We woke to thick fog and light rain. The forecast called for deteriorating conditions and they were correct. We are close to the halfway point on our hunt and still no stalks for Kent. But there are goats all around us so he should have a great hunt with Lloyd who is on his way up the mountain.
By 9AM we hear Lloyd on the radio. He is at the top but he can't find our camp. The fog is so thick now we can only see about 50 yards. Lloyd knows the mountain well and claims to be at the landmark Jack told him about, but the fog kills the visibility. As they are talking on the phone we can see barely see him emerge from the mist. He is only 40 yards away but he can't see us - that's how thick it was. A few more steps and he heads to camp.
All four of us quickly began packing up our stuff. Lloyd and Kent are going to try and make it to the adjacent mountain. The plan to use the fog and hike over there today to be in position should the clouds break this afternoon. They know a few days of bad weather is headed our way so they waste no time.
Jack wants us to head out right away to get my hunt going and I am all for that. The weather may have other plans. We are still very optimistic and we just may try to head out despite the bad weather. We'll know more when we can get down to a lower elevation.
The weather changed fast overnight, we are starting to feel a sense of urgency. Lloyd showed up to guide Kent while Jack and I gather our gear for the hike out. The weather is becoming a factor.
By the time Jack and I reach the truck the weather really sucked. Rain was getting heavier and the forecast called for brief clearing in the afternoon before the main event. Like the calm before the storm. We know what that means - no sense in heading up the mountain this afternoon. Jack always let me make the call. He was cool with whatever I wanted to do. He is an experienced goat hunter and I have gone on enough to know when things are pointless. I told him I wanted to wait and hit it hard as soon as the weather broke which was supposed to be tomorrow. That sounded good to him too. Sometimes things don't always go the way you plan.
Back at the lodge I enjoyed a hot meal and a long shower. My options for the rest of today were fishing, bird hunting, or wolf hunting. Of course I would love to shoot a wolf, but the chances of just happening upon a wolf by driving the roads was very low. Actually getting a shot at one was lower still. Having already embarrassed myself on a grouse I chose fishing. Babine Outfitters also owns Tukii Lodge on Babine lake and the fishing here is excellent. Also, it was appearing like my hunt may bring me right to the bitter end of this trip and I wanted to get at least one day of fishing in while here. It's not everyday I get to fish for salmon, native trout, char and maybe even a lingcod on a pristine northern lake. We left shortly after breakfast and hit the water on one of Jack's fishing boats.
Fishing that afternoon was terrific. Here I am with a Sockeye, I also caught rainbow trout and we hit the best hatch I have ever experienced so we broke out a fly rod and I embarrassed myself by catching nothing. Jack tried to make me feel better when I handed him the rod and he caught as much as I did (which was nothing). It was still a fun break while the rain came down in the mountains.
That Same Afternoon - Kent kills a Booner!
It took Lloyd and Kent most of the day to reach the adjacent mountain. They set up camp and went to look for the billies. It did not take long to find them. They were bedded together on a small ridge. They were both big, but one of them was a giant!
Kent and Lloyd had to make a decision. Stalking within bow range was risky with the two goats. They were both lying on top of knoll facing two different directions. Adding more urgency to the situation, the weather was going to get really bad. Kent, who is a hard-core traditional bowhunter wanted badly to do this with his bow but at the same time he was looking at an incredible opportunity and he also happens to enjoy rifle hunting. He decided to take the giant billy with Lloyd's .270. His first shot was all he needed but he put a couple other shots into the goat just in case. The big billy rolled a short distance and stopped before rolling thousands of feet down the mountain. This was a good thing too, the billy was bigger than they thought.
Click to watch the video!
The goat is a Monster! He is a 7.5 year old billy with 10" horns and tons of mass! He green scores 51, easily making Boone and Crockett and appears to be one of the top 2 goats ever shot by Babine Outfitters! The goat also had a giant body - close to 300lbs! This was a heck of a birthday present for Kent!! We were all thrilled for them. Kent and Lloyd will stay one more night on the mountain and then come out tomorrow. He has a bear, moose and wolf tag so that should keep them busy while we try for our goat.
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