Sunday, February 03, 2008
Hurray, I drew a goat tag!
Unlike with deer you can not just go out and hunt goats - you need to enter a lottery and win a goat tag. Just a few years ago it was not difficult to draw a goat tag, but lately Kodiak has become a very popular place to hunt goats and it has become very difficult to draw a tag. What this means is that fewer and fewer local people are getting goat tags. Used to be over half the tags went to locals - this year practically no one that I know got a tag. But I can't complain - I appreciate that I got very very lucky - especially since I drew one last year too.
This year I drew a goat tag that only allows me to hunt on the south end of Kodiak (permit area DG477). It is a less popular hunt because it is so difficult and expensive to get down there. I last drew for this area in 2003 and I think the price of the air charter has just about doubled due to higher gas prices.
In 2003 we had one of the easiest goat hunts I have ever experienced (anti-climatic even). We camped by the ocean, and the next day climbed up and harvested a goat. We were back at camp with all the meat by early afternoon! Down on the south end many of the goats hang out in, what is for goats, very mild terrane (look at background in top photo). I think that is why the 2003 goat (bottom photo) was also the tastiest goat I have ever eaten. Elsewhere on the island most goats live in very rocky areas with little in the way of forage, but not the goats on the south end. More like cows than goats.
Not that goats elsewhere taste bad - goat meat is one of our favorites! Just so long as you don't go for the old goats. Other than my brother's goat (see story in archives for April 2007), which was over 10 years old, all the goats we've eaten have been great. My brother's goat was practically unedible. So just don't shoot the huge or yellowish ones and all is good (older goats tend to acquire a yellowish tinge with age). We try and get some goat meat for the freezer every year - if I do not draw a tag myself I'll help someone else who did for a share of the meat. And if all else fails there is the late season subsistence hunt that is open to bow hunters only (See goat hunt in the archive for last December).
Life is good - I drew a mountain goat tag! Patrick