Mathews Inc.
Bowhunting Mountain Goat in British Columbia - a Semi-LIVE Bowhunt from


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Day 13



With our spirits lifted after news of Kent's booner, we were anxious to get up to the mountains and start my bowhunt. We have six days left after this one and the weather is getting worse. We are both optimistic, especially since I'm not particularly looking for a giant billy. I am happy with any goat that gives me a reasonably good shot. Video is important to me too, but if it gets late in the game that may go out the window.

As we ate breakfast it was painfully clear that we may have it rough. The weather was still bad in the mountains but was supposed to clear today then turn ugly again. The long term forecast called for clearing only at the very end of our hunt. Not a great outlook but we are going in anyway.

The area that Jack decided on is the same bowhunting-only area that Lonnie (from Bowsite) spent the first part of his hunt last month. He had seen lots of goats here and the terrain at the South end of that mountain range is conducive to bowhunting. If the goats are on the North range then we will have a serious problem as those mountains are harsh, dangerous, and difficult to bowhunt.

Once again, Jack warned me about the climb. It was not very long, about 3 hours, but the last part of this climb was extremely steep for thousands of yards. After my break I was ready.

The hike up sucked, but we made it despite extremely heavy packs.

We hit the mountain fast and made as much time back as possible. I am feeling far stronger than before. All of this up and down hiking is beating me into shape. That was, until I hit the last thousand yards. That portion kicked my ass as it was nearly straight up with a heavy pack. Like the last two climbs, Jack was barely sweating and was happy and smiling as I suffered through every step. When we reached the top I was absolutely drenched with sweat. So much so that the strong cold winds were chilling me down quickly and I began to shiver. Being prepared, I stripped down to my bare skin at the top of the mountain and put a dry set of Sitka base layers on along with my Sitka vest and Stormfront rainwear. I was a new man. We both ate a sandwich and then started glassing down each cliff looking for goats.

This Sitka base layer is normally light grey but every inch of it is soaked with sweat from the climb up. I changed into a dry set and was ready to hunt again. I can not stress how important quality hunting clothes (like those made by Sitka Gear) are for strenuous hunts like this. You are constantly heating up then cooling down. If you become hypothermic in these mountains, there is a great chance you will never leave them.

We found one right off the bat. He was below us on the top of a west facing slope. He was dirty too and that usually indicates a billy. As we were glassing him, Jack spotted four more goats above us and to the North. Through my binoculars it was clear this group contained at least one kid so they were likely nannies and perhaps a young billy. The fog lifted and we were in clear view of them so we stayed motionless. It took an hour for them to move out of sight and when that happened we scurried down the hill toward the billy. It took us 30 minutes to get over there and when we did we cautiously searched for that goat.

We moved quietly along the top of the mountain, checking every drainage and chute. He had vanished. Jack was not giving him up. He wanted to check every cliff and that led us both down the steep south side of this mountain. I didn't follow him everywhere, Jack was climbing around stuff I refused to. It worked, he scurried back to tell me a goat was heading right at us. We got in position and a few minutes later I could clearly see the horns behind a bush 70 yards below me. Jack needed to confirm the goat as legal and would tell me yes or no at the last minute. I readied my Mathews and nocked my muzzy tipped CX arrow after positioning myself within 10 yards of the goats' trail.

We watched the goat jump over a ditch and head in our direction. We readied for a close encounter. The goat trail was beaten down to bare dirt and was covered with fresh hair and scat. This was almost too easy.

Ten minutes later and still no goat. I looked at Jack who looked as surprised as I was. Suddenly Jack turned his head and motioned for me to look behind us. The goat was staring at us. He had climbed the cliff we were standing on and decided to take the scenic route. We were no more than 6 yards from it. The goat stood there with an expression that was probably the same as our. The best way for me to describe it would be "WTF?" When I slowly turned my bow the goat dropped and vanished. We never saw or heard it leave. We shook our heads in disbelief. I have no idea how long it was standing there while we were patiently waiting for him to come from the opposite direction. It was very funny!

Jack was pretty sure it was a Nanny, I thought it looked like a 2.5 year old billy. It was a legal goat and I would have shot him if it allowed me enough time.

We moved back off that mountain to get a better vantage point and that's when the weather really started to hammer us. We hoped for the best and were going to tough it out as long as we could. Nobody said goat hunting was going to be easy.

As we got to our vantage point we could not see any more goats. The billy had vanished. The goat that surprised us was nowhere to be seen. And no trace of the four goats we saw earlier. Still, there are goats around and that's a good thing. We sat up on that mountain for two hours when I noticed a goat pop up at the far western tip of the mountain we were just on. It was the goat that surprised us and it started running in our direction. Jack didn't think I should shoot it but left the decision up to me. It was a legal goat. Probably a dry nanny or a younger billy. It was an adult and had no kids. I told him if I got an easy shot with video I would take it. I got in position for his most likely approach.

The goat that had vanished earlier suddenly appeared an hour later and was running right toward us. I decided to take him.


I moved into position on the likely trail but the goat never did show up, he skirted our cliff below us and ran for the steep cliffs to the east.


This was the last we saw of the goat before he topped out and left the country. I never get tired of seeing them scale vertical walls, they are amazing animals.

The goat skirted us and never gave me a shot. We spotted it on an opposite mountain climbing like spiderman. With that goat gone, the wind whipping us around, and darkness approaching it was time to find a campsite. We had been carrying full packs the entire time and I was looking forward to some rest. We walked about a mile and found a great spot for a camp. A quick dinner of Mr. Noodle and I was out like a light. The wind was moving our little tent around and the predictions were coming true. A major storm was on the way.


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Next - Day 8

Babine Outfitters and Guides - British Columbia
Our Goat hunt takes place in British Columbia with Babine Outfitters


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