively close to home, so I have not had to make long range plans or arrangements, etc. I have asked to take Monday off, but I could easily move it later if need be. Basically, if I want to change the plan to a different weekend, I can, and there are plenty of weekends left in my hunt.
It looks like a nice, wet weather system is sliding in for the weekend. The forecast, for what it is worth, predicts rain all weekend and strong winds at higher elevations.
So, my question is: should I reschedule the hunt? Camping and hiking in the wet and cold and wind does not bother me. Of course, it's nicer to do these things in nicer weather, but my question is more about the quality of the hunt. I know if the conditions are poor, my visibility will be poor. I also know that scrambling around broken, steep ground is not as easy or safe in a rain and wind storm. My question for this forum is more about the animals. How do they react to this type of weather? Do they hunker down or do they move? Do they come down from higher ground, or do they stick to the cliffs? Are they easier to hunt or harder to hunt? I could really see it going either way, so I'm looking for advice from someone with experience with hunting sheep or, even better, goats in bad weather.
Of course, I am all packed up right now. The forecast could always be wrong. It could end up being nice tomorrow, but it really doesn't look like it. There's a big green blob coming all the way up the Alaska Peninsula right at us. I could just get up there, and if it sucks, come down tomorrow and return another weekend.
I would like to make a decision by noon. Thoughts? Even if you read this after today, I would still be curious about your advice and use it for future endeavors.
From my experience bad weather has both hampered and helped me on the goat hunts I've been on, but I'd say that it overall makes it a bit more difficult for a number of reasons. The first is that it can make the steep terrain even more trecherous. A thin coating of snow or saturated grass on a steep slope is not fun. Also if the mountains are socked in, then you'll have trouble spotting animals. Thirdly, any small streams may rise rapidly and become very difficult to cross (ask some of the early season Alaska Range sheep hunters about this one as I heard from a few guys that they couldn't get into their intended drainages because of high water). On the flip side, we've gotten very close to goats before using clouds/fog as cover in areas where they would have seen you coming for miles. If it does snow it could also push the animals lower, but that seems to affect sheep more than goats.
Personally, If the weather looks better later in the month and you can delay, I'd wait a week. However that doesn't mean the weather will be better next weekend.
Whatever you decide, good luck and be safe.