Well, not sure where to start so let me thank a few people first.
I would first off like to thank my hunting partner "Rusty" (64 yrs old) for coming with me on this hunt. Rusty is like a father to me and we've known each other for 26yrs and I tell ya what, that man followed me every step of the way! Congrats to you my friend, love ya!
Secondly, you all remember the little deal with customer service from BARNEY'S that I had a few years ago, not good, well, Bob and I talked here via "pm" about what happened and due to our conversation I gave his business a second chance and couldn't of been more happy with the results! I can't remember the name of the guy who helped me, but, his advise on the gear I needed was priceless! Thanks to Barney's for excellent gear and service it truly helped make this hunt come to fruition!
Thirdly, thanks to all here for you advise and help, it was dually noted and helped a lot!
I can't forget Joshua (BucknRut) thanks so much for opening up you home to Rusty and I, your a great friend and look forward to returning the favor!
And for the rest of the news...............
DAY 1: We flew out with Northwind Aviation (Jose' Decreft (sp) ) at 10:30am Friday 9-26-08. All I can say is Jose' is a class act and runs a very nice business, he's a pleasure to talk to and keeps his planes in top notch! He has our business from homer any time! We flew towards Emerald Lake and immediately started seeing black bears and a lot of them! We flew 6 minutes and covered more then we could ever hunt, in that time we saw 12 goats and 18 black bears. Upon landing at Emerald Lake there was a camp so we packed up and started the hike up the drainage. ALDERS, ALDERS, ALDERS! My god, who created such a nasty little tree? After 3.5 hrs of busting brush we find our self tiered and ready to set camp about 1.5 miles up from the lake. Camp is set and we are seeing more goats and more bears.
Day 2: We awake to a hard frost and cold blue sky's, ahhhhhh, hunting season! We start to pack to head up the valley and my buddy Say's "there's a goat!" So we glassed for a while and started to see more goats and decided to hang and study them for a couple day's, well those couple of days hurt us because the bears kept pushing the goats farther up the valley.
Day 3: More glassing and game planning.............
Day 4: We pack up and head up the mountain with a spike camp to include, 2 sleeping bags, 2 tarp's, 4 packs mountain house, 1 msr stove and knives. It took us 7hrs to bust up through the alders and side hill 1.5miles to the third mountain up the drainage where the goat's were. We made a spike camp and immediately had a bear walk in on us, I got great video of the bear as we finally scared him off with shout's of "you better leave if you don't want to be diner!" ..... 12:45 am and the wind is howling! Blew our tarp off and slapped me in the face till finally we got up and reset everything, not much sleep maybe 3hrs outta 10 in the bag, thanks to "wiggy's" I was warm the whole trip!
Day 5: I am out of the bag by 7am, we fumble around trying to wake up and get ready for the big push over the next ridge to the billy's. I have everything ready to go and step back to see 5 goat's on our side of the mountain! .....It's the 5 we have been watching for 2.5 days. I was positive the one was a billy due to the way it hung around the rest, always staying 200-500 yards away from the pack until night fall then move in and bed down, had the stain on the rump, so I said I will take that one. I hand over the video camera to Rusty and went on the stalk. I got to within 350yards of them and was out of coverage so I set up for the shot. BOOM! Right over the back ... Jacked another shell as they all stood up and pulled the sites back down, BOOM! THWACK! The goat stumbles, drops and I think right on, done deal, NOPE! It kicked a leg out and leaned towards the edge and then........... Tumbled 500 ft down the cliff touching 3 times before landing in a cravas! Cut the story short, we got it out and it was not a billy, was a nanny, 7yr old and dry, broke both horns off on the fall, we found one.
We took pic's and cleaned our harvest, I had about 115lbs pack and rusty about 75lbs and we started back down the mountain towards base camp. We took a different route that proved to be very dangerous, nasty alder shoot with cliffs on both sides. After butt sliding down and thanking god we are still alive we chose to make another spike camp only .5 miles from the base camp, we were so tired after 7hrs of heavy loads and dark approaching.
Day 6: We awake to the coldest night of all and load up for base camp. We made it in 2hrs, fighting the alders all the way. That night we a rack of goat ribs over the open fire and it took all the pain of this tough hunt away. We reflected on the hunt that night and thanked our luck stars we lived through a couple of nasty spots (cliffs) with heavy loads while sipping hot tang and whisky by the fire.
Day7: We made 2 trips each to get all the meat and camp down to the lake and called the pilot for a ride home. While hanging out we saw Alex AKA (float pilot) Come in for a landing with a student and take off to fly around. (that was Thursday Alex ) Jose' came and picked us up around 6:45pm and we were back in homer and on our way by 8pm.
Summarize: Goat hunting IS NOT sheep hunting, every sheep hunt has been a breeze compared to this hunt hands down! If you draw this permit DG360 Dixon Glacier be prepared for a Alder bustin' time!
We did witness a bear hunt via bino's and spotting scope and that person has been turned into fish and feathers for want and waste! That was the most disgusting thing I ever watched in my life! And we picked up there trash they left at the lake, I hope you get fined to the max, dirt bags!