Keys for Mountain Goat Hunting
Mountain goats are the ultimate trophy among big games in North America, not only because its size but also due to the hard conditions you need to face to when pursuing these animals.
Different from any other big games on the continent, mountain goats hunting grounds are restricted to a few, northern U.S. states and south Canada, being the British Columbia the area with the biggest mountain goats in the world.
Bag restrictions as well limited permissions have allowed not only a population increase but also bigger, stronger individuals which will represent a major challenge not only to kill, but to recovery.
Due to extreme physical and psychological demands, mountain goat hunting is not for everyone, but if you think you have what's required, keep in mind the following keys to increase your success odds and keep you safe, after all you need to be alive for your next goat hunting and certainly this type of hunt implies the risk of severe injuries and even death; not because of the game itself as it could be with wild boars, but because of the terrain.
With the above in mind, first thing to say is to be prepared to face extreme terrain and tough weather conditions.
Mountain goats usually are located two or three hours from the nearest access point, so you need to be ready to face whichever mother nature throws on your face during this time (and afterwards, once you turn back).
On this regard, you will need a good pair of boots and clothing for different weather conditions (from sunny, relatively hot days upt to snow and storms) because climatological conditions vary suddenly on the high heights where goats live.
Additionally you need at least basic climbing gear, not only to access a good spotting point from where it will be easier to take down a goat, but also to recovery it later. Most of goats you will see, are on high cliffs and no matter how careful you are to take down your game on a certainly easy access area, reality is that many times you will need to fight to reach your trophy.
Another detail to keep in consideration is oxygen supply. At high altitudes like those where goats live, there are less oxygen than at sea level, making your breath short and even the simplest task a challenge, even decision making may be modified by diminished oxygen supply.
So, if you don't use to live on high altitudes, the best choice is to prepare yourself with an acclimatation trip at least 5 days before your hunting raid. Additionally some bottled oxygen may be an option too, but you will need to deal with the extra weight.
Finally remember that firearms don't work the same at sea level than on the heights, so before trying to take down a goat it will be necessary to make a several adjustment shots to a given target up on the mountain in order to allow proper adjustments of your weapon.
Remember that at high altitudes, bullets ballistics change dramatically, so you will need to fire different from what you do at sea level; moreover, depending of weather conditions you will need to make proper adjustments but that's possible only on the field and certainly not an easy task considering that the adjustment shot might be the only one you could have to take down a big billy.
Now you know the basics to start your learning curve as well your way towards a mountain goat hunter. Are you ready to face the challenge?