Take home message first: Bolen/Lewis is a world class outfit. Look no further for the hunt of a lifetime with any of their hunts. This was my second hunt with b/l. This was my first goat hunt. My first hunt w/ b/l was 3 years ago for black bear (see my article on that hunt in the aug/sept issue of traditional bowhunter magazine). The operation/logistics/quality of animals/ number of animals seen/ is superlative. I rated the food as very good only because you will be living on freeze dried mountaineering meals w/ jerky and granola for 10 days. This is an expensive hunt by most standards, and one of the most expensive goat hunts I've been able to find. But, you really do get what you pay for and on a hunt like this, you don't want to cut any corners. In addition to the costs listed, there is a $1500 "trophy fee" if you do kill your goat. You may also (as I did) have to pay for a hotel room ($150) and dinner in Terrace, BC on the night prior to your float plane departure. This is an EXTREME wilderness hunt. You will be sleeping in a spike tent at 4-5000+++ ft. altitude for 10 days. Prepare well in terms of both your physical and mental fitness. The phrase "mountains are mental" is truth. This climate and severe terrain will test your mettle. In my view these animals are THE toughest animals on the north american continent. They are hard to get to and harder to kill. And their habitat matches their demeanor and personality. Unfortunately, on our hunt, mother nature was in one of her b#$%tchy moods. Of the 10 days on the mountain, we were able to hunt for at most 2 and 1/2 days. We spent 3 days/nights straight in the spike tent without leaving x/ for nature calls. The remaining days we were only able to hunt for a few hours at a time due to severely adverse weather. Mother Nature's mood was severe w/ high winds, sleet, rain and fog (and this was only September)! On the days that we did hunt we were able to see multiple nannys, kids and billys, and we were able to get a few stalks in. The closest I got was about 40 yds due to shifting thermals, etc. I had my longbow and these distances were outside my comfort zone, but we all understand the limitations of this weapon system. If you were there w/ a shotgun or muzzleloader, you would have had your pick of a few 50"+ billys. A rifle would have been way too easy. Ron is an excellent guide with soft spoken manner, a great sense of humor (absolutely necessary), a linebackers quadriceps and he's also a fellow trad-bow hunter. Spike is the "Payton Manning" of the operation. 'nough said. I would STRONLY recommend this outfitter to anyone serious about a high quality goat hunting experience. In fact, I would discourage you from going to anyone else. I plan to hunt for a billy again. I'll have to plow away some funding for a few years, but WHEN I return, it will be with Bolen/Lewis--no questions asked. Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding gear, preparation, etc. -jp
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