MOUNTAIN GOAT HUNTS
The rugged mountains in Southeast Alaska provide excellent habitat for the Rocky Mountain goat. The Ketchikan area which lies within Game Management Unit 1A boasts a healthy population of Mountain Goats and is known to produce trophy class animals. I consider Mountain Goat hunting to be my specialty. If you take a tour through the photo album you may note that my goat hunters have enjoyed fantastic success, several of which have killed goats qualifying for the Boone & Crockett Club record book. Goat hunts may range from “relatively easy” day hunts from a base camp in a high lake to multi-day backpacking treks setting up spike camps along the way. The multi-day trek is the most common. For the most part, a goat hunt requires that a hunter be in good physical condition and utilize the best equipment he or she can afford. I should mention that I employ packers to assist with all the chores including carrying the heavy loads up and down the mountain. In most cases the packer is vital to increasing your overall enjoyment and comfort during the hunt.
I will meet you at the Ketchikan airport upon your arrival. After spending one night in Ketchikan you fly aboard DeHaviland Beaver to a high lake in Misty Fiords. We generally spend the first afternoon setting up a comfortable base camp. We may inflate my Zodiak and cruise the lake to glass for goats from other vantage points around the lake. In some cases we will load spike camp gear and five days worth of food into our packs and commence upon the climbing part of this expedition that first afternoon. In most cases we will save the climb for the 2nd day of the hunt. This is especially true when there is a chance of encountering a good billy during the climb. Often times the goat is within a few hours hike from the lake. Even though it may be possible to climb the mountain, harvest the goat and make it back down to base camp in one day; we typically carry spike camp equipment (tent, stove, food, etc…) in the event we get “pinned down” or in the event that the shot comes late in the day. This also gives us the luxury of taking our time to really enjoy the fantastic mountain scenery and pleasure of “ridge running” in alpine country.
If our goat is playing hide and seek or we’re not able to get on him the that first day of hunting, we’ll set up spike camp in the high country and spend the evening calculating our moves for the following day. Sometimes it’s a waiting game, if the billy has decided to take up residence or bed down in an inaccessible piece of ground or has disappeared in a chasm that we’re unable to view. If this is the case we’ll take up vantage position and glass the neighboring ridges while waiting for him to move. We may also have to wait for weather. It is not uncommon to have low pressure systems move through this region during the prime goat hunting season. Rain and wind should be expected, but poor visibility creates the most trouble. When the mountain tops are obscured in clouds or fog, we simply wait it out until the weather clears. Often the animals will appear feeding in their favorite spots when a storm has passed.
In the event that our quarry has “left the country” or moved to a completely inaccessible location, there are generally alternative goats to stalk. If we’re lucky, they are on the same mountain and it’s merely a matter of going over the ridge to find them. In some cases it’s necessary to return to base camp, regroup and climb another nearby mountain. There have been very few times that we’ve had to call a plane and relocate to new lake. This is an option though, and having several alternative plans allows me to keep a high success ratio. Primo Expeditions utilizes top quality equipment and ranks safety with the highest priority. Enjoyment ranks No. 2, if you count carrying heavy packs up steep mountains and weathering a hurricane force storm on a high ridge as enjoyable. Seriously, the enjoyment level peaks when you have a clear day of hunting in one of the most beautiful alpine settings that Alaska has to offer.
Once you have bagged your trophy billy, we will take several photos and go to work skinning your goat for the taxidermy mount you desire. We will also quarter and debone the meat in preparation for the big pack back to base camp. We will usually enjoy one last night in base camp, weather permitting. A satellite phone allows us to stay in contact with the pilot, keeping abreast of changing weather and arranging for early pick-up once you have tagged out. You can expect to spend at least one night back in Ketchikan while we prepare your meat and cape for shipment. In some cases, hunters will catch the first available jet home and arrange to have meat and cape shipped and a later date.
Please look trough our photo gallery to view some of the fine trophies and beautiful scenery that this region is known for. You may also read through some of the testimonials that my previous hunters have written about this hunt. Do not hesitate to call or e-mail me if you have any questions about mountain goat hunting.