My brother and I have joined the crazy few who hunt mountain goats
We were dropped off in Sunday Harbor and after a strenuous climb through the alders and devil's club, with routefinding and a little backtracking, fueled by huge blueberries, we made our way to the treeline. We cooked up some freeze dried calories, and layed around in the 75 degree temps glassing distant goats.
The next day we awoke to 100' visibility and rain. We thought the fog would burn off and then we realized we were in the overcast layer...not morning fog. A wind gust made a hole in the clouds and we spotted a nice billy, so we went after him but he dissappeared into the fog. We climbed up and over and along the ridge hoping to see him just over the next rise, but to no avail, so we returned to camp to sleep off the weather.
When we awoke, the rain had stopped and the ceiling had lifted a little so I climbed the ridge the other way and spotted a far off goat. As I was stalking him, I came over a ridge above two nice goats. I dropped my pack, and low crawled to the edge, set up in the prone for a 200 yard shot 45 degrees down to him and squeezed one off. Luckily he didn't move, I had anchored him and breathed a sigh of relief at that. Then, his back legs started kicking and he propelled himself the 15' to the edge and over.
I made my way down to him and thankfully he hadn't damaged any meat, other than the two holes from my 375 he was fine. He was missing a horn, which landed in a very precarious spot on a cliff and after a few attempts to retrieve it on the wet rocks, I decided it was still a fantastic trophy, even with one horn.
I dressed him out and pointed out a spot below us at the treeline to my brother, who would retrieve our camp and meet me there while I packed the goat down. A few hours later, at dark in the pouring rain, we had some spruce needle tea and crawled into a dripping tent.
We took two trips to pack the goat and our gear down. We could have crammed it all on for one heavy load, but the way down was risky enough with a light load so we decided to play it safe. We called for a pickup on the iridium and waited in the pouring rain, chewing on a bag of jerky, watching spawning salmon and listening for the hum of the airplane.
An hour later we were back in town eating fries and diet coke with the heater on full.