September 2015 Goat Hunt
Hope you are enjoying the change of seasons. Amadeo (Amie) Angelo booked a last minute hunt with me for goat. My assistant guide, Kyle Berg, and I had a good billy picked out and needed a hunter to fill a cancellation spot for mid-September. With a 3 day weather window, Amie flew in a day early and made a speedy departure for the mountains. We spent the first day enjoying base camp, not wanting to bump into our goat before the legal shooting time on the following day.
On day 2, we loaded our packs with spike camp gear and 3 days of food and made our way to the ridge line. Fortunately Kyle set an easy pace that Amie and I were able to handle. We set up our tents and went hunting for the big billy living on the backside of the mountain. Shortly after 6:00 pm, just an hour before dark we spotted him far below on the lowest of a series of benches, just before the mountain dropped off in shear granite cliffs. We studied the goat through the scope and determined that he was an older billy with a big body, and had horns in the 10” class. There wasn’t enough time to make the stalk and get back up to camp before dark, so we watched for a while and made a plan for the next day. The forecast was for one more day of decent weather before the rain and wind came.
On day 3, we packed up one of our tents, one tarp, the stove and food, and made our way down to set up Camp 3 on a protected bench about 400 yards above the goat. Amie and I took a position above the goat and while Kyle climbed back up the mountain to spot for us. We had set up a plan that Kyle would hang two orange flags if he spotted the goat. It was long day sitting and hoping the old billy would come out to feed in the same spot as the night before. Amie had found a good shooting position and waited as the weather began to deteriorate. Amie spotted the goat come out to feed in the same spot as the night before at the same time I noticed Kyle signaling us that he too had seen the billy. After determining it with was the same goat, Amie set up for the shot and waited for the right angle. Thankfully the goat walked farther from the precipitous edge and into a good spot to kill. Amie hammered him through the lungs and far shoulder, with a 140 grain Nosler Partition from his 6.5 x 284, and goat fell immediately to the gully below out of our sight. We had to race to a new position to get a view and Amie put a couple more insurance shots in him, at my request, even though the first shot was fatal.
Kyle was down the hill in no time as Amie and I scouted for a way down to the goat. With less than an hour of light, Kyle and I had to descend a waterfall chute while Amie stayed above to keep his eye on the goat. Kyle and I had just enough time to snap a couple of photos, gut the goat and cover with a tarp to keep the birds off. We hurried back up the hill to hook up with Amie on our way back to camp. The rain had started, but couldn’t dampen our spirits as we enjoyed our first campfire of the trip and Amie’s first mountain goat.
On day 4 , Kyle came up with a plan to take most of gear back up to the top, while Amie and I took care of the goat. Kyle made quick time and returned to the carcass, just in time to load the life-sized cape and a pile of meat for the long climb back up to the top. Amie and I split the remaining meat along with some of personal gear and did our best to keep up with Kyle. It was a tough climb, much of it in swollen waterfall chutes. It rained all day and the wind started to blow as we crested the ridge. We still had to pick up the other tent and some of the remaining gear in camp 2, before descending back down the lake and base camp.
On day 5, Kyle made one last trip up to the ridge, to pick up some gear that we had to leave behind on th ridge line, while Amie and enjoyed our tarp shelter between the tents. It had been raining heavily since early the day before and we watched in awe as the waterfalls continued to grow. The forecasted gust s of 45mph arrived and tore one of our tarps off, getting Amie and I out of our camp chairs to made immediate repairs. Higher gusts of 50 + came just as Kyle returned to camp and tore our tarp off again. We decided to give up on the tarps and hide out in our bomb shelters and enjoy our dinner in the comfort of the tent.
On day 6, the weather broke just enough in the morning for Ryan and Jimmy to fly in and pick us up before the next front rolled in. We were all pretty happy to be flying out as snow began to fall on the lake. Amazingly, the skies cleared as we neared town and we landed back in Ketchikan under blue skies and calm water. Amie’s goat was 8 1/2 years old with 9 7/8” horns, 5 1/2” bases and green scored 49 4/8 B&C.
Best wishes for a safe and successful hunting season,