The 'rest of the story' and pix Mt. Goat 2009 (pic heavy)

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Michael Eichele, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    I don’t have the time to cover every aspect of this hunt from the planning to the end so I will start with from when we left. Due to some issues at work my hunting partner and I left Anchorage at 01:00 on Thursday morning and drove all night to arrive on time at our 1st destination. Our 1st stop was at a small town airport where we would get on a commuter plane and take a short flight to a village where we would meet our local transporter. The plane arrived around 09:30. After unloading the plane and reloading our gear into a pickup were on our way to the drop off point. After driving down a remote trail for some time we picked a good place to stop and set up base camp close to where we wanted to hunt. We decided where we wanted to hunt by studying topo maps and google earth.

    When we stopped the pickup my buddy Charlie said there’s a goat RIGHT THERE! Sure enough just under 1000 yards was a nice billy standing on a peak. After he left we unloaded, set up a base camp, ate lunch and packed our spike camp gear we headed for the top of a knob that would put us close to a high mountain pass between 2 peaks. After fighting alders, devils club and spruce thickets along with some typical uphill goat terrain for some time we made it to the top of the first hump. We had to be careful not to push ourselves too hard in order to NOT sweat. We were upper teen and lower 20 degree temperatures with heavy winds and the last thing you need is to be wet from the inside. The terms “Cotton kills” and “The cheap stuff will kill you” apply here. Fleece, polyester, goose down and Gore-Tex are your best friends here.

    After resting for a few minutes we headed for the pass. As we got closer to the pass I saw another billy standing on a ridge top in the distance. What a sight to behold! A mature billy goat standing on the skyline in the cold crisp air in the sun light with the bright blue winter sky behind him is truly a breath taking image. These are the sights that keep me going! After viewing him through the Swarovski’s I watched him head down the mountain on the face we would be looking at when we reached the pass. What seemed like forever passed before we reached that pass. When we got near the top we dropped our packs and crawled over to the edge. We glassed high and low for that billy but could never find him.

    Charlie decided that I would shoot the first and if need be the only goat if there was one to be had as he had taken goats in the past and that he also bagged 3 nice critters this year where as I had not taken a goat nor any critters this year. Sometime later either the same billy or another billy appeared on the sky line again. I could not believe it. We watched him for a while cruise up and down the ridge. He would come into view and disappear. Over and over he would do this. He slowly worked his way down a ridge that would put him in close proximity of us. When I first ranged him he was 771 yards. I didn’t even contemplate a shot due to the high winds (20-25 mph) which was at our location and at his location which was evident by his long winter fur waving in the wind like wheat in a windy field. A few minutes later he was 650 yards. As he got closer I desired to get a really good look at him with the spotting scope which was 50 yards down the mountain. I had to face the slope while I descended and kick toe holds into the compacted snow on the slope to keep from sliding down. I would keep an eye on the goat while I advanced towards my pack to get my scope. Before I could get my scope out he was within 540 yards. I opted to forget the scope and get into position for a shot. Every time I would think about moving to get to a spot I could shoot from he would look our way. About the time I felt I could move he would come into view facing us again! This went on for about 30 minutes. Before I knew it he was 275 yards, then 200, then 175, then 150. He was so close and I would have been totally exposed if I stood up and couldn’t move. Charlie was looking at me in frustration as he felt I should have shot this goat by now. As the goat got within less than 150 yards he was hidden by a small mound. Charlie motioned for me to come up by him. When I go to the top I peaked over and saw him below. I dint range him as we were scary close! I dialed the knob for 100 yards and had to stand up to get the shot. I slowly stood up and the goat turned to run. He trotted a few yards and stopped briefly to analyze which way he should go. It was now or never. I took aim and torched off a round. As I was coming off the recoil I could tell he was hit. After about 10 yards he just flopped over and didn’t move a muscle. The 300 grain pill did the deed! Later I would learn that the bullet ripped square through the heart and loosed it from whatever it attaches to. I waited there for a few minutes to ensure he didn’t get up and then we jumped up and celebrated. There was something magical about laying my hand on those nice black horns and that thick heavy winter fur. All that long range practice only to have to have a 133 yard shot! We have yet to 'score' him but his horns are 9-3/8" and 9-1/4" long. I had initially decided to take my 308 (Jenny) but Charlie talked me into taking my 338 due to the very tough and spirited nature of mountain goats.

    We moved him a few yards to get him away from the bloody mess in the snow for some quality photos. After the photo session we took off the whole cape head to hoof and quartered him up. We packed down out of the pass to the 1st knob we made it up to so that we could bivy for the night. We had to use crampons to safely negotiate the slopes down to the knob. We cut some fire wood, made a big fire and cooked goat tenderloin over the coals. Wow! I always heard goat meat was nasty. Oh wait, on second thought, yeah it’s pretty bad. You may not ever want to go harvest one!

    That night would prove to snow all night. Despite the cold, wind and snow we stayed warm and dry all night. We had to work hard to through out the days and night to stay warm but we did. It wouldn’t be an Alaskan adventure if we didn’t work for it.

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    Avril gets it done

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    Looking from the pass to an ocean bay.

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    My buddy Charlie with the cape.

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    You aint going anywhere without these!

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    More pix in the next post
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2009
  2. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    Those clouds sure look ominous!

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    Charlies bivy

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    My bivy

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    Too much sweat in the hair

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    Charlie and I getting ready for the long trip home

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  3. kiwi3006

    kiwi3006 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome pictures Michael!! You sure appreciate a trophy when you have to work for it like that. Looks quite a bit like tahr hunting down here in NZ.

    Congrats,

    Stu.
     
  4. Slopeshunter

    Slopeshunter Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to write it up and post the pics Michael. Great pics! That first one is one for the wall, that's a very beautiful goat!
     
  5. Eaglet

    Eaglet Well-Known Member

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    Now, that's the way all stories should be, with lots of pics. I enjoyed that
    post, Michael, thanks for sharing. Great write up, excellent photos... just truly
    enjoyed that!!! Real beautiful goat! Congrats all the way!
     
  6. Joel Russo

    Joel Russo Official LRH Sponsor

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    Truly Spectacular Michael.

    We can always count on you to get us up close and personal with your write up.

    I've never had an easy hunt in Alaska, maybe that's why we appreciate the results so much more.

    Congratulations once again.
     
  7. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    What brand or model bivy did you use and would you buy the same thing again?
     
  8. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    :)...and now we know the rest of the story... Thanks for posting Michael!

    "We had to be careful not to push ourselves too hard in order to NOT sweat. We were upper teen and lower 20 degree temperatures with heavy winds and the last thing you need is to be wet from the inside. The terms “Cotton kills” and “The cheap stuff will kill you” apply here. Fleece, polyester, goose down and Gore-Tex are your best friends here." ...very well said...

    Looks like a Bibler or ID bivvy? Can't hardly go wrong with Bibler. Just purchased a Nemo Gogo bivvy with the 'air pole' a couple of months ago for solo muley hunting--very amazing little unit and lighter than some bivvys.

    Thanks again for posting.
     
  9. fmajor

    fmajor Well-Known Member

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    What an incredible hunt!!! I love the combination of mountain hiking and long-range hunting. OK not so long-range after all, but it *could* have!!!

    Great idea to use a bivy for wind protection (shelter? - i somehow didn't read that part?) on site. I've used a simple tarp/ground cover for snow-camo/wind protection to reasonably comfortable "use". ;-)

    FYI, if you're interested in a more affective 'do-it-all' crampon, the Black Diamond "Contact" is great. It will strap onto anything and give you all the traction you will need.
     
  10. HUAINAMACHERO

    HUAINAMACHERO Well-Known Member

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    Michael, great story, enjoyed it a lot, thanks for the write up and for the pictures, they are really nice. Great looking goat!!! Congratulations.
    I dont have a clue on how you guys dont get frozen in those trips. That looks really cold weather. So Mountain Goat not good to eat??? What did you with the rest of the meat?
     
  11. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    I am using an 'Integral Designs' bivy and my buddy was using a 'Bibler'. Both are excellent. I wouldnt be afraid to buy mine again but would slightly rather have the Bibler. Mine is very light and compact. Charlies is a bit bigger and utilizes a better hoop system to keep the bivy away from your face a little better but is a bit heavier and not as compact. In short one is more efficient and the other is a bit more user friendly. As far as shedding wind and other elements, both are excellent.
     
  12. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    This goat is very good. I was just making a joke so that no one else wanted to go goat hunting and leave more goats for me! The rest of the meat is hanging in the back yard.
     
  13. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Great pics Michael! Thanks for taking the time to share them and the story.

    Mark
     
  14. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    WTG! That's some hard core hunting. Thanks for sharing.