USA: Alaska Mountain Goat Hunt With Parker Guide Service

JES Adventures

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Day 5

I woke a few times last night to the yacht rocking up and down, the winds have picked up. The generator started at 5 and people started stirring by 5:30. First glance out the window and it was obviously still raining. Aparantley this is the norm for Southeast Alaska. Breakfast was at 6 and about 6:30 Bruce said he was lifting anchor and we were moving the yacht up the inner passage as far as we could. Up in the far channels towards the glaciers, the ice pack becomes too thick for the big yacht so we are essentially moving our base camp as far as possible today.

About 7:30 there was plenty of light and it was anchors up and we motored through the passage glassing the mountain sides for goats. The wind and rain were strong and I was happy to be inside the heated cabin of the yacht for a change!

We carried on for nearly 4 hours and anchored at a junction that leads off to the two different glaciers. Ben told me to gear up we are headed out in ten. The rain was still falling but not as hard so I loaded my gear and got into the skiff. We went towards the first glacier and within the hour the rain had slowed significantly. We immediately started spotting goats and once the rain stopped they started to move about. Most all were at high elevations but we did spot a group about 1500’ up and the other pair of hunters took off in pursuit.

I was in the skiff with the guides Dylan and Cooper so Bruce suggested we go check up towards the North glacier and then back towards rope creek where we would end up back at the yacht.
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The last 3 hours of the day we saw at least 20 goats but none accessible or within shooting range. Things are definitely looking better and with the rain ceasing we are in hopes of a better hunting day tomorrow.

The ride back to the boat was much nicer this evening as I was not wet and as cold. It was refreshing to have a warm shower and get my body temperature back to normal. Troy and I enjoyed appetizers while we await the other hunters to get back to the yacht.

Ted stalked on some goats this evening, turned out to be nanny and kid so they passed and moved on. Three days left, praying for better weather and ultimately success.
 

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If you get a chance post a pic of that yacht.
 

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Quite a Story, love the accomodation, nothing like I am used to in Mountain Goat Camp.
Look forward to hear of a happy end.

Cheers
 

JES Adventures

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JES Adventures

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Day 6

I was up before the generator, a thousand thoughts going through my mind. As I always start my day, I thanked the Lord for this day and the gifts he has bestowed on me. Knowing that today is the Feast day of St. Hubert, the Patron Saint of the hunt I said additional prayers for continued Blessings and success on this expedition.

Stacy the chef was in the kitchen preparing breakfast and I was the first hunter up. I grabbed a cup of coffee and walked out on the back deck to check the weather. No rain but vey low clouds so I expect visibility to be poor as the day starts. We are all in hopes of continued clearing in the weather so the goats become more active and move about. As the other hunters woke, we spoke of the upcoming day and optimism is high. When you just endured the first half of the hunt being consumed by foul weather and you wake for the first time in four days to no rain, it is a Blessing!

Well, I wrote too much too soon. A light rain started to fall just as we were gearing up to head out for the day. Fortunately it was only with us for a short while and by 8AM I could see a little blue sky overhead. I seemed the conditions would improve so we remained hopeful.

We started to spot goats within the hour, mostly high (2000’+) above water level so no shot opportunities. Dylan spotted a goat above a drainage and Cooper got the spotting scope and confirmed it was a billy. Dylan asked me if I was up for a climb and I said yes. We motored the boat across and landed near a waterfall. It was steep, about 300 yards up and appeared almost straight up the last hundred feet. Dylan asked if I was OK using a rope to make the last bit of the climb and I said “lets go”.

We topped out and had a decent view of the drainage but fog rolled in and cut our visibility down to a couple hundred yards. It took nearly a half hour but as the fog cleared Dylan pointed out the area he saw the billy when glassing previously, about 375-400 yards an an upward angle. We waited at least another half hour and never got site of the goat so Dylan made the call to move on.

After lunch, we spotted 2 nannies with a kid and a fourth goat descending on the group. The spotting scope confirmed it was a mature billy so we are happy to see some rut activity. We need these billies to get on the move looking for nannies which will greatly improve our odds of getting a shot.

We continued on, glassing the mountainsides then started our two hour ride back to camp hunting the entire way. The sun was setting and twilight nearly upon us when Cooper told Dylan to stop and get some ice for camp. Cooper hacked off and loaded a big chunk Of ice onto the bow of the skiff and we could see the yacht about a half mile away.

The skiff was on plane and I figured everyone was thinking about a warm shower and hot meal when Dylan leaned forward and said “get your rifle”. He spotted a goat coming down the mountain past the yacht and we were headed straight for it. I could see him, about 300 yards uphill as we approached the rocks to get out. The billy disappeared into the alders walking rather quickly so we turned and went down river past him to try and get another look. We found him a few minutes later, straight above us with no place to land the boat and take a shot. Daylight faded into night and we called it a day. We will be looking for him at first light tomorrow I can assure you.

Back at the yacht after a warm shower I caught up with the other hunters and they scored today. One shot a nice mature billy at 130 yards while the other missed at 400. I can see that a long shot will likely be necessary and if I am presented with it and set up properly and am confident that I can cleanly take the animal, I will take the shot.

After dinner Bruce commented that we should have an excellent couple of days with the weather improving and the rut obviously underway. The goats are on the move, now all I need a billy to give me a shot.
 

JES Adventures

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Day 7

I was up about a half hour before the generator started today. As I awoke I said my morning prayers and thought about the outcome of the election and more importantly the diminishing chance at taking a goat. There are two days left and unfortunately it is raining. Nonetheless, I will gear up and head out at first light.

I have been texting my family this morning by way of an Iridium Go and getting reports on the election. From what I hear, riots and unrest have been to a minimum as Biden has the lead at this time. That being said, several States have not fully reported so the true outcome is yet to be known.

For now, I have decided not to dwell on politics and focus on the task at hand. Unlike many other hunts before, I really can’t do anything to affect the success of the hunt other than to be present, ready and able to make the shot when the time comes. This is such an unusual place, hunting a very unique animal that I must completely rely on my outfitter and guides for their knowledge. The Rocky Mountain Goat lives in incredibly difficult places that are for the large part impenetrable by most humans. Unless you have the skill and experience of hunting the animal and the area, you would be hard pressed to come out from this hunt successful.

Ben and Dylan gathered their climbing gear as they will need ropes to repel into the crevasse to retrieve Bill’s goat from yesterday. Troy and I will be hunting with Bruce for the first part of today so we switched skiffs. I feel great, ready to get going and see what the day has to offer.

We got in the skiffs about 7:20 as a light rain fell. Regardless of the weather, I was geared up and prepared for the day, ready for whatever it held.

Bruce spotted a goat over in the general direction where we left the billy last night. We motored over to have a look and he wasn’t too high, side hilling and on the move. Ben brought his boat over and he and Bruce discussed the situation. Bruce said “one of y’all get your gun and climb up that hill, there may be a chance if he comes this way.”

Ben went ahead of me, up about 70 yards and tied off a rope to a small alder for me to use. I sling my rifle over my shoulder and took off. I got up to the spot and Ben showed me the two likely places the goat might cross. One about 80 yards and the other slightly above, about 220 yards.

I chambered a round, deployed my bipod and set up. Bruce took the boat and went out into the channel to get eyes on the goat. About 15 minutes later Bruce motored back over and said the goat had turned and gone up the mountain so we climbed down and got back in the boat then took off towards the glacier.

We moved along at a fair pace, glassing the mountain sides all along the way. The snows have continued to come down the mountain and at times I mistake a new snow patch for a goat so it poses a new challenge.

About an hour or so later, Cooper leaned over to me and said “there’s a goat on the hillside to the right just ahead of us about a half mile, around this corner”. Motoring along at idle speed, a few minutes later Bruce said “he’s ahead, a couple hundred yards above the water, side hilling and on the move”. The rut is definitely on and these billies are out looking for nannies.

I asked Bruce if I should get my rifle ready and he said “yes, when we round this corner he should be in this basin over there”. I confirmed the location and as the boat moved kept scanning the mountain side for the goat.

Just a moment or two later we rounded the corner and I could see the goat ahead of us a few hundred yards. Bruce said, “he’s seen us” all the while looking ahead for a place along the shore we could shoot from. I pointed to the right and I said “there” and he turned the boat and nosed into the kelp covered rock ledge, the goat was staring down at us.

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I got out of the boat and rolled onto to the rock in the prone position set my rifle up. I asked for confirmation that it was a Billy and as I was getting my rifle set I heard yes it’s a Billy

The shot angle was upward and the bipod too low so Cooper quickly brought over a couple of throw cushions from the boat to gain some elevation.

Just as I got the the rifle set, the goat had obviously had enough and started to move from his position. I settled the crosshairs back on him as I can hear Ben saying “shoot him, shoot him“.

He was walking slightly downward, a little obstructed by some vegetation but I found the shoulder and squeezed off. The 300 RUM fired and I could see the goat react in the scope. He was hit solid and unsteady on his feet. I heard Ben say “shoot him again” and I located the goat in the scope again and just as I squeezed off I saw him sink back and fall. The shot went right over his back but he was down for good. I gathered myself up and got back onto the boat doing my best not to slip on the slick, kelp covered rock. After congratulations we motored up another hundred yards or so and Dylan and Cooper headed up the mountain to retrieve my goat. Fortunately he was only about 200 yards above the waters edge so it was an easy job getting him down for pictures and load him onto the boat.

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It’s about 8:45 now, what looked to me like was going to be another dreary, rainy day has turned out to be absolutely gorgeous day. The rain had stopped, clouds broke, sunshine was hitting the mountain tops and I had my goat. God is great!
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I said my prayers of thanksgiving as we motor along looking for a goat for Troy and Ted. Bill and I stayed with Ben and Dylan as they went into the gorge to retrieve bills goats from yesterday. It had fallen down into a deep crevasse so they would use repelling gear to retrieve it.

Bruce took Troy and Ted and they took off towards the glacier looking for goats. About an hour later I heard two shots. Hopefully we’ve got another goat down.

It took Ben and Dylan a couple of hours but they got the goat out of the crevasse. I sat in the sun on a rocky beach, smoked a celebratory cigar and relished in the moment.

Bruce showed up with the other hunters just as the goat recovery was wrapping up. Unfortunately the shots I heard resulted in a miss so we got Bill’s goat loaded and proceeded to hunt.

The weather clouded over and the wind picked up but thank God it did not rain. We saw several goats up high throughout the day, none they could get a shot at.

Back at the yacht by sunset everyone got showered and ready for dinner. Another amazing meal of greed salad, grilled scallops, pasta and vegetables.

It’s Dylan’s 29th Birthday so Stacy made a chocolate cake with homemade ice cream for desert and we sang happy birthday for him.

It’s almost surreal to look back on the events of the day. The six days that led up to the moment I got my goat is now etched into my memory.

The drive that lives in us as hunters to go to extremes in order to be successful in our pursuit of quarry is indescribable. This week in Southeast Alaska definitely had its moments that made me think hard about where I’ve been and what I’ve done and the challenges in my life and I gave thanks for my Blessings. I owe it all to God.

The majestic Mountain Goat I was so Blessed to collect this week is number 21 in my quest of the North American 29. By the grace of God and good health I will achieve my goal.

The charter company was messaged and weather permitting we will get back to Juneau and I will arrive at my next destination a day early.
 

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Congrats on the billy!!
 

JES Adventures

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Day 8

We woke to fair weather this morning so I ate breakfast and had a shower and packed my gear. By 11 the plane still had not left Juneau due to high winds so the window was closing for me to get out on the 1:10 flight. Typical Alaska, the weather always dictates the schedule so I just relaxed, did a little reading and told more hunting stories with the crowd. Nightfall came and the weather prediction was not great for tomorrow but we will wait and see.
 

JES Adventures

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Day 9

I was up before the generator in anticipation of the day wondering if we will get to town or not. As I sipped my coffee and the morning light began to illuminate the sky I could see solid cloud cover and snow falling.

Carl said the plane was still grounded and we would wait for the weather to clear. About 8:30 Bruce fired up the main engine and we motored back to the spot in a protected bay where the floatplane dropped us off a week ago. Once again, lunchtime came and I knew I wasn’t getting out so we watched a few hunting videos, had a nap and another wonderful dinner. The forecast for tomorrow calls for clearing so we are hopeful the plane can make it in. What started off a couple of days ago as getting out a day early, now I will be a day late - if everything goes as planned!
 

JES Adventures

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Day 10

It was cold last night, even though the boat was cozy and warm, you could tell it was colder outside. Bill was up first and started the coffee and reported clear skies above! I walked out on the back deck and looked at the stars, what a beautiful site. The low was 28 degrees, clear and we got a positive weather report from Juneau. I will go out on the first plane so that will put me in Juneau with plenty of time to get my next flights organized.

Many thanks to Bruce Parker for his dedication and the knowledge that he exhibits for all of his clients while striving for success. To guides Ben, Dylan and Cooper for their hard work and perseverance despite the bad weather. Last but not least to Stacy the camp Chef, she did an amazing job from start to finish. All the meals were over the top and without a doubt the best food I have ever had on an Alaskan hunt.

Now on to Kodiak in pursuit of #22, the Sitka Blacktail Deer
 

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Thanks for sharing, good luck on the next hunt!
 

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Great hunt, thanks for sharing! I’ve been stuck in Juneau more times than I care to remember. The good news is, if your flight out can’t get in the hotel room will still be available as the next guest is on the plane that can’t land.
 

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JES

goats are tough hunting. good job, way to hang in there! if you hunt for a few days, you will get your blacktail as well, good luck.
 

JES Adventures

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JES

goats are tough hunting. good job, way to hang in there! if you hunt for a few days, you will get your blacktail as well, good luck.
Thanks @1dirthawker I’ve got six days, gonna give my best effort
 
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John Ed, WOW! Another epic adventure for you for sure. Thanks for sharing. A boat based hunt just looks like a lot of fun. As miserable as it must of been to be out in the rain all day, knowing that hot shower and warm/dry cabin was waiting for you each evening helped to keep you going. The scenery is stunning.

BTW, glad to hear you were able to pick up a Helly Hansen raincoat before your next hunt.
 

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Seems like an awesome time! The yacht definitely adds a cool flavor to a hunt like this.
 

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Wow, what a great adventure. Congratulations on a successful hunt! BTW, you said that your Sitka rain gear failed, what were the guides using? Also, do you mind sharing what you used for hunting gear, backpacks, boots, base layers, mid layers, etc, etc. Again, congrats, and good luck with your next hunt!!!
 

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Looks like you had the extremes. Plush accommodations and tough weather.

This has to be a very satisfying hunt with all the weather problems. Congratulations on a great looking billy.

Thanks for the report and photos.
 

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I was cold and exhausted just reading this! I made two attempts on Kodiak for bear. It rained almost all the time. Coastal weather in Alaska is brutal!
Congratulations!
 

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Great write up. Thanks!
 

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