With 5 points built up in Nevada, I drew my last choice, 141,143,151-156. The units are basically south and east of Battle Mountain.
Fortunately I have some family relatives that live in Elko and have a long history in the state. They put me in contact with a couple of ranchers in the unit. After talking to them, a local sheriff that one of the ranchers sent me to, a great contact from 24 HR Campfire, 2 biologists, Cary Jellison (a guide in the unit), and last but not least, 2 guys that live in Winnemucca that I met in my hunting camp in South Africa a few months ago, I had a lot of knowledge on the unit.
This was also my first DIY hunt and I was pretty nervous about how successful it would be. I had plenty of knowledge and convinced my dad to come along. Right there the trip is already successful.
One rancher, lived out by the Cortez mines. He put us into an area that had no pressure and a lot of goats, that Sunday evening. We found the area he was talking about and after glassing for 15 minutes I look down the ridge to my left and there was a nice goat. I studied him for several minutes and was debating to shoot him. He looked big but heck, I can't shoot the first one I see. Or can I??
I was just planning on scouting so my gun was buried under our gear. I decided this was a shooter. You know the story, by the time I got my gun set up he was gone. He never saw us but somehow wandered out of site and we couldn't find him again.
That evening I talked to the rancher in Battle Mountain. He said there were a lot of people and the goats were scattered because of the pressure. This made the decision to go back to Cortez the next AM easy.
We stopped just short of where we saw the one from the evening before. Sure enough I locate 1 walking down a ridge and 3 more under a tree. I had to get to another ridge for a shot and it took me about 30 minutes to get set up and find the loan goat again. He looked good and I decided to take the shot. The wind was blowing and I thought I had compensated enough for the wind, but it was a clean miss.
My dad drove the truck up the road, where I would be coming back from my stalk. I got some water and looked down the other side of the ridge we were on. Hey, there's another one and this is a nice one as well. This one was closer at 350 yards. Again, my first shot was off because of the wind. I compensated on the 2nd and put him down.
I couldn't believe it happened so quickly. I was afraid that maybe I shot a small one or I should have waited for a nicer one. However I never want to go home empty handed so I often don't wait for a bigger one to come along.
I walked up to him and he was a very nice goat. He had some nice mass, decent cutters and some length. I dragged him to the bottom, where I met my dad with some water, the camera and the game bags. We found a tree and spent the next couple of hrs cleaning him up. Then a short but hard hike (very steep) up the hill to the truck.
I'm having a euro mount done on him. The taxidermist asked what I estimated him to be. We measured him at the hotel and got 13 inches. He said, no way, he was 14 or better. I guess I didn't measure all the way to the base of the skull, I stopped at the hairline. He estimated him to a mid 70's goat and a very nice representative of the species.
I had a great time, met some awesome folks that helped a total stranger out, spent time with my dad and now have Antelope meat to try. What a trip.