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Goat-skunked again!

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  • Goat-skunked again!

    So much for 3rd times the charm! Went back to DG335 again for 3 days. This was the 3rd trip to that area. Took Zodiac across Trail Lake (Moose Pass). Got stuck in the middle of the lake. The previous posters were very accurate. The water depth went from 60 feet to 6 inches right in the middle of the lake! Wish I could've taken a pic with me walking on water. Either way, made it to where I wanted to go. Set up camp. Next day, partly cloudy, beautiful fall day! Climbed up 4000 feet up the south facing slope facing the RR tracks. Many posters said there would be goats there. Nope. I've spent a total of 9 days hunting DG335. I saw a total of 2 goats that were completely inaccessible. F&G may want to think twice about opening the unit up for draw or registration hunt. I've covered miles of this area. Can't find the goats anywhere. I did see 2 black bears sharing the same berry patch as me up around the 4000 foot mark. One was easily 8 foot ! HE WAS FRIGGIN' HUGE ! ! ! I could have easily shot him..but how do I get that bear down the slope by myself. Personally, I would've salvaged the meat, but it was getting late. Unfortunately, I didn't head down the mountain soon enough and got stuck up there after dark. Went down the wrong chute. Fell a couple times. Had a LED headlamp that allowed me to see about 5 feet in front of my face. That's about it. It was slow going coming down. I got off that mountain at 1 am in the morning. Bout 20 degrees by that time. I almost just started a survival fire just to keep warm but I figured I'd give it a try coming down. The key is...I didn't panic! The bear sign was everywhere. It was thick as you can get. Even steeper than that. Good thing I didn't run into any bears in the middle of the night. Would've gotten really ugly! I must have counted over 50 piles of bear scat just on the RR tracks themselves. I also was almost humped by a horny bull moose. On my way out I heard a bull calling and thrashing. I waited by the tracks for him to come out. He charged out about 15 yards from me ! He stood there looking at me. He wasn't happy at all. He wasn't legal. 2 brow tines on one side, missing antler on the other side. BUt he was a BIG BODIED animal. I was wondering if I had to shoot him out of DLP what would I have to do? I sure as heck couldn't begin to cart him 10 miles out to turn into F&G. That was an impossibility. Good thing he decided to turn and walk away. As everybody has said, GOAT hunting should not be done solo. That was as close to death as I've ever been on a hunt. The only thing that kept me alive was not panicking. I've got a pretty cool head (former cop, and former Jarhead). Anybody thinking about putting in for DG335 next year better think twice. I'm awful glad I got the permit, but there are not many goats out there at all. If anybody is looking for Blackies, you are in the right area. East end of Trail Lake. Follow the valley all the way out to Trail Glacier. If you want a Blackie, you'll get one there. I will post pics of my unsuccessful try at goats later on.
    Sorry... the only moral to this story was that not every hunt is successful.

  • #2
    you made it out!

    You can hold your head high, guy. You saw about everything that tough country can deal, and you got out and shared it with us. What an adventure.
    Thanks for the story. I have a feeling a billy is in your future, its just a matter of time.
    And yes, a good partner is worth taking.
    Best, Frank
    Proud to be an American!


    • #3
      goat hunting

      Sounds like you hunted hard. Problem is the goats seem to move a lot. On the mountains where you can see them from the road they just seem to slowly feed around the unit. So they can be everywhere or nowhere when you need to hunt them. In the units where the country is very rugged and thick I think you need to spend a lot of time out there to find one in an accessible place. But what a great experience. Seeing lots of game and really wild beautiful country. It will be that much sweeter when you get one!
      I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear


      • #4
        I seem...

        I seem to have realized, when I got to the top of that mountain, and saw 2 bears (BIG), that the goats would be nowhere in sight. As big as that one bear was...I wonder if he ate the goats??? Doubt it seriously, but it is a thought. I am attempting to download some pics as I type this.


        • #5
          Trying to post pics

          from photobucket. Just made an account with them. Made an album of the goat hunt. I hope this works....


          • #11
            Trail Lake?

            Looks like a beautiful area, sorry you didn't find any goats. I'm heading out after black bear down here on the Kenai Pen. and was thinking about trying that same area on that far end of Trail Lake. You had said the water level varies greatly across the lake. Do you have any suggestions for a good route across the lake. I have a 16' lund with a prop and would rather not beach myself in the middle.

            Appreciate any insite.



            • #12
              Very tricky

              I took a 12' Zodiac and it got tricky as the water went down. No exaggeration when I say the water goes from 60 feet to inches in a matter of feet. How deep is the draft on your Lund? Long shaft? Short shaft? Put in at the unofficial boat launch at Moose Pass. Go straight toward the RR tressel. Stay as much to the Right side of the lake as you can. The only channel doable under the tressel is also the far right side under the bridge. The mini-lake at the far end (east) of the lake is also going down. My suggestion is to take the boat over to the RR tressel. Dock it on the beach that now exists due to the water being low, and walk the tracks. It'll be an extra mile or two of walking, but it'll save you from having your boat stuck. There is plenty of bear sign ALL OVER back in that valley. You should have no problem getting close to a blackie. Although you may have to climb, the big ones I saw this weekend were way up high, even though their scat was all over the tracks. You'll probably find them just about everywhere back there. I've never done it, but I would consider calling them in with a rabbit call. Make sure you are ready for them to come running. I'm thinking their are DOZENS back in there by the amount of scat all over the place. Some of it was still steaming when I came up on it. Also, careful of griz while calling. I came across a set of tracks that were 8-9 inches wide on the front pad! BIG GRIZ lives back in there somewhere.
              Good luck.
              Lemme know how you did.


              • #13
                thanks for all the photos

                funny you did'nt come across a bear on the tracks or thereabouts with all the droppings down low. there must be some late salmon attracting them to the creek.


                • #14
                  First time out..

                  was a month ago. While out in the lake, the fish were jumping everywhere. I presumed they were salmon. They could be making a late run up the Trail Creek. Don't know their spawning habits for that area. I'm surprised I didn't see any bears either on the tracks. If you get out there before first snow, you'll see what I mean by all the seeds deposited on the tracks.


                  • #15
                    Tricky Indeed

                    I have a longer shaft on my boat and anything under 2' deep is going to be pushing it. How was the water clarity, can you see when you're getting shallow? Either way, sounds like a good adventure for this weekend.



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