A bucket list hunt – My 2022 Colorado Mountain Goat (G16) experience

Dsnow9

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Oct 29, 2019
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Awesome hunt and glad you were able to make it happen and involve the family. Brought back a lot of memories about my hunt last year and a lot of those pics do too! Great hunt and write up!
 

Huntnut60

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May 26, 2020
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133
Day 2
Alarms ringing at 5:15am and I was quick to dress and start some coffee.

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Before long we were off to the trailhead which was only a quarter mile from camp. The initial hike would take us about 2 miles to the area providing magnificent views of what I call the rocky cliffs. Before we even got to the glassing areas, I planned to setup at I was able to spot 2 goats on the ledges from a small window along the hike up. It got my adrenaline going and made for a quick sprint up the steepest part of the trail prob at a faster clip than Dan wished but he did so with a smile.
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When we got to the intended area for glassing, we quickly setup the spotter to get a closer look at the two goats.
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It was a nice size nannie and kid doing was goats do in defying reality walking on ledges. They were only 550 yards but in some really steep and tricky areas for recovery etc. Mentally I mapped plans to make a climb & stalk through several of the shoots as I wrestled with the voices in my head to pass vs make a play. Having an either sex tag for Goat presented this internal conflict of taking the first nice goat I saw vs wanting to take a billy for all the reasons you suspect. Having fun watching them for a good 2 hours as we picked the rest of the mountain side apart as I changed my mind 20 times. I came to my senses and for safety and conservation reasons decided to pass and keep heading up the trail. Dan was tired from the quick sprint up and said he would stick around this area in the last of the shade a reading his book and keep an eye on this area as it was known for bedding goats. He would be able to signal me back, if necessary, later I would glass back before hopping the ridges to Area 2 where I saw the goats yesterday.

I made quick progress up the remaining 1.3 mile established hiking trail which ended at a lake. About .2 from the lake and 100 yards from where I spotted the goats this summer, I sarcastically say to myself wouldn’t it be something if there were goats here again? Looking up and albeit a different hillside what to my surprise my eyes fell upon two goats laid out sunning. Holy Crap!!! I quickly step off the trail into what little brush remained and could provide some cover. I tossed my binos up and quickly could tell these are billies and has a nice chuckle to myself. The Lord is so good to me and blesses me time and time again when my faith can be so small... The billies were halfway up the hillside (no real cliffs) right at 410 yards lying about 20 yards apart...

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There is only one problem running through my head… I do not want to shoot more then 300 yards. Some of you may criticize but I just do not get to shoot as often as I would like so that is my range and I stick to it for many reasons. While many of you have the gift, time, and/or setup to just crank out long-range shots with no error I am only truly comfortable out to about 300 yards. What to do what to do…. They clearly saw me initially before I stepped off the trail and continued to rotate like watchmen. One laying its head down (sleeping?) and the other staring directly at me/in my direction.

I knew the trail climbed a bit closer to them before taking a hard turn toward the lake where it would leave their visibility. Should I walk the trail like a normal hiker hoping they are used to it and then climb the ridge to get above them? Should I slowly sidehill to the large rocks on the other side of the trail that gave yardage? It had been 15 minutes that I had pinned myself down and I needed to decide.

I slowly walked across the trail and crouched/crawled my way to the targeted rocks. 360 yards. Damn I thought it would gain me more. . here are some more rocks further along the sidehill so I make my move and crouch walk slowly (thighs burning!!!). 328 yards. Damn it. I have this fear that 3 strikes I am out. There will be no way I can make a third move this exposed without something happening. They are both looking at me like hawks at this point but there is one more set of rocks right there. Do I break my rule of 300 or so I try my luck at another move? With a little more cover from the rocks and using my ninja like moves I make my way one last time to the next batch of rocks I have picked out. I breath a nice huge sigh of relief when the rangefinder reveals 267 yards, and the goats do not seem phased. To that point the top goat seems to have laid his head back down.

I slide my mystery ranch pack off to brace my rifle on the angle as I prone out on the step rocks. The pack will not seem to sit right, and I keep having to adjust it. I have gone back and forth 100 time on which is the better goat. Initially I went top and, in the end, had settled on him being my preference for body size reasons as the horns looked comparable.
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Ohh shoot the top billing has stood up and is looking right at me at this point... settle the Leopold crosshairs of my 7mm WSM onto the top goat standing perfectly broadside looking at me and squeeze off the shot.

The goat spins from facing to my right to facing to my left. I know I hit him, but he does not seem to be phased so I jack another shell in and settle in on him as he begins to walk. Anxious I yank the trigger and clearly send one about 6 inch high as I see if explode on the hill right behind him. The second billy stands and looks in my direction and my billy keeps walking but clearly is hurt. I see him start to fall/collapse on his knee, but he regains his stability and keeps walking. I put the 3rd shot on him high lungs and he takes an instant nosedive and rolls 165 yards directly down the hill towards before piling up in some small flat area. 2022 Mountain Goat tag filled! A dream comes true! A bucket list item checked!!!

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I get some Zoleo messages out to my wife and buddies while Dan makes his way to me. We celebrate and take some pictures before getting to work. We cape it out for a full body mount and quarter it all up.

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I hike out two hinds, a strap, and loins along with the cape. Dan handles some gear, two shoulders, and a strap. It is 3.2 miles to the truck down about 2000 ft in elevation. It takes us nearly 4 hours said and done but we make it out in one trip.

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The wife and kids helped process all the meat this past weekend and we look forward to trying it out so I can stake an opinion in the mountain goat taste debate for myself. As homeschoolers this is one of dads ways of contributing to the Anatomy/Biology lessons and Mom doesn’t miss a beat making connections. Great times for all!

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A full body mount is in the works and Pictures to follow. For the time being my taxidermist sent my horns home and they rest on the mantel warming up to the environment.

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This memory will live with me forever. Couldn't have dreamed a better story/outcome as I look back and recount it. Thanks for reading and all that have contributed to the hunt and all my hunting experiences to date. Looking forward to many more.
Thank you!!! Great story.
 

Firehead117

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Joined
Apr 19, 2022
Messages
71
Awesome hunt and glad you were able to make it happen and involve the family. Brought back a lot of memories about my hunt last year and a lot of those pics do too! Great hunt and write up!
@Dsnow9 I've been meaning to throw some credit your way on this write up. After drawing my tag I think it was my first google search for G16 info that brought me here to your story. I remember reading it like a NY Times Best Seller! I was in aww of what I hoped I was about to experience and how your family got to be part of it. Thought to myself DAMN I wanna do my experience like that and capture/document kinda like that. It's kinda like a sequel I suppose haha... With many of the similarities being kinda coincidental but kinda aligned. All joking aside thanks for setting the bar high for G16 annual write-ups!
 

Dsnow9

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
2,042
Location
Colorado
@Dsnow9 I've been meaning to throw some credit your way on this write up. After drawing my tag I think it was my first google search for G16 info that brought me here to your story. I remember reading it like a NY Times Best Seller! I was in aww of what I hoped I was about to experience and how your family got to be part of it. Thought to myself DAMN I wanna do my experience like that and capture/document kinda like that. It's kinda like a sequel I suppose haha... With many of the similarities being kinda coincidental but kinda aligned. All joking aside thanks for setting the bar high for G16 annual write-ups!
Awesome! It definitely helped me relive my hunt and re read my write up!
 

BradA

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Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
548
Congratulations. It’s always awesome seeing people achieve there bucket list hunts
 

buffybr

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Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
925
Location
BozAngeles, MT
Nice write up! Good call on that full body mount. If there is one animal that’s worth it the mountain goat is the one.
Firehead, congrats on your goat!
Great write up and pics.
I only took one picture of my goat hunt and evidently like you, I took the orange off for the pic.

Geetar, plus 1000 on your goat full body mount comment. I've kicked myself for 44 years now for only doing a half mount of my goat instead of a full body. I've also unsuccessfully applied each of those 44 years here in Montana for another goat tag.
 

Dsnow9

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
2,042
Location
Colorado
Firehead, congrats on your goat!
Great write up and pics.
I only took one picture of my goat hunt and evidently like you, I took the orange off for the pic.

Geetar, plus 1000 on your goat full body mount comment. I've kicked myself for 44 years now for only doing a half mount of my goat instead of a full body. I've also unsuccessfully applied each of those 44 years here in Montana for another goat tag.
Orange not required for goat or sheep hunting in Colorado
 

buffybr

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
925
Location
BozAngeles, MT
Orange not required for goat or sheep hunting in Colorado
OUTSTANDING!!!

I can't remember if it was required when I hunted a lion there several years ago. Back in the early '70s when I was going to CSU, one day I was out shooting prairie dogs with 125 grain bullets from my .30-06 and a game warden came by and told me that if he saw me doing that again without wearing orange he would write me a ticket because I was "hunting" with a big game hunting rifle.
 

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