Spurred on by our successful moose hunt, Blair
and I were determined to connect on a goat. We woke early and before long, we
had nannies and kids in the spotting scope.
Blair felt optimistic that the area he pointed
out to me would hold lots of goats. Minutes after we rounded a bend in the
valley that opened up new country, we spotted a couple of billies. After
looking them over and evaluating their respective positions, we decided that I
should make a stalk on the closest one. He was bedded near a steep drainage directly
With the prevailing wind going down the valley,
we figured the goat should remain on the upwind side. Blair remained with the
horses to watch through the spotting scope, and it was game on for me. As if
recognizing the predatory implications of my stalk, several wolves began
howling in the valley. Blair later said he could see a black one about
900 yards above him on the ridge.
As I broke tree line, the steep, rocky terrain
became more and more treacherous. It was extremely difficult not to disturb the
rocks. The wind was fairly calm and I was sure that the slightest noise would
alert the goat. As I closed the distance, I climbed cautiously out of the
drainage. I peeked around a rock and there he was looking the opposite
direction and bedded at 32 yards. I needed to get higher so I backed out and
climbed up a short distance. This time, I could see his entire body still
bedded and quartered away. I steadied myself on the 40-degree slope and got
ready for the shot.
He stood up, still quartering away but glaring straight
at me. Blair later told me as he watched through the spotting scope, he
could feel the intensity of the moment. I hurriedly settled my 30-yard pin on
the goat’s vitals and released an arrow. The shot was a little left of what I
intended, striking him in his left shoulder. The billy fell dead in his tracks and
immediately started to roll down the mountain. He was gaining speed when I lost
sight of him.
Blair was whooping and hollering from the bottom
and I was doing the same from the top. Excited and eager to get to my trophy,
I packed up my bow and negotiated the rockslide as carefully as my emotions would
allow. Though he ended up tumbling 340 yards, his horns only received minor
scratches and slight brooming. The rest of his body was a different story. His
left side was bloody, right side muddy and his face looked like he'd been in a
fight with a claw hammer. Hopefully, my world-class taxidermist Allen Palermo
could heal a few of the scars. The nine-year-old billy taped out at 9 1/2"
and 9 5/8" in horn length and 5 1/2" bases.
On the hike out I reflected on the nearly 30 days
I’d spent in BC this year. I’d been
witness to breathtaking country and countless critters. I’d spent time with
many amazing people, made new friends and many lasting memories. Yet again, I
was one happy hunter while hauling out of goat country, soaking in the day’s
events along with a beautiful BC sunset.