Just joined this site. Saw a link to this site talking about needing hunting stories and they were offering a gift certificate to cabela's for the best one. Saw that the contest ended but thought you would all like to read this one anyway. Love to read everyone else's story so thought I should post mine also. So, hope you all enjoy.
Having arrived in Kodiak in the summer of 97, thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard, I have had many hunting adventures that I will not soon forget. All with my hunting partner, Jason, who arrived on Kodiak the day after I did. He had been a rifle hunter his whole life, until I introduced him to bow hunting. Ever since he shot his first arrow, he was hooked. After several hunts that included black bear, Dall sheep,
blacktails, and even mountain goats with rifle, we were off on our 1st bow hunt for goats here on Kodiak. We drove 30 miles out the road from the city of Kodiak on Saturday morning Nov 1st. After shooting my bow, a PSE Nitro, in for about a half hour due to some equipment malfunctions, I was ready to go. My buddy and I started the long climb up at around 1 pm. Here on Kodiak, the low country is filled with alder's, pushkie, and a wonderful plant named Devil's club, fun stuff to hike through. After about an hour and a half of climbing we broke into alpine and started walking along a knife like ridge that ran for about 5 miles with several saddles that required going down a few hundred feet and then back up. The fog was rolling in and out and winds were steady at 25 gusting to 40. Yes, in Kodiak you get wind and fog at the same time. It wasn't until about 4:30 pm we saw our 1st goat. He was a ways off yet, and with it getting dark around 5:30, all we could do was keep our eyes on it and continue hiking to our camping spot. We actually ended pitching our tarp and bivy sacks within a couple hundred yards of where we saw the goat. Next morning we woke to find ourselves totally enveloped in a thick, damp fog. Visibility was only about 50 yards. With a well planned route, and the fact that my hunting partner Jason had been in the area several times that year with other’s on rifle goat hunts, we decided to pack up camp and continue along the ridge to higher ground, hoping the sun would burn the fog off as it rose. We rolled up the tarp and our bivy sacks and packed up and continued along the ridge. We have learned to hunt, over the course of our last 7 years here on Kodiak, with our sleeping gear on our backs. After several hunts where we would start chasing sheep, goats, or deer, we would find ourselves 7-8 miles from our sleeping bags and wishing we had them with us. This way we could just pitch camp where we ended up that night, saving us a long hike back to our camp. Which is why we now use a tarp and bivy sack, keeping the weight down. So off we went. We climbed the highest peak in the area, which was quite steep and covered in grass, making for some tricky footing at times. Once on top we took off our packs and waited for the fog to hopefully lift. As the sun rose and the fog started burning off, we started to see goats immediately. We saw a group of 5 goats with 2 nice billy’s, a group of 20 nanny's and kids with a few small billy's, and a couple of single billy's. We saw all this within the first 15 minutes of glassing. After about 45 minutes, with most of the goats still being a ways off, we put our packs back on and continued along the ridgeline. As we approached another peak, we removed our packs to start glassing some more. By now the sun was out in full force. The valleys below us were shrouded in fog, but Jason and I, not to mention the goats, were far above the fog enjoying the brilliant sunshine. We divided up the area to glass, him one way, and me another. After only about 5 minutes of glassing, Jason turned to me and excitedly said in a whisper that there were goats coming towards us. I crawled towards him and looked over the grassy little hump, and about 200 yards away was a nanny and billy feed along the ridge in our direction. They fed down off the ridge towards our right a little ways and bedded down what looked like about 25 yards from the ridgeline, a couple of hundred yards away from us. BINGO! We slid back down away from the peak and down the opposite side of the ridge from where they were bedded. I quickly put on my whites and off we went, side slipping our way about 50 yards below the ridgeline, opposite side of the bedded goats. On the way we saw a young goat bedded down 100 yards below us on our side of the ridge facing away from us, so far so good. We got to the point where we thought we were directly opposite of the 2-bedded goats, and commenced crawling up to the ridge. About 40 yards from the ridge we stopped and came up with an idea. I told my buddy Jason to crawl up and see if he could range them. So we crawled up anther 15 yards together and then he went up alone. As he rose up to his hand and knees to peak over, he suddenly dropped down to his belly and rolled onto his back and held up 5 fingers and mouthed the words "5 yards". The goats had gotten up and were feeding! I quickly stood up and knocked an arrow. Due to the steepness of the ridge, they couldn't see me and I couldn't see them, even though my buddy was only 25 yards from me, and the goats only 5 yards from him. I slowly stepped forward step by step towards the ridgeline. All the sudden I could see the back of one of the goats straight ahead of me. It had either sensed me or got a whiff of me, don’t know, but it took off at a dead run towards my left. I took 2 quick steps up towards the ridgeline and drew my bow and took aim at the running goat. The goat stopped and looked back me from about 25 yards out. As I was aiming I could see it was the nanny. I stayed at full draw and took a couple of more steps up towards the ridge looking for the billy. All the sudden he comes running up the hill towards the ridgeline and right towards the nanny, where he stops and looks back at me also. There they were, 1 nanny and 1 billy 25 yards away staring at a 6'2" tall white goat...(me) That pause to look back resulted in a complete pass through both lungs of the billy and a fifty yard run before piling up. Thankfully not off the 500 ft drop off. After several high fives and photos, the work began. After we got the goat quartered up, Jason went to work on deboning, I got to work on caping the skull out. We had taken the hide off like a rug. As we were doing all this, the fog had started to roll back in. All the sudden I hear what I think sounds like a goat. Having never heard one before, I couldn’t be sure. We looked in the direction of the noise through the fog, and here comes a huge bodied billy out of the fog coming right towards us. Jason grabs the goat rug from me and drapes it over him and waits for the goat to approach. Without going into long detail about the type of person Jason is, let’s just say I wasn’t surprised by what he was doing. As the goat approached, he veered to our left and was walking about 50 yards below us. As the goat got directly below us, Jason got to his feet, bent over at the waist, and started walking along the ridgeline parallel with the goat, with me walking bent over right beside him opposite of the goat. With the cape draped over him, and the fog being so thick by now, I couldn’t believe my eyes as the billy came up towards us. That billy was an old one, with a huge body and both horns busted off about an inch or two from the bases. He closed to within about 10 yards and gave us quite the look over. After deciding we didn’t quite look right, he casually disappeared into the fog. We both sat there and were in awe of the encounter and the whole way the hunt had gone. Jason and I have been on many hunts here in Alaska, and each one of them was just as awe-inspiring as the one we had just completed. Well, we still had to get back to the truck though. That took one more night of camping, and a long wet hike out in a steady 30 mph wind and rainstorm. Once back at the truck, the drive back for us was filled with reflecting onn all the hunts we we had been on together and what we have learned on each one. With my friend Jason leaving Alaska this summer, due to a Coast Guard transfer, I cannot help but look back on all these hunts with him and thank the one above for the last 7 years worth of adventures here with Jason. That being said though, we still have an upcoming black bear / brown bear combo hunt this spring. Not to mention that Jason will be flying back to Kodiak this fall for another goat. This time with his dad, who was fortunate enough to draw a tag for Kodiak this year. You can bet I will be on that hunt with them. In reality, I guess his transfer really won't change a thing. See you in the fall Jason.