Re: Idaho goat hunt
This was an awesome hunt. I drew one of two 36B tags and the hunt ran from August into November. The fire season was busy until the end of September and from what I had researched the goats would be well furred by the first of October. So I headed for the hills on the first and hunted the first week of October solo from my wall tent base camp and spike on different ridges to try a locate some billies. The first morning on the trail I had a run in with a female lion with two kittens that appeared to be yearlings to me. Long story short I was able to convince her to break off her charge at twenty yards and follow the kids. The rest of that week I spent hiking around in snow on the ridges with the only game being lower and the only goats I saw were at the bottom of the Yankee fork outside my unit , a nanny and kid. Friday morning I awoke to a white out so I packed it in for the week and made my plans to access the south slope of the ridge I had been hunting. After regrouping I headed back on Monday with my best hunting buddy with a goal of setting up base camp and getting a couple miles under our boots before it got dark so we would be in or close to goat country Tuesday morning. We got camp up and hit the trail at 2:30pm after a couple hours we were near the top of the first peak. We held up to take a breather and to my amazement I caught a yellowish white critter feeding on the slope about 550 yards a cross the drainage from us. We quickly got our glass out and quickly confirmed the goat was a billy. With this being a once in a lifetime tag I wanted to be sure it had good fur and a mature animal. After a short excited discussion we decided he was the right goat. At the same time we started to close the ground the goat started for the creek and cover. We were behind and losing ground to the billy that was headed down slope but up drainage away from us. At that point it was almost at a jog trying to catch up and for a fevered minute or two I lost sight of him in the bottom. I stopped to try and locate him and got a glimpse of movement at the creek 80 yards below. The drinking goat must have sensed me as I tried to lower the magnification on my scope and popped his head up from the creek and did not like the figure he saw. He bolted back up the slope he had come down as I lost my window for I shot I ran back to a clear shooting lane where I was able to get set up just in time to take a 175 yard shot as my goat cleared some reprod fir. He did one summersault and hung up on a cluster of jagged rocks. It al took place so quickly neither my friend or I could believe it. We hadn't even thought we would be able to glass a goat the first day let alone harvest a great billy and have him packed out by bed time! The following morning we made a return trip to retrieve some gear we had left behind and we were able to glass three more goats a mature nanny with a kid and a young billy. My goat was 5.5 years old and according to fish and game his 9 1/4 inches of horn growth is very abnormal for a billy that age.