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Thread: The Notorious Goat

  1. #1
    New member Targetman's Avatar
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    Question The Notorious Goat

    There seems to be a bit of interest in our goat hunt story. Therefore I decided to post it here. Oct 1st, while accompanying Tracey on his drawing goat hunt above Ptarmigan Lake, I shot a black bear. It rolled down a steep ravine a few hundred feet. At this point, I decided to retrieve the bear while Tracey hiked a couple hundred yards over to glass for goats. We split up about 12:30 pm. I then descended into the ravine and found my bear which was obviously dead, about 1:30 pm. While scaling down a rock face to get to the bear, my footing gave way and I slid to the bottom of the rock face then tumbled a few times, falling off at least 2 three foot ledges, and tumbled past the bear. Not thinking too clearly, I fired 5 shots to attempt to summon Tracey since I knew I had a broken ankle and broken wrist and would be unable to hike out. Tracey later told me that he heard the shots but thought I was signaling him that I would be going down with the bear to the Ptarmigan Lake trail, instead of meeting him on the ridge to go to camp which was located on the Falls Creek Trail. Prior to me firing 5 times, Tracey shot a goat and dropped in flat on its stomach. The ground gave way though, and the goat rolled downhill several hundred feet. It fell off of a steep face and into a "hole". Tracey descended to the goat and had to lower himself into this hole with rope, because there was no way to climb down. Tracey gutted the animal, rolled it onto it's back so the cavity could cool, covered the carcass with his emergency bivy bag so the birds wouldn't get to it, and climbed the rope back out. He then went back to the Falls Creek Trail and brought our camp out to the trailhead where he expected to find me. Since I was still lying in that ravine, Tracey notified the Trooper's and they would not launch a search due to the darkness. At this point, Tracey returned to where we had the camp on the Falls Creek Trail and hiked back up the mountain and searched for me all night in the dark.
    The next morning (Mon, Oct 2), the search team gathered at the trailhead and Tracey led them to our Falls Creek Trail camp area and then up the ridge. At first light I did not see any sign of Search and Rescue so I prepared myself to hike out. About 9:00 am, I loaded my pack and began to hike back to the summit so I could then descend to the Falls Creek trail area where our camp was originally set up. Going was slow and tedious but my Lowa Sheep Hunter boots and Kahtoola crampons performed very well, and my Remington 700Ti rifle worked well as a crutch too. (I did have to have it re-crowned though) Then, about 11:30 am, the helicopter found me hiking up the ridge. They landed on the ridge and about 10 minutes later, the party that Tracey was leading up the back side of the ridge joined the Troopers at the helicopter. Tracey and a couple of rescuers descended to where I was and assisted me up the mountain and then sat me in the helicopter. At this point, the helicopter transported me to the ambulance while Tracey and the other rescue team members returned to the ATVs and departed for the trail head. On the way out, Tracey rolled his ATV, injured his knee, and snapped his rifle into. When they reached the trail head, Tracey followed the ambulance into town. Not having any sleep, Tracey got a hotel room in Seward and I got a room at the hospital. The next day (Tuesday) when I was released at noon, Tracey drove me back to Anchorage. Tracey returned on Thur morning to retrieve the goat, searched until dark, but was unable to locate the “hole”. On Saturday, he returned again and found the "hole" where the goat was but the carcass had already been eaten and destroyed. Tracey was charged with Negligent Waste.

    Thoughts? Comments? Questions?

  2. #2

    Default ..... if it were me

    Based on your account, I would take this one to court.

    Safety and well-being should be placed higher than the loss of some game meat. In either of your shoes, I would have done the same: ascertained location of my partner, if unfound, organize search/resuce, concentrate on locating and helping/saving said partner, make sure he is doiing good AND THEN take care of the game.

    Just my two cents . . .

    -- Gambler

  3. #3
    FBKShunter
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    Default Question

    Why did he continue to hunt when you had a bear down? Why not help you get your bear out, then goat hunt the next day? There are a lot of things done wrong here and should be a lesson to people. I'm not so sure the charges should be dismissed. He made a mistake in judgement. Was it intentional, of course not. But still ended in a wasted animal. The fact is reading your story several mistakes were made that I'm sure you both feel horrible about. Maybe being experienced outdoorsman was your downfall. Sometimes when we get overconfident in our abilities is when we do the stupidest things and end up in bad situations.

  4. #4
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Thanks, Jed-

    Jed,

    Thanks for posting this. Though we have talked on the phone about this, and I have also spoken with Tracey about it, I don't want to state your case for you. Hopefully this will clear up any issues folks seem to have with it.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
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    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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  5. #5

    Default Bear?

    I assume the bear was not recovered?

  6. #6
    New member Targetman's Avatar
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    Default Answer

    I don't think that Tracey continuing to hunt while I recovered the bear was a "mistake". It certainly wouldn't have taken both of us to get it out. The distance between Tracey and I could not have exceeded 500 yards, after he shot the goat (I did not even hear the shot) he returned to the top of the ravine and shouted for me. My estimate is that I was laying about 200 yards from him but couldn't hear anything due to the acoustics and the small creek running down beside me. Would it have been wise to stay together? In hindsight, certainly. At the time, it just didn't seem to be that big of deal. Maybe our confidence does get in the way when in situations like this.

    We should have made a better plan when we did split up. But being so close in proximity it didn't seem necessary. I think it really boils down to miscommunication between Tracey and I. However, I personally don't think that Tracey "made a mistake in judgement"

  7. #7
    New member Targetman's Avatar
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    Default

    The bear was not recovered. Tracey returned to the area 6 days later and retrieved some of the gear that had fallen out of my pack but there was no sign of the bear. My speculation is that another critter came along and gave the bear a tug and he started rolling again. The Trooper told Tracey that he was not concerned with the bear since I made an attempt to recover it. This seems contradictory to me though. He charged Tracey even though Tracey made 2 attempts to recover his goat, I only made one attempt to retrieve the bear. ???????

  8. #8
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    Default

    The charge, IMO, is pure BS. Surely a different approach might have been used that would nothave resulted in two animals wasting. From your account, it does not sound like "wanton". I'd fight it.

    Good luck

  9. #9
    FBKShunter
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    Default Mistake

    #1 When hunting with someone you usually know who's gonna be the shooter. You help that person get their animal back to camp before you run off and keep hunting. Only bad things can happen from being greedy. If it was Tracy's goat hunt, maybe you shouldn't have shot the black bear. In which case maybe you should pay his ticket.

    #2 He shot a goat late in the day in a bad spot. If he was prepared to shoot the goat, he should have been prepared to stay the night boning it, and waiting in is emeregency bivy for first light to pack it out. If he wasn't prepared to stay the night, don't shoot.

    #3 Apparently he didn't even GPS the spot he shot the goat. Not finding it and having to come back the next day to search more is a horrible excuse. Which is why he should have never left the spot without the goat.

    Your misjudgements resulted in you getting hurt, and Tracy wasting a goat, and a lot of money spent on a search and rescue. And yes I'm sure it didn't seem to be a big deal to split up at the time, that's why it was a mistake. But it turned out to be a very big deal. And you ended up wasting 2 animals. Just because something horrible happened doesn't excuse you two from the mistakes you made. The wasting of the goat wasn't intentional, but I don't think intent matters. Most people don't intend to make mistakes but they are still responsible for their actions. The wasting of the goat was preventable. Man up, pay the ticket. Count it as a lesson learned. And the trooper probably didn't cite you, because he probably thought you learned your lesson already by spending the night on the mountain.

  10. #10
    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Default Goat...

    I've done that before, just haven't gotten that lucky. I've had permits and my buddy and I had intentions of doing what those guys did, except it was caribou, not goat. My buddy was going to black bear hunt and, if lucky, get it back to the truck while I continued to bou hunt.

    I think Fbnkshntr makes some valid points though. You never know what is going to happen; its invaluable to stay together just in case.

    Too bad about the fines, I find it hard to believe either of you were ticketed.
    Small price to pay for a rescue though.

    Tim

  11. #11
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    Default No tickets should have been issued -- read the law

    Alaska Statutes.
    Title 16. Fish and Game
    Chapter 30. Destruction of Big Game Animals and Wild Fowl
    Section 17. Defenses.
    previous: Section 15. Surrender of Salvaged Portions, License Forfeiture.
    next: Section 20. Board May Exempt Animals.

    AS 16.30.017. Defenses.

    (a) It is a defense to a criminal charge under AS 16.30.010 or 16.30.012 that the failure to salvage or possess the edible meat was due to circumstances beyond the control of the person charged, including


    (1) theft of the animal or fowl;


    (2) unanticipated weather conditions or other acts of God;


    (3) unavoidable loss in the field to another wild animal.


    AS 16.30.017 states that unavoidable loss in the field to another wild animal is a defense to a criminal charge under AS 16.30.010 or 16.30.012 that the failure to salvage or possess the edible meat was due to circumstances beyond the control of the person charged

    The law is very clear what it says and there should have been no ticket issue. The law does not say that you have to spend the night in the field with your animal or that hunters can not split up and hunt different animals.

  12. #12
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Strongly disagree-

    Quote Originally Posted by FBKShunter View Post
    #1 When hunting with someone you usually know who's gonna be the shooter. You help that person get their animal back to camp before you run off and keep hunting. Only bad things can happen from being greedy. If it was Tracy's goat hunt, maybe you shouldn't have shot the black bear. In which case maybe you should pay his ticket.

    #2 He shot a goat late in the day in a bad spot. If he was prepared to shoot the goat, he should have been prepared to stay the night boning it, and waiting in is emeregency bivy for first light to pack it out. If he wasn't prepared to stay the night, don't shoot.

    #3 Apparently he didn't even GPS the spot he shot the goat. Not finding it and having to come back the next day to search more is a horrible excuse. Which is why he should have never left the spot without the goat.

    Your misjudgements resulted in you getting hurt, and Tracy wasting a goat, and a lot of money spent on a search and rescue. And yes I'm sure it didn't seem to be a big deal to split up at the time, that's why it was a mistake. But it turned out to be a very big deal. And you ended up wasting 2 animals. Just because something horrible happened doesn't excuse you two from the mistakes you made. The wasting of the goat wasn't intentional, but I don't think intent matters. Most people don't intend to make mistakes but they are still responsible for their actions. The wasting of the goat was preventable. Man up, pay the ticket. Count it as a lesson learned. And the trooper probably didn't cite you, because he probably thought you learned your lesson already by spending the night on the mountain.
    Fairbanks,

    I disagree with your logic on this, and here's why.

    1. I can think of many cases where my partner and I separated so we could cover more ground, he wanted an animal that I didn't want, etc. Lots of reasons to do this, and ultimately it's up to the hunter to make that decision. I don't believe it's a mistake and I certainly don't think that Jed has any obligation whatsoever to Tracey, concerning the citation that was issued. In fact, I can't believe you suggested this and told him to "man up" and pay for it. Most inappropriate.

    2. Shooting animals late in the day. Your position is really problematic if you try to apply it in real hunting situations. Have you always packed out your entire moose before nightfall? If not, did you stay up all night packing it? Do you limit your hunting hours so you never shoot an animal that you cannot pack out before dark? I don't, and I've never even heard of such a thing. I think this is a weak point, and one which has little to do with the wanton waste charges. Tracey wasn't charged for not packing his goat out that evening, but for failure to recover it after Jed was rescued. That tidbit came straight from the trooper who wrote the citation.

    3. Failure to find the animal. When you look at the entire context of the situation it becomes more understandable. No sleep, leaving the hunting area and returning later, etc. I know Tracey well enough to know that he would have recovered that animal the next day, had Jed not had his accident. That's perfectly acceptable as far as the law is concerned, and anyone with much hunting experience in Alaska has done the same thing many times. I did it with the first goat I shot. Killed it late in the day (not uncommon with goats, by the way. By the time you get to them, the daylight tends to slip away on you). Went down and butchered the animal, climbed back up the mountain to get out of there and came back next day and packed it out. A very common practice. I doubt whether Tracey thought he needed a GPS to find the animal, as it was in a very distinctive location that would have been easy to return to the next day while it was still fresh in his mind.

    You don't know either of the two individuals involved, but I do. There is no way either of them would ever intentionally violate the law or do anything disrespectful of an animal. Tracey carried a badge himself for several years and is well aware of the law. He told me that this is the first time he's ever lost an animal, and I know he feels terrible about it.

    The question you have to ask yourself is whether there is ANY circumstance in which you would accept the loss of an animal by a hunter. I think it's a valid question, and for myself I'd say that there was a time when I would have dogmatically said "NO". But now I'm not so sure. There was no intent to do wrong. I don't see poor judgment here, or choices that are not commonly made by experienced hunters. Ultimately we are all human and make judgment calls. Sometimes things go badly, despite our best intentions.

    I think you are misjudging the reasons why Jed wasn't cited. He stated the reason already; he was in the act of attempting to retrieve the animal when his fall prevented it. According to your logic this is not an acceptable reason. But it was good enough for the trooper involved. It had nothing to do with anyone "learning their lesson" from being out on the mountain alone all night. There were TWO guys out there that night, the other one was Tracey. He was cited for wanton waste, allegedly because he didn't make an effort to recover his animal AFTER the rescue. That allegation is false, and will likely be the reason this is overturned, as it should be. It was a bad call.

    There are a number of AST officers who read this forum, and I hope they take situations like this to heart, realizing the potential damage done by simply charging someone with a crime. This is more than a simple mechanical process of issuing citations. You must use good judgment along the way. This man's good name has been smeared in public. Though the case will probably be thrown out of court, damage to his reputation has already occurred as a result of the citation. That's not right. Most of you do a fine job and would have handled this one differently, and I appreciate that.

    This is a judgment call, and I think the officer made a mistake.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  13. #13
    FBKShunter
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    Default which one applies?

    [QUOTE=PC;37056]Alaska Statutes.
    Title 16. Fish and Game
    Chapter 30. Destruction of Big Game Animals and Wild Fowl
    Section 17. Defenses.
    previous: Section 15. Surrender of Salvaged Portions, License Forfeiture.
    next: Section 20. Board May Exempt Animals.

    AS 16.30.017. Defenses.

    (a) It is a defense to a criminal charge under AS 16.30.010 or 16.30.012 that the failure to salvage or possess the edible meat was due to circumstances beyond the control of the person charged, including


    (1) theft of the animal or fowl;


    (2) unanticipated weather conditions or other acts of God;


    (3) unavoidable loss in the field to another wild animal.


    AS 16.30.017 states that unavoidable loss in the field to another wild animal is a defense to a criminal charge under AS 16.30.010 or 16.30.012 that the failure to salvage or possess the edible meat was due to circumstances beyond the control of the person charged

    The law is very clear what it says and there should have been no ticket issue. The law does not say that you have to spend the night in the field with your animal or that hunters can not split up and hunt different animals.[/QUOTE/]

    So which one are you saying applies? It wasn't an act of God. It was an act of 2 men. The situation could have been prevented had good decisions been made by the hunters. Poor decesions by the hunters led to this. Thus the ticket should stand.
    And no there was nothing wrong with Tracy leaving the animal, except for the fact he didn't gps it. Who's to say he would have found it the next morning even if his buddy didn't get hurt. I just know most people who shoot sheep and goats don't leave them. The wait it out till morning.


    An example:
    From what you guys are saying, if I were to caribou hunt on the haul rd. and shoot a caribou with my bow. Then the bou proceeds to swim across the sag and dies. I attempt to get it but get swept downstream. I become hypothermic and my buddies save me about a mile downstream. I get taken to deadhorse for medical attention. The bou never gets salvaged. To me I'm fully guilty of wanton waste. But from what you guys are saying, since I attempted to salvage it, it's all good. C'mon you can't be serious. I would fully expect to ticketed.

  14. #14

    Default Spare Us

    Spare us your self-righteousness FBK. I am beyond sick of that type of attitude. You weren't there, this gentleman had the decency to come on and post his side of the story in completion. Sometimes bad stuff just happens, you don't always have to point the finger. Maybe instead of pointing the finger, why not look at yourself before casting any stone, that's not just for you but for all.
    Marc Theiler

  15. #15
    FBKShunter
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    Default Self Righteousness

    Quote Originally Posted by theilercabin View Post
    Spare us your self-righteousness FBK. I am beyond sick of that type of attitude. You weren't there, this gentleman had the decency to come on and post his side of the story in completion. Sometimes bad stuff just happens, you don't always have to point the finger. Maybe instead of pointing the finger, why not look at yourself before casting any stone, that's not just for you but for all.
    I'm not trying to hammer on the guys. I don't think they did anything malicious or intentionally wrong. But they did make mistakes. Hopefully by pointing them out the rest of us long time alaskans don't make the same mistakes. Sometimes we get to familiar with a place, or activities and we take them for granted. Then we pay big time for it.

    So chill out, I think we can all learn from this. And that was my point.

  16. #16

    Default Point

    You know that is a point, yet anyone at anytime could say that. Ohh, well I was just pointing it out for the greater good. I don't buy it most of the time.
    But you do have your point. I just think we need to give our fellow hunters a break and look at ourselves more, in fact that's all we can really do.
    Marc Theiler

  17. #17
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    Default

    I don't think they did anything malicious or intentionally wrong.
    If they had, it would have qualified as "wanton". They didn't and it doesn't.
    YMMV.

  18. #18
    FBKShunter
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    Default Ahh good point kenai

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenaimike View Post
    If they had, it would have qualified as "wanton". They didn't and it doesn't.
    YMMV.
    Do you happen to have the definition of negligent waste?

  19. #19
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    Default Heavy Handed Approach

    The key word in this statute is "wanton". It means the malicious and reckless disregard for salvaging the meat. The defense here is that up until the injuries to Targetman, there is no demonstrable intent by either party not to salvage all the meat. When significant injuries occurred, (ie. his fall)
    the preservation of human life takes precendent. I can't see where any prosecutor with average intelligence would take on this case. I'd like to be on that jury.

    I'm embarrassed for my profession that an officer would cite a person in such a case after learning the facts. Something called "common sense" is a valuable trait to possess.

  20. #20

    Default ?

    Can you say "arm chair quarterback". And probably second string at that. It's easy to pick out mistakes when you are at home reading about something, it's another thing in the field as it's happening....

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