I shot my goat 44 years ago (And I've unsuccessfully applied every year since then.) I did start scouting the area in July or August prior to my hunt. On one scouting trip I used my horses to help the Forest Servioce Biologist haul gravel to the creeks going into one of the high mountain lakes in the area to provide spawning bed gravel for the golden trout that were in the lake.
Back then I didn't use or even own trekking poles. I would probably use them now.
To me half of the goat trophy is their long winter hair. I've seen goats in August that were still shedding their previous winter's hair. My goat tag was in one of Montana's Unlimited Bighorn sheep units, so I also bought a sheep tag for that area. In early September when the Montana goat and sheep seasons open, the goats look like they just had a buzz haircut, and to me, they don't have trophy quality hair. So on my September and early October scouting trips I left my goat tag at home, but while scouting for goats I still could hunt sheep.
My July and August goat scouting trips were in nice warm summer weather. When I shot my goat on the 14th of November it was -5* F when I started up the mountain, and the snow was crotch deep when I got up to him. I don't wear any kind of gloves when skinning animals and to keep my hands from freezing while I skinned my goat I pulled his hide over my hands for most of the skinning process.