The avalanche chute billy
Very recently returned from my British Columbia Rocky Mountain goat hunt.
Hunt was VERY hampered by bad weather.. Fog, rain and snow. I only got to actually hunt 2 1/2 days out of the 10. I decided when I booked this hunt that I would rather take a gamble on the weather and try for a mature billy in full winter pelage. To me, that is as much a part of the overall trophy as the horns are on this species. That decision almost came back to bite me.
Luckily for me, billies are fairly religious in their movements and all we had to do was wait for the weather to give us a break. The outfitter knew of a billy that was extremely religious in his movements and would be there 100%. All we needed was a weather break.
Once it did on lucky day 7, we quickly made our move and went for broke to beat the quickly closing window of opportunity. We found the billy from the spotter in no time in his bed and began the 3 hour climb to get within range of him.
Quickly finding him in his comfort zone. He was perched up there without a care in the world sleeping where no man would dare walk without ropes.
Here is the mountain where he resided. He was on the knoll mid-way up the range, just to the right side of the prominent avalanche chute.
a LONG way up there without a care in the world.
We bombed up the avalanche chute as far as we could. The bottom 2 hours of the climb consisted of "swimming" through the seemingly endless sea of Devil's club and alder. Good times! I am still picking out the spines in my legs and hands..
Once we cleared the alders and Devil's club, the terrain went to 40-46 degress and began to get quite steep. We pressed on until we had a feeling we were getting near the same elevation of the billy's perch. We then exited the chute and then began side hilling through the slidespruce thickets making our way ever closer.
Once the slidespruce thicket was drawing to an end, we could get no closer. The shot was going to be 281 yards. The EXACT distance where this this billy was missed 4 times the year prior.. in the same location, no less. He was bedded above us at a 20 degree angle without a single care in the world.
I was able to get a good rest on a downed spruce log, quickly dial him in and squeezed the trigger on the .300WSM..
First shot hit him higher in the shoulder than I wanted, but it rolled him over. He was QUICKLY on his feet. 2nd shot was right in the boiler room. He shuttered at the imact and was still comptiplating his escape. He then turned and was facing up the cliff-face when the 3rd shot was placed directly at his tailbone. This one dropped him hard. He slid backwards and pitched off the 120' sheer cliff directly below him. He did several complete rotations in the air before crashing into the alders and snow below. After he hit, he slid a couple hundred yards down the snow chute. Luckily, the alders and snow acted as a cushion and there was nary a hair missing or horn chipped. Whew. I guess the snow isn't was bad as I thought.
He was everything I wanted in a British Columbia billy. He had the body size, the winter coat, the horn length and mass. Perfect goat.
A shot facing back into the mountain face to show the horns a bit better.
I skinned him out for a lifesize mount. Nothing less would do.
Packing him back down.I took this pic as a last enjoyment of the open area of the avalanche chute before "diving" back into the sea of alders and Devil's club.
A few scenery shots of the area.. British Columbia is a breathtakingly beautiful part of North America. It can be awe inspiring when the weather cooperates with you.
Glassin' for goats.
Sunrise on the Columbia River valley..
On top of the world..
Thanks for looking guys.. I hope my luck continues. I am off to Kyrgyzstan in 6 days for ibex with a very good outfit. Hoping for good weather!!