Montana 316 Mountain Goat - 2022 Mountain Adventure

TN2shot07

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
845
Location
West TN
Wish I had something to contribute but congrats on the tag! Mountain goats seem like a pretty unique challenge from what I’ve read.

Just out of curiosity for your name, are you shooting a 284 win? That’s another one of those cartridges that had it been marketed better should’ve been pretty successful!
 

sacountry

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 29, 2011
Messages
592
Location
NW Montana
I am also the lucky recipient of a high country goat tag in a different unit in the region. I’m planning to make my first hunt on September 15th. I am prioritizing good weather and the ability to navigate the high country over hair length.

If the unit were easier to access then my priority would change. I don’t think I have ever heard of a tag holder on 316 who wished they had waited until later to hunt that unit, but I have heard of a few who wished they had hunted earlier.
I would also add to this, I noticed on my northwest MT goat that the hair length on September 15th vs October 1st was significant. It's almost as if you can watch it grow through a scope. Since hair is such an important part of the trophy, I would consider that early October window as an optimal harvest time between hair growth and pending snowfall.
 

samuel_284Win

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2018
Messages
34
Location
Bozeman, MT
Wish I had something to contribute but congrats on the tag! Mountain goats seem like a pretty unique challenge from what I’ve read.

Just out of curiosity for your name, are you shooting a 284 win? That’s another one of those cartridges that had it been marketed better should’ve been pretty successful!
a .284 Winchester is one of my rifles and it might be the one selected for this hunt. My grandfather built the rifle himself (was an old-school machinist, and tool die maker). It has a Mauser action and hand-checkered walnut stock. The most accurate rifle I have shot so far.
 

kwspud

New member
Joined
May 13, 2022
Messages
5
Fellow HT members,

Yesterday I was given a gift by MT FWP in the form of an MT Goat tag in Unit 316. The only species that I have so far dedicated myself to have been deer and elk (bow and rifle) and have never hunted any of the Big Three species. I welcome any and all information, tips, and tactics for pursuing mountain goats, especially if you have had the tag in this unit in previous years. I would like to create this thread into an ongoing story, much like @LopeHunter shared with us in 2020. As of right now, all options are on the table for me, from using stock to everything on my back and maybe even using snowmobiles.

If you have had this tag, or any goat tag, and live in the Bozeman, MT area, please reach out via direct message. I would love the opportunity to ask questions and share stories over a cold drink.

The gears in my mind have not stopped turning since I viewed my draw result yesterday. Looking forward to this experience and am ready to put in the work.

Thank you all in advance!
I'll throw my hat in the ring too. I also drew a Goat tag in 316. I've been applying for a Goat tag for 26 years. Just in time too before my body breaks down. I thought it would never happen but it looks like the Bonus Point system is finally paying off. Based off the limited research that I've done, this Unit could be a gamble in waiting for colder weather and a 'big haired Billy'. I'm planning on going at it early but waiting for some info from the region 3 biologist that may sway my decision. That said, I would love to hear from anyone out there that has either hunted Goats or of course anyone with specific knowledge of the Unit. I have pretty much any means necessary to travel in the unit including horses, 4 wheelers, snowmobiles, etc. etc. but no parachutes.

Side note, my wife drew a 410 rifle tag for Elk that is in the mix for this fall's planning as well. I had that tag in 2007 and had a great hunt but I've heard that things have changed quite a bit. If anyone has any info that is more current, I would love to hear what you have to say. Maybe Gramma can get a decent Bull....

I'm an old school guy and this is officially the only "social media" that I am now a part of. No Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and whatever else. Look forward to hearing back.
 

MTTW

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Messages
502
Location
Montana
I would get up into that country early scouting. Actually get up on the mountain not just the trails. While you are there imagine the whole place with 1 inch of ice on it. Then decide how late you want to wait for hair to grow.
I have been involved with quite a few goat hunts and consider them some of the most enjoyable hunts available in early season. Once the mountain is icy and you have to get through even 1 foot of snow to get there, there is nothing fun about it. That said, a mid -October goat is a completely different looking animal than an early goat.
 

406dn

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
1,249
Congrats to the lucky tag holders. I drew a goat tag back in the day (year before YNP fires) in unit 323. The observation that you can watch their hair grow is indeed true. A friend drew the same tag, the same year. We went in first in August to learn the lay of the land etc. The goats were still holding onto a little of their winter coat. We went in another time or two before the season.

We went in to hunt the opener. The afternoon before the opener it was 70 degrees at 10000 feet. The weather changed in the night and by the following morning there was a foot of wet snow and the mountains were shrouded in fog. We broke camp and returned home.

He and I hunted together and individually as our work schedules allowed. I was not too difficult to find a goat. It was difficult to actually get close enough to get a shot. The week before the elk/deer season opened our schedules aligned again. We left Billings very early and left the trailhead at first light.

The weather was damn nasty. It was maybe 10 degrees and the wind was howling out of the north. After we had climbed the last pull up to the main ridge we ate our lunch, then went separate ways to try find a goat. We did, and both of us killed nannies that day. His was quite long at over 9 inches, mine 9 inches even. Mine nearly slid a thousand feet down the head wall of Hellroaring creek.

Getting them out was a physical task that is now well beyond me. My friend had hurt his back and could not pack very much weight. The first 1/4 mile coming down off the ridge was the toughest portion coming out. We got back to the truck right at dusk.

Here's a photo of the cape of mine with my son and I. He is now older than I was then. What hair I have left is whiter than a mountain goat's.
987A3204-33C3-494E-819B-0BB118ADA966_1_201_a.jpeg
 
Last edited:

MuleyMB

Active member
Joined
Nov 6, 2021
Messages
82
Very cool!! Congrats and hope to see some success pics and story of the adventure!!
 

BeartoothFront

Active member
Joined
Sep 19, 2014
Messages
227
Location
Montana
Congratulations! Going to be an amazing adventure.

As others have said, I highly encourage you get A Beast the Color of Winter. It’ll teach you just about everything you need to know about mountain goats, behavior, family structure, terrain used during specific times of the year.

It may be worth taking a ride into Goose Lake and glassing across the boundry into 316. Good luck and can’t wait to hear about it!
 

kwspud

New member
Joined
May 13, 2022
Messages
5
Congratulations! Going to be an amazing adventure.

As others have said, I highly encourage you get A Beast the Color of Winter. It’ll teach you just about everything you need to know about mountain goats, behavior, family structure, terrain used during specific times of the year.

It may be worth taking a ride into Goose Lake and glassing across the boundry into 316. Good luck and can’t wait to hear about it!
I ordered the book last week after finding out I drew, I can’t wait to read it. September will be here before you know it. I feel very humbled to have drawn the tag after so many years and feel a great sense or responsibility to go into this prepared. Looking forward to the adventure!
 

kwspud

New member
Joined
May 13, 2022
Messages
5
Congrats to the lucky tag holders. I drew a goat tag back in the day (year before YNP fires) in unit 323. The observation that you can watch their hair grow is indeed true. A friend drew the same tag, the same year. We went in first in August to learn the lay of the land etc. The goats were still holding onto a little of their winter coat. We went in another time or two before the season.

We went in to hunt the opener. The afternoon before the opener it was 70 degrees at 10000 feet. The weather changed in the night and by the following morning there was a foot of wet snow and the mountains were shrouded in fog. We broke camp and returned home.

He and I hunted together and individually as our work schedules allowed. I was not too difficult to find a goat. It was difficult to actually get close enough to get a shot. The week before the elk/deer season opened our schedules aligned again. We left Billings very early and left the trailhead at first light.

The weather was damn nasty. It was maybe 10 degrees and the wind was howling out of the north. After we had climbed the last pull up to the main ridge we ate our lunch, then went separate ways to try find a goat. We did, and both of us killed nannies that day. His was quite long at over 9 inches, mine 9 inches even. Mine nearly slid a thousand feet down the head wall of Hellroaring creek.

Getting them out was a physical task that is now well beyond me. My friend had hurt his back and could not pack very much weight. The first 1/4 mile coming down off the ridge was the toughest portion coming out. We got back to the truck right at dusk.

Here's a photo of the cape of mine with my son and I. He is now older than I was then. What hair I have left is whiter than a mountain goat's.
View attachment 222482
Sounds like you guys had quite the Adventure! I can’t wait for mine!
 

kwspud

New member
Joined
May 13, 2022
Messages
5
I would get up into that country early scouting. Actually get up on the mountain not just the trails. While you are there imagine the whole place with 1 inch of ice on it. Then decide how late you want to wait for hair to grow.
I have been involved with quite a few goat hunts and consider them some of the most enjoyable hunts available in early season. Once the mountain is icy and you have to get through even 1 foot of snow to get there, there is nothing fun about it. That said, a mid -October goat is a completely different looking animal than an early
 

kwspud

New member
Joined
May 13, 2022
Messages
5
Sounds like great advise. We’re planning on getting in there late July/early August.
 

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