The Storms of Life

Big Fin

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Awesome write up! Every time I read one of your stories I think to myself how I'd buy your hunting story book that I hope you put out someday. :)

Maybe I missed it but did you say what caliber and bullet you were using? Man those things are tough.

Steep angle shooting is on my practice list for sure.
I was using a 7mm-08 with 140 Grain Nosler E-Tips. Rifle was a Howa. Scope a Leupold VX5HD.

Some asked about whether I was dialing for true ballistic range (horizontal distance) or Line of Site. I was holding and dialed based on TBR.

I was ranging true ballistic range with a prototype pair of Leupold rangefinding binos. I was ranging Line of Sight with a Leupold handheld rangefinder. Dale was using his rangefinder for true ballistic ranges. We were coming within a couple yards of each other.

While shooting at the range I always use my rangefinder-confirmed distances for my dials and point of impact. I then use the same rangefinder while in the field, as they entire setup is synched based on what my rangefinder is telling/confirming.

I've shot at some steep downhill angles and it is much easier to address the rifle and find stronger points of anchor. It was a big mistake to not practice these steep uphill angles. I did not anticipate such shots, but those are what I had and the results show my lack of practice.

The gear is confirmed to be dialed and tight. My thought is that such extreme angles with such half-baked shooting rests provides for some challenges in setup, execution, and follow through. Challenges I was fortunate to overcome by having a second opportunity and a person beside me marking my shots through a spotter with a phone skope in slo-mo.

Next mountain goat hunt (probably never), I will be practicing a lot on extreme uphill angles.
 

rjthehunter

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Oct 23, 2019
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Minnesota
I was using a 7mm-08 with 140 Grain Nosler E-Tips. Rifle was a Howa. Scope a Leupold VX5HD.

Some asked about whether I was dialing for true ballistic range (horizontal distance) or Line of Site. I was holding and dialed based on TBR.

I was ranging true ballistic range with a prototype pair of Leupold rangefinding binos. I was ranging Line of Sight with a Leupold handheld rangefinder. Dale was using his rangefinder for true ballistic ranges. We were coming within a couple yards of each other.

While shooting at the range I always use my rangefinder-confirmed distances for my dials and point of impact. I then use the same rangefinder while in the field, as they entire setup is synched based on what my rangefinder is telling/confirming.

I've shot at some steep downhill angles and it is much easier to address the rifle and find stronger points of anchor. It was a big mistake to not practice these steep uphill angles. I did not anticipate such shots, but those are what I had and the results show my lack of practice.

The gear is confirmed to be dialed and tight. My thought is that such extreme angles with such half-baked shooting rests provides for some challenges in setup, execution, and follow through. Challenges I was fortunate to overcome by having a second opportunity and a person beside me marking my shots through a spotter with a phone skope in slo-mo.

Next mountain goat hunt (probably never), I will be practicing a lot on extreme uphill angles.
I figured my thought was a long shot. Then my damn math made me really think that could have been what happened!

Is a Billy of that age close to a record? I've never seen one that looks that old, granted I haven't seen a ton!
 

Big Fin

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Is a Billy of that age close to a record? I've never seen one that looks that old, granted I haven't seen a ton!
Yes, though I'm not the person who knows how to score goats. I've relied on some others who have put a tape on him. Even missing over an inch on his passenger side and over a half inch on his driver's side, he will very likely make the awards book and one person's numbers come up with him making the all-time book. If intact, he surely would have made the all-time book. Bases are just over 6" and the mass carries very well.

If there is one benefit for the broken horns, when taking the circumference measurments at the 1/4, 2/4, and 3/4 longest horn length, those end up being further down the horn and thus the circumference measurements will be very large compared to longer goats fully intact.

I have taken a tooth to Matson's lab for aging. One horn has 14 rings, the other has 12 very visible rings. Safe to say he is between 12-14. I will know from Matson's in January. When I checked him in the biologist pulled up the Montana data base for billies harvested. Since they started this data base, only four billies have ever been aged 14 years old and none have ever been aged older than 14.

He had three teeth left, one of which was cracked in half and the biologist was able to pull out without even cutting the gum to loosen the root. He had no fat and his hip bones were very prominent. His ribs were like a huge barrel, but not much meat or fat on them or the front shoulders. Everyone who has seen his body and his teeth wonder if he would have made the winter.

The good news is that goat #2 was likely a better scoring goat, in terms of net scores. Not as massive, but has no breakage (yet) and is very long. He is likely pushing 50" score, maybe just over. His body size was smaller than this billy, but still a good bit bigger than the other two adult billies that were trying to ease in on the fun.

You will hear us talk about this in the video, but without the Rocky Mountain Goat Alliance there would not be a hunt in this unit. For years many of us reported goats here. The biologist got approval to use citizens (RMGA volunteers) to help count goats and that such counts would be allowed for setting seasons. This unit has been surveyed three times, resulting in two tags per season starting in 2014 and bumping to three tags for 2021. I am indebted to the RMGA, their volunteers, and our local biologist who has made this unit and the seasons one of her priorities.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Rocky Mountain Goat Alliance, here is the link - https://goatalliance.org/
 

rjthehunter

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Oct 23, 2019
Messages
813
Location
Minnesota
Yes, though I'm not the person who knows how to score goats. I've relied on some others who have put a tape on him. Even missing over an inch on his passenger side and over a half inch on his driver's side, he will very likely make the awards book and one person's numbers come up with him making the all-time book. If intact, he surely would have made the all-time book. Bases are just over 6" and the mass carries very well.

If there is one benefit for the broken horns, when taking the circumference measurments at the 1/4, 2/4, and 3/4 longest horn length, those end up being further down the horn and thus the circumference measurements will be very large compared to longer goats fully intact.

I have taken a tooth to Matson's lab for aging. One horn has 14 rings, the other has 12 very visible rings. Safe to say he is between 12-14. I will know from Matson's in January. When I checked him in the biologist pulled up the Montana data base for billies harvested. Since they started this data base, only four billies have ever been aged 14 years old and none have ever been aged older than 14.

He had three teeth left, one of which was cracked in half and the biologist was able to pull out without even cutting the gum to loosen the root. He had no fat and his hip bones were very prominent. His ribs were like a huge barrel, but not much meat or fat on them or the front shoulders. Everyone who has seen his body and his teeth wonder if he would have made the winter.

The good news is that goat #2 was likely a better scoring goat, in terms of net scores. Not as massive, but has no breakage (yet) and is very long. He is likely pushing 50" score, maybe just over. His body size was smaller than this billy, but still a good bit bigger than the other two adult billies that were trying to ease in on the fun.

You will hear us talk about this in the video, but without the Rocky Mountain Goat Alliance there would not be a hunt in this unit. For years many of us reported goats here. The biologist got approval to use citizens (RMGA volunteers) to help count goats and that such counts would be allowed for setting seasons. This unit has been surveyed three times, resulting in two tags per season starting in 2014 and bumping to three tags for 2021. I am indebted to the RMGA, their volunteers, and our local biologist who has made this unit and the seasons one of her priorities.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Rocky Mountain Goat Alliance, here is the link - https://goatalliance.org/
That's pretty incredible! I can't wait to see where this ends up. Hell of a trophy regardless!
 

dgc1963

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Feb 17, 2019
Messages
744
Loved following this Randy congrats! this was a classic real hunting experience with all the ups n downs,
praying for your Moms health Thanks for taking us along on this one
Cant wait to see the video
 

elkrchr

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Jun 26, 2010
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Location
Three Forks, MT
What a saga! Congrats on a phenomenal goat and thoughts and prayers go out to your mom and your family. Can't wait to watch this saga unravel on Fresh Tracks +.
 

Big Fin

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Thanks for asking, @Wallydeuce. She finished her 30 radiation treatments on Monday, November 29th. She gets a few days off then they resume her chemo next Monday.

She's pushing through. But, as those of you who have seen it, it's a brutal path to travel when you have both chemo and radiation at the same time. She's in a lot of pain, but they say that will start to subside now that radiation is done.

It's a demonstration of the toughness of the human spirit and inspiring to me. She never complains, just pushes forward and looks for a better day ahead.

Thanks to all for the warm thoughts.
 

mountain monster

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Dec 4, 2015
Messages
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Location
Bozeman, Montana
Speaking of older mountain goats, 3 years ago my son that was 24 at the time, got this Billie here in Montana. We sent a tooth to Matson's laboratory and had him aged. I will post Matson's results in couple of days, just in case anyone wants to guess first. View attachment 203879
You guys are good! Yes, Matson's laboratory aged him at 14.
 

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