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Author Topic: Boulder River North Goat 2016  (Read 12576 times)

Offline RB

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2016, 10:52:53 AM »
After researching I decided on Green Trails maps and a topo map of the area. One of the reasons I chose the area was a comment from a good buddy that has hiked a lot around here and in Nepal, and as he put it " I would not go up Whitehorse I have never been beat by a mountain as bad as Whitehorse"  :chuckle:

So here are the maps I used, and add two miles to all the distances due to washout.
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Bob Beam

Offline RB

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2016, 11:04:16 AM »
Having most of what was needed for the hunt some things needed to be replaced or upgraded. The spotting scope by far was the most needed piece of equipment, it allowed 100% confirmation on sex of the Goats. The range finder was very helpful as well.

The plan was to have someone go with but due to my schedule it just did not work out and I did this entire hunt solo, so I picked up a Delorme in reach and was very thankful to have it!
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Bob Beam

Offline RB

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2016, 12:55:13 PM »
I was finally able to get up to the Goats on labor weekend, it was just an overnight trip, but it took quite a bit more time to get in than planned. It was a six hour walk into Goat Flats to where I wanted to start scouting. Several people told me this is the place to start because it is aptly named.

The day was overcast and raining hard the Kuiu rain gear worked good, but I was sweating so much from the hike it did not help much. About four hours in the rain let up and was able to dry off a bit. After finally getting to Goat Flats there were several good tent sites, so it was easy to set up camp. When camp was done it was time to glass!
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Bob Beam

Offline RB

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2016, 01:03:16 PM »
Later in the day the clouds moved out and visibility was several miles, but this really made the rocks stand out

I found multiple Goats in this area including a nice Billy
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Bob Beam

Offline RB

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2016, 01:10:13 PM »
The next morning I woke to dense fog, so it was fruitless to try and scout, so packed up the gear and headed for the truck. This Grouse just sat there and all but let me pet it this is not zoomed on an iPhone 6.
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Bob Beam

Offline cbond3318

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #30 on: November 19, 2016, 01:15:41 PM »
Heck yeah! Keep it coming!
"All those who love Nature she loves in return, and will richly reward, not perhaps with the good things, as they are commonly called, but with the best things of this world-not with money and title, horses and carriages, but with bright and happy thoughts, contentment and peace of mind."

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Offline Timberstalker

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #31 on: November 19, 2016, 02:37:02 PM »
What an awesome experience. Can't wait to see this unfold.
If you aint hunting, you aint livin'

Offline Falcon

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #32 on: November 20, 2016, 08:11:06 PM »
Following along.    Keep it coming :drool:
Cast all your anxiety upon him, for he cares for you.    1 Peter 5:7

Offline elkrack

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #33 on: November 20, 2016, 09:04:38 PM »
 :rolleyes:
life's tough its tougher if your stupid (john wayne)

Offline fish vacuum

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #34 on: November 21, 2016, 02:09:27 AM »
That's a very interesting permit. I've been surprised by goats in that area a couple of times. Now post the rest of the story!

Offline RB

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #35 on: November 23, 2016, 07:52:36 PM »
Sorry for the delay been really busy.

After I returned from my scouting trip it was very apparent I needed to change a few small things, one of them being my pants. I was given a pair of Sitka wind stopper fleece pants by a buddy a couple years ago and had been using them for Deer/Elk hunting. The problem with these was on the way in and out they were just too hot and pardon the too much information, but when I got home my inner legs looked and felt like I had taken a belt sander to them!

After looking around I settled on a pair of Sitka Mountain pants and they are the best hunting pants I have ever owned! They worked flawlessly on the Goat hunt and for my late Buck tag as well.

Here are a couple pictures of the gear I took for the hunt. I originally planned for six days. Taking two Mountain House for each day (breakfast and dinner) and four cliff bars for each day to keep the weight down. Water was not a problem because there were several small lakes around, and I just took a 10 liter filter bag to hang by camp and carried a two liter camel back for the trip in and out. When it was put together my pack weighed in at 60 pounds.
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Bob Beam

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #36 on: November 24, 2016, 12:19:05 AM »
As luck would have it during my vacation sign up in 2015 I had picked a 10 day period off towards the end of September and another in October, one for potential Coho fishing/fall projects, the other for modern Deer hunting.


The September date just seemed right, and I am very glad I picked these dates. The day I took off for the mountain was a Wednesday and the plan was if a Goat could not be had by Tuesday I would return. The weather was absolutely spectacular, blue sky sun and mild temperature. To say I was happy was an understatement, out of bed before the alarm, dressed, breakfast eaten, and on the road.

My happiness soon faded when I arrived to the bridge leading to the trailhead and a sign was posted by the forest service that read "This road will be bouldered and closed indefinitely Monday morning at 9AM" This left me with only Thursday, Friday, Saturday to hunt because it would take a day to get in and a day to get out. My mind raced with what would happen if I could not get one down, or if they changed their mind and bouldered the road a day or two early. Even this could not make me stop and it did not stop others as well, there was one other vehicle at the washout, and another arrived before setting off for the trail.

Knowing I could not stay as long as planned I went through my pack and tossed out half my food and a couple other items to lighten the load, and headed for the trail. About 30 or so minutes in I noticed my legs sure seemed to be sweating a lot in my new Sitka pants. It was not until two miles in when the mystery of the overly sweaty legs was solved. Somehow during the shuffle and excitement of getting up the trail the hose to my camelback had pulled loose and two liters of water had leaked down my pack into my pack cover (that holds water really nice), over my sleeping bag and down the back of my legs!

Well crap! so tossed my pack took the rain cover off dumped out the excess water in it, repositioned the camelback and reconnected the hose, and checked my sleeping bag, it appeared ok but was fairly wet along with my pants. About an hour or so later made a pit stop and refilled the camelback from a nice little stream along the trail.

The half way point is approximately Saddle Lake and the map showed a shelter, this intrigued me and figured I would check it out and see if it would be a good place to fall back to if the weather were to change for the worse. By the time I arrived to the shelter my Sitka pants were nearly dry which was a welcome relief. The shelter is really rough and the ground in it is uneven, so it is not a good place to stay, although it would do in a pinch rather than stay in the complete open.

On the way up there were two guys heading down, they had parked at the trail head the night before, in their Jeep, to stay in the lookout, they said there was one more person up the trail and she was going to spend the night at Goat Flats, so looks like company at Goat camp. Arrived about 1:30 in the afternoon after taking about six hours to get in again, about six miles or so from my truck. Set up camp and got the glass out to start looking for Goats.

About five minutes in there was a white blob that moved and a Nanny with kid started working their way down toward camp. I sat and watched them for over an hour as they fed closer, this time though I had brought a Phoneskope and was able to get a few pictures through my spotting scope. As the daylight started to fade the sunset over the straights was spectacular and was able to get a couple cool pictures, have some chow and off to bed.
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Bob Beam

Offline RB

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #37 on: November 24, 2016, 12:22:24 AM »
More pictures
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Bob Beam

Offline RB

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #38 on: November 24, 2016, 12:25:30 AM »
Sunset
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Bob Beam

Offline RB

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #39 on: November 24, 2016, 10:17:39 AM »
When daylight came and I peered out of the tent it was absolutely breathtaking, there was not a cloud in the sky the sun was peeking over the mountain and making the peaks in the distance glow. Had to keep moving though it was a bit brisk temperature wise, so got breakfast water boiled and "cooking" biscuits and gravy to keep me going for the morning.

It only takes about eight minutes for the mountain house to be done and in that amount of time several Goats could be seen from camp towards the top of ridge about half a mile or more in a straight line. I took care of business and breakfast loaded my pack and headed out to check out the ones I could see and look for a Billy.

It took an hour or so to get into a position to get an ok look with the spotting scope and snap a couple pictures. Ultimately there was four Goats on the ridge and one was a dandy Billy. Range finder would only get close by ranging a rock down from the Billy and it was over 600 yards, WAY to far for me.
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Bob Beam

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #40 on: November 24, 2016, 10:34:44 AM »
The fourth Goat on the ridge was a really nice Billy, so I started the stalk, in hindsight another approach would have been better, but it appeared the route I was looking at would work. It took about three and half hours to pick my way down the rocks and back up to set up for a shot.

Luck was with me in the beginning and a small band of clouds covered the ridge the Goats were on for an hour or so to give me some cover. When I was finally in position the lower three Goats did look my way but did not get up and the big Billy just lay there eating and then closing his eyes to sleep for a bit.

As I moved further up the rocks the lower three became visibly nervous, so I stopped and sat for a bit. While crouched behind some rocks I started to look for a good shooting spot and settled on a small area about 50 yards ahead of me. After getting the spotting scope set up I was able to snap a picture of the Billy and range him at 331 yards.

This still seemed a bit far, but some practice at the range had showed my rifle was capable (.300 Winmag with 180 grain Nosler Partitions) and the point of aim inside the scope was known.

After everything was set up the wait was on for the Billy to stand. In the 30 or so minutes crouched behind the rocks a million questions flowed though my mind including am I too far, should I move up, should I have stalked from a different spot etc.
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Bob Beam

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #41 on: November 24, 2016, 11:01:24 AM »
After watching the four Goats for what seemed like forever restlessness started to get the better of me and moving closer seemed like a good idea. As I moved slowly back to get my pack the big Billy stood and looked down towards my position. The other three were still bedded and seemed content.

Having had nearly an hour to find a shooting rest I felt ready and got into position, ranged him agin still at 331 yards pretty much straight up. He was facing me and did not present well with a shot so waited for a better angle. He turned and presented with a great broadside shot, so I lined up and BOOM!

After the shot the other three Goats bounced up and stood looking down at me and the big Billy just stood there! He chewed his cud a couple times looked around a bit and started feeding again MISSED! Lining up again made sure cross hairs were dead on squeezed the trigger BOOM! the other three moved up towards the big Billy, who was still standing there looking down towards the other three and chewing his cud MISSED!

Taking a deep breath I repositioned and made absolutely sure I had a good rest and point of aim was good as the Billy still just stood there broadside. Final round in the rifle BOOM! absolutely ZERO reaction from the Billy no hair flying, no blood, not so much as a twitch! He just slowly lowered his head and fed away from me towards a bush and casually kept feeding behind a small bush.

I could not believe I had missed this Billy three times! I repositioned and watched him for about 40 minutes feed and could clearly see both sides of him when he turned but he never presented a clear shot again and showed zero indication of any sort of hit from my bullets. Plus the other three Goats milled in around him and kept a watchful eye on me the entire time so another stalk was out of the question.
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Bob Beam

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #42 on: November 24, 2016, 11:04:03 AM »
This is intense!

Offline RB

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #43 on: November 24, 2016, 12:20:04 PM »
If I could swear on this forum there would be a long paragraph of inappropriate words about how I felt after missing that big Billy THREE times!

As I sat and pondered how to get after him again the decision was to stay put for a bit re-group have lunch and hydrate to continue up the ridge and find another way. There were only eight rounds left in my pack, so I best make the next shot count!

After wallowing in my own self pity for a bit I gathered up my stuff and was getting ready to move up when I caught some movement to my right (the big Billy was to the left) and holy cow there was a fifth Goat! The spotting scope was put away but my range finder was handy and ranged it at 200 yards, but it was standing on top of a shear cliff wall that went down about 100 feet. It stayed there long enough for me to get my spotting scope out and take a look, sure enough it was a Billy and looked decent.

Plans changed lets see what this Billy does was the thought going through my head, but he turned and went over the far side of the peak he was on and was gone. Well ok guess back to plan A head up the ridge. I had only gone about 100 yards when the Goat to the right popped out at the bottom of the cliff this time and was walking towards me!

Binoculars up looked at it and yup it was the Billy that was just up top. I looked down for one second to get a better footing to step up and then looked back to the spot where the Billy was and there he was GONE! How in the world did he just vanish into thin air?? Evidently there was a dip and he had stepped into it the second I looked away because as soon as I was no longer in a shooting position he appeared again.

This Billy only let me look at him for a few seconds and by the way he was positioned he was going to walk right in front of me on his way to join the other Goats on the ridge above me. I quickly set up and waited about two minutes and sure enough he stepped out from behind the rocks and started walking broadside from right to left in front of me. Rangefinder up locked on 127 yards!

I settled in and soon as he crossed in front of my sight BOOM! Hair flew off his back and I could see blood. He stood there looked at me and tried to move forward quickly but my second round was already going down range BOOM! Blood spray on the rocks, ok he is hit hard now. Put my third round in the chamber as he stumbles and skids to a stop at the base of a rock, BILLY GOAT DOWN!

After lots of hoots and hollers I set off after him (remember 127 yards) it took nearly 30 minutes to finally get to him due to the steepness of the rocks!
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Bob Beam

Offline elkboy

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #44 on: November 24, 2016, 12:45:16 PM »
Congratulations!  Beautiful country, beautiful mountain goat. 

Offline Falcon

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #45 on: November 24, 2016, 12:45:35 PM »
RB

Congrats on a great billy and truly an adventure in some rough country.   Loved the write up and great pics. Memories that will last forever :tup:
Cast all your anxiety upon him, for he cares for you.    1 Peter 5:7

Offline dreadi

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #46 on: November 24, 2016, 12:59:04 PM »
 Wow. This is great! Do you think the missed shots were due to the angle you were shooting from? I've been told that the powder burns different when you have you point the rifle higher and higher.

Offline JoeE

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #47 on: November 24, 2016, 01:09:37 PM »
Congrats on the goat! Great story.

Offline RB

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #48 on: November 24, 2016, 01:23:33 PM »
Oh it ain't over yet the hard work is yet to come. It was nice that there happened to be cell service from the spot the Goat went down, so the first person I had to call was my brother. We had talked a lot about this hunt because he has done a few Goat hunts in SE Alaska. I had hoped to fly him down to go with me, but it just would not materialize due to his work deadlines.

Set everything out and began butchering by making a cut down the back to skin the entire hide off of him. I was not one hundred percent sure what I was going to do for a mount yet and after talking with my taxidermist it was decided to skin for a full mount then decide since hide could not be added later, but could be cut away. It took quite a while to get the first half off boned out and put in bags, then roll over and get the other half of the meat off and finally the rest of the hide. One of the hardest parts was doing this on a steep slope.

I was so engrossed with cutting I did not notice the clouds and fog that rolled in until visibility was only few feet! It was then I realized my exit plan would not work due to the steepness, weight of my pack, and now not being able to see more than about 100 feet. I fired up my GPS and knew the trail was down the other side of the ridge I came up so I hauled everything to the top. My idea was to leave the pack (which was around 90 pounds) and pick my way down the rocks to the trail in the fog with rifle and GPS in hand. I wanted to make sure I could get to the trail and not burn excess energy if I could not easily get to it.

As I made my way through the fog the trail showed on my screen and was not too far in front of me, but the fog was really thick and visibility was still about 50-100 feet depending on the wind gust. Thankfully my GPS was spot on and I was able to safely get to the trail, so back up the hill I went to get my pack. I was running low on gas so a quick snack and more hydration then on with the pack and down the rocks to the trail.

When I finally reached the trail it was nearly on cue the clouds parted and it was clear and sunny again! As I made my way back to camp lots of emotions started to flood over me (mostly due to fatigue) but sense of pride, accomplishment and thankfulness for such an amazing day. When I reached camp off came the pack and a quick celebratory shot of whiskey from my flask before taking the meat bags out to cool and get ready for dinner.

I think I sent a text to most of the world from my Delorme InReach while I had dinner in the dark then off to bed.
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Bob Beam

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Re: Boulder River North Goat 2016
« Reply #49 on: November 24, 2016, 01:25:04 PM »
Awesome thread.
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