Alaska Mountain Goat: A Magical High-Country Hunt pt. 2

First light Sunday morning, Dillon and I were on the beach five miles out of the hunting area, each firing a few shots into a Bud Light box 100 yards out to check our zero. As discussed, and expected, our sights were off. Dillon was low left, and I was right by a few inches. After adjusting our scopes and hitting our marks, we got off to glassing goats in our area by around 7:45a.m. A little late, but goats move a fair amount in the daytime.

Sure enough, by 10:30 a.m, we had a goat spotted. We decided it was in the most reachable area we had seen all morning and that if we didn’t go after this one it would be time to call it quits shortly after. We still had to make it back before dark. After a few comments like, “How high do you think that is?” “Think we could see him from there?” and “How thick do you think that $#!$ is?” we decided to head up after him. An hour and a half and a very short distance later, we were out on a plateau we had thought we would be able to see the goat from. Turns out the goat was hidden behind its own plateau that had a ravine and waterfall all making a further ascent and change of approach impossible. Dillon and I were no longer surprised that we may not get a goat due to the impenetrable landscape of the area. We decided to sit it out for the hour we allotted before turn-around time hoping this goat would make a magical appearance. That it did.

About 15 minutes into our sit, like magic, a nanny walked out that we had seen with the billy. In the zone we were hunting, the permit is valid for both billies and nannies. We quickly decided that the nanny was still meat and not to waste an opportunity. My scope had fogged up by this time, and Dillon was going to be the only shooter. To our delight, with the nanny on the run Dillon placed a shot perfectly in the neck instantly toppling her over, lifeless. Some “Woos!” and high fives were thrown around before we booked it back to the boat. If we were going to make it home by dark and to work Monday morning, we had to crush the next couple of hours. Dillon ended up going up to the goat himself as the route was too risky for the both of us to go. Dillon had spikes that allowed him the traction needed in this area. A piece of gear I will never forget again. Paul and I kept an eye on him and guided the route to the goat from below. A throwable floatation device attached to a rope close by in the unfortunate event Dillon ended up in the water. Thankfully it was not used.

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Dillon was able to get to the goat quickly enough and decided it was best to let it slide down the mountain to the water. Once it hit the water, I was on the bow with a six-foot fish gaff, but it wouldn’t penetrate that hide to safe my life. I had to hook a horn and quickly haul it in the water to the back of the boat to get it in before it absorbed too much water and sank. We got Dillon back in the boat safely, the boat squared away, and on step back to town. During the ride home, we experienced that quiet feeling of success as we ran the experience back through our minds. That first goat hunt will not soon be forgotten, which created a possible addiction that I plan to scratch come this late November. Best of luck to all you goat hunters this year. Keep your footing true!

Jack Grummett

Jack is an outdoorsman born and raised in the Tongas National Forest of Southeast Alaska. He was introduced to hunting and fishing at the young age of 6 and hasn’t looked back since. His greatest peace of mind can only be found in the high mountains and open waters of his home in Alaska. He hopes to share both his stories and the harvest that may accompany them.

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