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Thread: Goat shot placement.

  1. #1
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    Default Goat shot placement.

    Well I was told to shoot Mt Goats in the shoulder to put them down quickly so they don't jump off a cliff. Is this true? Or should I still go for the vitals? This will be my second hunt for goats and want some good advice!

    Thanks in Advance
    batesdc

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Whatever you do hit them in the vitals! A gut shot goat will go places you will never see it again. I watched a couple buddies chase a goat around the cliffs for HOURS once. Luckily they had it pinned and running out of cliffs. They slowly worked their way across some gnarly terrain and finally pushed it out of the cliffs into the open to for a second shot.

    The biggest thing I learned on my goat hunt was to be patient! If they are in danger of taking a dive or being unrecoverable then DON"T SHOOT! I recently read a magazine article where the guy went on and on about being able to make a DRT shot on goats to keep them from taking a dive. Well he did it, "text book" spine shot. Unfortunately the DRT goat was DRT in a place he couldn't friggin get to!!

    There are lots of people on this board w/ far more goat exp than me but of the 4 animals harvested on my trip and 2 that I was directly involved w/ only one of the animals was shot and killed in a manner that it didn't go rolling down the mountain (well at least not very far). Besides sometimes you want em to tumble a bit.

    First goat we took was standing about 30' up a cliff he was scaling, below that was a nice chute of grass ending at a moraine boulder field. We were on a small pinnacle of rock a little more than 300 yards away from the goat looking up with a good rest. There was only one spot where the goat could get hung up and we were confident we could get to it at that point. We looked it over well and figured shoot it and drop it into the grass chute and hope for the best. At least if it got hung up on the rough stuff it wouldn't fall as far! Just as foretold, the roar of the 338 rang out and the 180 grn accubond found it's place behind the shoulder. The goat wheeled around took a quick step and launched itself off the side of the cliff. It fell about 15 feet hit the outcropping and dropped another 15' to the grass chute where it rode like a luge about another 75 yards and came to a rest at the top of the moraine. We slid down off out little pinnacle and literally just walked over to the goat. In this case we wanted it to fall and it couldn't have worked any better. Recovery was easy!

    2nd goat, Similar deal to the first, we caught it on a high bench at the head of a drainage. As we approached it spotted us at just over 300 yards. It was heading for some nasty stuff but just walking away from us. It was crossing way up the side of a scree slope with a nice run-out slope into a similar moraine boulder field. Again the shot was uphill and the timing picked to give the goat the "smoothest" tumble possible. This shot was a bit high but took out the spine and crumpled the goat on the spot sending it rolling down the mountain coming to a rest nearly at out level and saving us from climbing that scree slope. Only downfall was the cape was pretty bloody so pictures aren't what I would have liked.

    Of the other 2 animals taken on that hunt one was on the wrong side of the mountain and since my buddy made it back to camp before dark it couldn't have rolled far (not sure where he shot it, but I believe it was not the shoulder). The other one slid down the mountain like it was the Vancouver Olympic Luge and blasted DEEP into the alders (looked miserable, but funny to me since I was miles away watching them work on it through a spotting scope!).

    SO, all that said to get to this. It truly depends on the situation! Sometimes you want it to fall, sometimes you want it to stay right where it is. Many times you just need to wait for things to unfold to make sure that you have the best chance of making a good killing shot and being able to recover the animal. Thinking that blasting it through the shoulder will anchor it to the side of the mountain is fallacious logic. It is steep enough in many cases that even w/ no shoulders it will launch w/ it's rear legs, and honestly "taking out" the shoulders is tougher than many would have you believe. Most bullets put a hole through 1, maybe shatter it but rarely both and a tough goat would still be plenty capable of ensureing several seconds of 32fps, per second acceleration on 3 legs.

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default rolling vs. jumping

    I've been thinking about this alot. I head to the mountains soon and my goal is to take a big billie. I've taken goats before and for one reason or another they have been mangled or nannie. So no billie trophy yet.

    I went to the range last week and was deciding between my 25-06 and 300 H&H. The 25-06 felt better and was more accurate with my hunting load combo. So the accuracy wins...why is this important? Shot placement and central nervous system immobilization

    A goat will fall two ways.......A heart shot goat can still head for the cliff if he doesn't jump it can still roll and tumble half way down the mountain

    A poorly shot goat can and will run and tumble. At this point I'm convinced that EVERY goat on this earth will tumble! I'll try to discredit myself soon.

    My best experience at taking the legs right off a goat is getting a solid Central Nervous system shot. This of course would likely require a second pulmonary vascular kill shot to minimize suffering. I'm not gonna detail how I do this here. It's controversial but for me it works.

    Goats can be shot rather easy IMHO. Too easy, and you should hold off more often than not. If the terrain isn't favorable for your own health and to avoid damage to your trophy don't shoot. I guess if I find a goat eating in a flat open alpine green patch I'll do a steady heart lung and watch the run fall. If I find a goat in a less than savory situation I'm gonna wait. Most likely your gonna find a goat uphill looking down on you. You'll be breathing hard and without a good rest.

    Just be prepared for everything. The beauty of a goat hunt is fighting the mountain.

    Get close, scrutinize the terrain, and judge well. If you do that the shot should be easy.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by batesdc View Post
    Well I was told to shoot Mt Goats in the shoulder to put them down quickly so they don't jump off a cliff. Is this true? Or should I still go for the vitals? This will be my second hunt for goats and want some good advice!

    Thanks in Advance
    batesdc
    I am more than a little amused by the responses you have gotten...

    Goats have harder and thicker bone than just about any animal. Caribou have harder bone, but it is much thinner. Getting a bullet through goat bone is not a big trick as long as you use good bullets placed properly.

    Goat hearts are lower than most critters and the hump and hair confuse the location quite a bit. Shoot through the shoulder with a real premium bullet (a Partition does not meet the criteria for me) like the TSX or other and shoot low and well forward.

    Spined goats can still kick and fall off the mountain.

    Intentionally spining a goat is not a good plan.

    Taking out a shoulder in a broadside shot with a good bullet will guarantee the goat will die quickly. Taking out the front wheel drive will guarantee the goat will fall quickly. Combined it should mean the goat will not go far after you shoot.

    Shooting a bedded goat is the best plan.

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    Default Spring loaded jumpers....

    Without getting to long winded...

    My mountain goats appear to be spring loaded to jump off into never-never-land whenever they get whacked. Adding to the recovery misery is their shape. Compared to other critters, goats are more round and their horns are not large enough to hang up in alder bruch. So if they get to rolling down the mountain they appear to hit terminal velosity within seconds.

    Generally speaking, I'm a double-lung/heart shooter on all other game. But with mountain goats I like to think that i can take out one front shoulder with a large caliber gun when I decide it is time for blast-off. More important, I prefer to be patient enough to let Mr. Billy move into an area where the recovery will not be life threatening to myself.

    As Hap suggested above, I like the idea of whacking em while they are bedded, when possible.
    Actually, after reading his post, I'll easily agree, completely agree, with the entire post.
    But...take your shots as you get 'em.

    Dennis

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I agree with BH, shooting a billy (in my limited experience) is not hard. The ones I have hunted did not run for the next mountain range when it spotted me like sheep will. I was well within rifle range and they just plodded toward their ever present escape terrain. I posted that it is unlikely for you to take out the "front wheel drive" because the odds of you finding the perfect broadside shot to accomplish destruction of both front shoulders is unlikely.

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default bedded

    I agree with the bedded goat idea. Usually they find flat zones for that, small flat zones, and or snow.

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    Default Great topic...

    Similar to Lujon, I have limited goat experience. I've harvested 2 billies, and helped a buddy harvest another. Of the 3, only 1 has taken a tough tumble- it broke the skull plate but the meat, hide and horns were fine.

    My first goat was from Kodiak- much easier terrain where I was hunting than the other 2. It was my first goat hunt and I watched 3 billies from 300 yards for 4 hours to determine which was the biggest. Finally they moved up a small sidehill and I took a broadside slightly uphill shot right in the vitals (double lung) and the goat simply fell over and slid in a small snow slide about 20 feet...my first thought was "I thought goat hunting was tough"!

    My second goat was a really nice billy perched on a ledge over-looking a scree slide. We couldn't close the distance because of the terrain where he was so I actually wanted him to fall a bit, as the slide was small rock and less steep. My first shot was true, right through his lungs- he immediately jumped up and went straight uphill about 30 yards, this was my first real experience about how tough these animals really are. I hit him again- about 2" from the first shot and he turned looking downhill and sat down. I thought he was done, but a few minutes later he was still sitting down. My last shot was for his neck- he immediately broke down and fell where we had anticipated (well, maybe a bit further).

    My most recent goat hunt was to help out another guy who had never connected on one. He hit his goat to far back, and the billy was able to motor quite a ways without his back legs- he finally anchored his with a neck shot too.

    So, to answer your question, if I were to take another goat with a rifle and the terrain was favorable, I'd hit him right in the boiler plant. If I needed him to fall asap, the shoulder shot seems to make quite a bit of sense. It all depends on the situation- its usually more about the mountain than the mountain goat. As mentioned, if you don't like the situation, don't pull the trigger, I've heard some sad stories about people being 'goated'- meaning they kill an animal they'll never see. As for me, I'll stick with the vitals from under 50 yards...cause my next goat will be hunted with a bow...maybe someday I'll be able to report on that- although I think I'll avoid the shoulder shot with my 125 grain muzzys.

    Good luck, be safe and sensible.

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    Thanks for all the info it is very helpfully. Well to give you a little background, my first and only goat hunt was in southeast and we saw a couple of shooters(brother&I) but their was no way that we could see to safitly get them out if at all so we passed on the goats! My new goat hunt will be back in southeast Alaska and I will have my 300RUM it likes 180gr partitions but I'm thinking about working a load up with 200 or 225gr but not sure on the bullet to use? Thanks again and please keep the info coming!!

    Batesdc

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    Member 8x57 Mauser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bighorse View Post
    ...At this point I'm convinced that EVERY goat on this earth will tumble! ...
    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    The biggest thing I learned on my goat hunt was to be patient! If they are in danger of taking a dive or being unrecoverable then DON"T SHOOT! ...
    Those two gentlemen said it.

    Some goats lie down when shot through the lungs. Some bolt. My dad shot a mountain goat once with a 180-grain interbond that took out one shoulder, the top of a lung, and demolished two vertebrae in the neck. The goat hopped a couple of boulders and stood for a bit before he went hooves up. Given the lack of a spinal cord, I would have thought that performance medically impossible. But it happened.

    The late Duncan Gilchrist wrote about taking a whole lot of goats in Southeast Alaska. He preached the value of knowing where they might go before you pull the trigger. Assume they'll all launch themselves into the worst possible terrain before they quit, then decide whether to take the shot or not.

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    Default Bullet choice

    As for bullet choice, you Partitions will do fine for the goats. Are you confident they'll hold together at RUM muzzle velocities if you need to defend yourself from a brown bear?

    All SE goat country is brown bear country. If you can get there without ropes and pitons, so can the bears. And some of them really like to hunt goats.

    I suggest testing your loads on a tightly packed box full of phone books at 5 yards. If they hold together, they'll probably penetrate what they need to in the case of a DLP situation. If not, take your pick between a heavier bullet moving more slowly and a tougher one going roughly as fast. As long as you can do your part, the goat won't know the difference.

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    Premium Member Marc Taylor's Avatar
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    Where a goat will ultimately end up is impossible to predict. One can only plan the best shot with recovery in mind.

    SLOW moving, heavy bullets will break him down.

    Fast-moving, explosive bullets will kill him, but run him off in the process.

    The best goat-shot I've been on was with a .45-70, believe it or not. Even most .375 loads move too fast to be perfect.

    Just a thought. There is no absolute.

    Taylor

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    Default not to be a gremlin...but

    to say all of southeast goat country is brown bear country, just simply isn't true. There are a piss load of goats on the hills right above town and no brownies to speak of.

    As for shot placement, i shot mine in the head. One and DONE.

    Beau
    Alpine is awesome...

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    Default cape distruction

    Beau, I appreciate that sentiment because of the effciency and clean processing that a good headshot produces. I'm really after a wall trophy with my steaks this year. So the head shots are gonna have to wait until next year.

    Marc, I'd love to see your 45-70 in action.

    Sockeye.......looking forward to the bow hunting story. I'm bringing a 41 magnum pistol on the hill with me next month with the long gun. It's scoped and loaded well with hard casts, If the opportunity comes it might find some action.

    Let the good times roll.

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    Default Fastest death...

    I failed to mention that my first goat (kodiak, 9.25" billy, 7 years old) was shot with a 30.06, 150 grain nosler partition. They are often maligned by some, but I sure have never had a problem with them. Goat died very quickly and efficiently. If you look at the moose in my photo gallery they all died with the same rifle and bullet, 180 grain- and none needed a follow up shot.

    My biggest goat was with my little pea shooting .270- little tiny fed. premium 130 grain BTSP, dead on his feet- still managed the jump...

    My next goat (if I'm lucky) will be with my Bowtech, 125 grain 3-blade muzzys...

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    Premium Member Marc Taylor's Avatar
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    A little-known thought about head-shots:

    Yes, the head shot debilitates immediately, however, all bodily function comes to a sudden stop including the cardio-pulmonary functions.

    Now; goats are hit-and-miss as to whether the goat meat will taste wonderful or not, as is. With a lung- or double-lung shot the goat dies of lack of oxygen to the brain as a result of blood loss. The heart will continue to pump blood into and out of the muscle groups that we eat, momentarily, and they will deplete. A thoracic cavity full of blood is a good thing!

    Ever get a perfectly good steak, but it tastes "liver-y"? That's why. It still contained too much blood as a result of not being bled out ideally.

    It's why butchered animals are immediately bled out with a throat slitting.

    This adds to the notion that some say game meat tastes "gamey". Sometimes it's bloody, as some hunters only go for the instant drop of a neck shot.

    With goats, it is a delicate matter... Anchor him or bleed him out? Anchoring him usually takes priority!

    In my own personal opinion, too much can go wrong with a head or neck shot and I don't desire one generally.

    This is for what it's worth only. I'm no physician and you'll never find my writings in the Journal of the American Medical Association, so just take it for what it's worth... ;-]]

    Taylor

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Goats are an animal where "shot placement" involves terrain as much as point-of-impact.
    When confronted with multiple solutions or hypotheses, the simplest is usually the most correct (Occam's Razor) and Never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by stupidity (Hanlon's Razor)

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    Member 8x57 Mauser's Avatar
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    Default I stand corrected

    Quote Originally Posted by beauhunter View Post
    to say all of southeast goat country is brown bear country, just simply isn't true. ...
    I suppose that's fair enough. I guess I should have said:

    Quote Originally Posted by 8x57 Mauser View Post
    ...Nearly all SE goat country is brown bear country.
    There are brownies on the goat mountains from Endicott and Haines to the Misty Fjords. There are brownies on Baranof. Admiralty, Chichagoff, P.O.W., etc. all lack goats. But beauhunter is right - Revilla has goats w/o brown bears.

    8x57 Mauser regrets the error.

  19. #19
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default game dynamics

    Chichagof, Admiralty, and POW don't have goats. POW doesn't have Brown or Goats.

    Baranof does have goats.

    So the shot placement must be on Baranof, Kodiak, Rev. Island, or the Mainland.

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    When I was in the fjords we saw a couple of brown bears and a few goats and one big ass wolf my brother missed the shot but the wolf was running very fast

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