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Thursday, November 07, 2013

Bowhunting for Goats. ... ..again

Back in the day - hunting goats on skis in 2005

It looks like I'll be hunting for mountian goats with a bow and arrow this weekend.  This is the first time I've done that since 2007.

For a few years, I bow hunted pretty seriously for mountain goats on the Kodiak road-system.  On the road-system if you are bow certified (and this requires passing both a written and bow field proficiency test) you can just register to hunt goat after the regular season for goats ends.  Otherwise you need to enter a State lottery to draw a permit that allows you to hunt goats during the regular season that ends in October.  The lottery has always had pretty low odds, and so back in the day I opted to get bow certified just so that I did not need to rely on the lottery to hunt goats close to home.

Bow hunting is not a very efficient way to hunt goats.  It would generally take more than a couple of weekends before we got lucky and came home with a goat.  There were always plenty of goats.  The problem was getting close enough to shoot one with a bow (about 30 yards), and then it had to be positioned correctly (you can't shoot if it is facing directly away or towards you), and you can't shoot a nanny with a kid.  

Inevitably, we'd get very close to some goats and something would go wrong.  There was always a story after each hunt....a kid would pop up next to a nanny, the goat would be facing the wrong way, and once a strong gust of wind blew the arrow off of John's arrow rest just when he was getting ready to shoot.  

Whenever we got home Zoya would say, 'let me guess, you got close and ... ...'  And she was usually right. (Click HERE to see a post she wrote about it back in the day).

To be honest I am not a big fan of bow hunting.  I sort of see it as playing with your food.  Also bow hunting in November and December is cold and sometimes scary.  But the payoff is the goat meat; our family really likes it.  And since this year I did not draw a goat tag or go hunting on the south end of Kodiak where a draw tag is not needed - it is time to go bow hunting for goat.  But this time I am NOT going into scary places, nor will I take it too seriously.  If I get a goat GREAT, but if not, then I'll shoot a few does and pretend it's a goat meat when we make the goat sausage we love so much.  Patrick

John puts on the crampons

Another blown stalk - check out all the goats running away behind John

Cliffs, ice and sun
Hiking around on a thick mantle of new ice

John about to start a stalk on some goats way down the ridge

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