For a long time my wife has watched from a distance as I wobbled home with weak legs and a strong heart after storied goat hunts. This year it was her turn. I took vacation time. We shipped the kids to grandmas in WA. The packs were loaded and the plan was in motion. The hunting grounds were north of Sitka so we had to boat there. Once in our choosen bay we landed with gear and a hand cart and anchored the skiff off shore and kayaked into shore. We utilized the hand cart as far as we could in anticipation of success and easing our burden on the return.
Kathleen and I have been married for 12 yrs and have been through alot. Our courting took place in WA state and before I married her she endured a week backpacking in the William O Douglas Wilderness. She is a great woman and really pleasant through the labors of a backcountry trip. This would be her second attempt at goat. She was well prepared and made the alpine on day one. In the end it was her who carried out the entire meat bag.
Once on top we set camp and went light ridge to look over the few goats we had seen earlier bedded in the snow.
They were nannies and quickly moved on. So the next morning at 4am we were in motion to gain elevation and get the jump on the dawn activities. Soon we were on a rocky outcropping overlooking 15 goats. In particular was a group of three big bodied Billies below a large group of nannies and juvenile goats. Wierd, I know.......but true situation. That lead nannie in the upper group probably had 12+ inch daggers. She was really impressive for a nannie goat and very regal. So we waited until they moved on and out of view as to not disturb the Billies below. It worked and the stalk was on. I got Kathleen above the goats.....within 150yrds and she set the cross hairs on the biggest of the bunch as he walked above some buck brush. I told her to wait until it was just above the brush so that he might catch up in it but NO the bugger collapsed quickly to the shot and rolled strait into the bowels of the mountain. That 25-06 was plenty enough pill for that bad boy!
I had an oh-**** moment and gathered myself for the difficult task ahead. It was a replay of last year when I had to recover a 8.5 yr. old Billy for a friend. He couldn't get in to the hole and this year was the same exact situation. So all those days sport climbing started to pay off. The wife didn't get in for a trophy photo shot but she sure did do a good job of sitting in the sun and running the camera. This year it was a 9.5 year old billy with mamoth body. I'll let the photos speak to the situation. All I got to say is I LOVE goat meat!
I hauled that beast from the hole. My wife took some of the load and we were off to camp. The meat was stored overnight in a snow bank. We hauled down to the base of the hill and laid it in a cold river in a dry bag overnight again. I had a backstrap steak tonight and it is wonderful.
The weather was perfect. The company even better.
I hope you enjoy the photos. Over the years it's been a pleasure reading your stories and seeing where you've traveled. I hope this is a small repayment to all of you.