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Thread: Krag Dwellers Part 1

  1. #1
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    Krag Dwellers Part 2

    Well after reading Koppers wild adventures chasing goats over the last few months, I decided to write up the adventures that I have had with these wild creatures that live on the peaks.
    Backing up a few years I had the pleasure of accompanying a friend on a successful goat trip. It was some of the most miserable moments of my hunting career but by far the most rewarding and memorable one by far. I truly found out first hand the highs and lows of mountain hunting and the emotional rollercoaster these trips can be. unknowingly at the time it set me up for borderline obsession with hunting the beast the color of winter.
    Last edited by ditch donkey; 01-11-2019 at 09:32 PM. Reason: update title

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  3. #2
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    Re: Krag Dwellers Part 2

    Part 1 The beginner goat

    This adventure started out with my buddy and I casually deciding we both wanted to do a backpack hunt and do something over and above the usual moose or deer trip. So having spent a bit of time as a kid in a particular valley that held goats we applied for the Leh. As luck would have it my partner drew the tag.

    This was our first year hunting goats and really our first time living on a mountain. Naturally we started out in the early spring researching everything we could from friends and co-workers from goat behavior to locations to gear preperations.
    Throughout the summer we made scout trips in and hiked around getting used to our gear and learning our area. On our last scout trip in a week before the season opened we happened to glass a stud of a billy on the skyline just above us. We were ontop of the world physically and emotionally as we watched this billy move across a razorback ridge. How hard could this goat hunting really be, we already found a shooter goat. should be simple just come back in a week and get this guy.

    As remote of a location as you may be in , one is rarely as alone in the wilderness as you might think. As we hiked off the mountain we met another fellow who informed us he was just "Hiking", but the premium german glass strapped to his pack told me he was most likely just as interested as to what was living on that mountain as we were.
    Last edited by ditch donkey; 01-11-2019 at 09:23 PM.

  4. #3
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    Re: Krag Dwellers Part 1

    Our shift schedule allowed us to make our first trip in a few days after the opener. Weather was decent but had cooled off dramatically and a skiff of snow had covered the mountain tops. We made our way up the old FSR in my Suzuki sidekick, which was stuffed with two hunters, packs, guns, and other "just in case" items to deal with this old deactivated road. As we reached our final stretch of our road we met a parked pickup truck with a group of three glassing a slide. We have just rolled in on the outfitter with client looking to fill a bear tag.
    Turns out my partner knows this guide from his childhood days and we end up having some good conversation with him. He tells us they are killing time filling a bear tag because they just finished killing a 10" billy days previous right up where we had been on our scout trip. They are extremely happy with this goat saying that he is rather exceptional for this area. As you may have guessed this so called "Hiker" we had met worked for the outfitter.

    So now we are back to starting point Zero looking for another white walker. That's just hunting for ya . So with plenty of time in front of us we make the plan to head up a boulder field and gain some elevation. We begin accending the mountain and after a few hours we reach an intersection of three ridges that we plan to investigate. Making camp we set up tents and string our food cache up the biggest miniature tree available.
    One conversation we had with the outfitter was regarding the early cold front that had moved in. His theory was that when a early cold snap moves in it sends the goats into the timber to stay out of the elements so there coat can catch up. I'm not sure if this is exact science but it seemed to be the case because there wasn't a goat to be found anywhere on the slopes. After 3 days of glassing a few drainages we had only seen a variety of "Goat Rocks" most of which we had glassed time and time again always just being another rock just like the last time.

  5. #4
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    Re: Krag Dwellers Part 1

    I really like your writing style.....and the topic too!
    "Any day above ground is a good one!"
    lip_ripper00 01/07/2019 @ 10:28 AM


    Lest we forget
    Humbolt Broncos Tragedy
    " I'm trying to not get cynical about what is a totally devastating tragedy but the maleness, the youthfullness and the whiteness of the victims are playing a significant role."
    Nora Loreto 6:49 PM 8 Apr. 2018






  6. #5
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    Re: Krag Dwellers Part 1

    Keep it coming. Very well written so far
    "Target archery is seeing how far away you can get and still hit the bull's eye;
    Bowhunting is seeing how close you can get and never miss your mark."

    "A man's got to know his limitations"

  7. #6
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    Re: Krag Dwellers Part 1



    Day 4 .
    At this point the only wildlife we have observed are a couple Bull marmots who seem to be constantly laughing at our inability to locate a goat
    There is only one direction to hike now that will take us to a new viewpoint and it is the steepest so naturally we left it for last, but up we go.
    On route to this mountain top we cross a grassy slope which leads us to yet another boulderfield. we hike up to just below 8000ft elevation which is one of the higher points in our area.
    Peeking over the edge we can now see into a hidden drainage and even though there are no goats visible there are at lease some obvious goat trails crossing some shale slides. This is encouraging and we set up to do an afternoon of glassing.
    As it so often happens in the mountains the weather rolls in and we are soon layering up into our rain gear as it is a mix of rain and sleet begins to whip past us. with the sleet comes layers of misty cloud which soon removes our visibility.
    We hunker down for maybe an hour waiting for a break in the weather but it dosnt seem to be in the cards so we start our decent back to our camp.
    As we navigate our way through the boulderfield with very limited visibility the miserable conditions warrants a soup break. Out comes the jetboil and we are cooking some Ramen noodles. As we wrap up our lunch the wind changes and the fog starts to clear up, when all of the sudden the fog rolls out there is an unfamiliar figure below us about 400 yrds in the grassy slope. Binos comes out and quickly confirm a rather large humped grizzly bear is wandering past us on what would have certainly been a perfect collision course with where we would have been had we not stopped for lunch. The bear is traveling in a perfect b line towards our tents which are visible in the distance. The bear isn't aggressive looking and seems just happy doing bear stuff. He has us on full alert fearing he will soon be raiding our camp almost in front of us. without warning he bolts at a full tilt run and closes the gap to our camp in seconds stopping maybe 30 ft from my tent. We are now also trying to scurry down closer so we don't loose sight of the bruin. As we approach camp with guns drawn the bear finially looks our way and makes eye contact with us at approx. 200 yards. But this bear dosnt care much he simply gives us a fair once over look and casually walks away side hilling the mountain with the agility of a goat. We breath a few deep breaths and collect ourselves, seems like we have had as good as a encounter as you could ask for. The only complication is the game trail we hiked up here was the same direction he left in. Neither of us are stoked to spend the night in the tent mere yards from his footprints but it seems safer than walking down the mountain behind him. The next morning we wake up after a nervous sleep and take up a nice casual glassing session from the tent. Still no sign of goat we decide to pull out a day early and retreat home.

    A couple lesson we took home from this hunt were; - we made camp at this game trail at the intersection of three mountain ridges. Clearly bears use this for the same reason we did. so camp will now be off the beaten path more.
    - Secondly bears can move faster than I initially thought. Absolutly no way you would ever outrun a bear in the mountains or anywhere.
    - The goat may have been holed up in thick timber as the outfitter said with the early cold snap because we certainly didn't see them.

  8. #7
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    Re: Krag Dwellers Part 1

    Thanks its really cool writing this and reliving the moment. as I write it more details of those days are coming back and it feels like reliving the hunt.

  9. #8
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    Re: Krag Dwellers Part 1

    Fast fore ward acouple weeks into October. We lost a few weeks due to the usual work , wives,and vehicle breakdown, but were back in. We have hacked our way up the valleyto the headwaters of that hidden valley we had seen the goat trails in.
    We had less time available and it was closing in on the end of the season so wewere a do or die deathmarch up this valley for a goat. After driving throughthe night and crashing bush through the early morning we were close to the headwaters as the first rays the morning sun lite up the slopes around us. At this time our once confident attitude towards hunting goats has been reduced toits lowest, but we are certainly proud of our work and efforts to conquer this country. We are certainly experts at finding white rocks in that area of our province. Hey that rock just walked behind a shrub exclaims my partner. He is abit of a bullshitter at times so I don't really get to excited but my partner is also chatty and he has been rather quiet for the last minute so I look over.he is focused on a saddle between to peaks so I point my glass up there. With the sun shining against the slope there is a goat plain as day all lite up and glowing. Even from the distance we are down here in the valley there is no mistake . Well at this point we are two giddy school girls grinning from ear to ear. We check our maps and start planning our attack. We had a fairly low end spotter so we hadn't been able to see any horn profile, but It was solo and seems to have a patch on its rump, were climbin no question. We had to backtrack to where we had come up the valley to get behind the saddle with our goat. For some reason we felt it necessary to travel like ninjas as quiet and stealthy as possible to get to where we would start climbing. Looking back I'm sure that goat didn't give a shit about these two ninjas 2000 ft below him doing sign language to maintain ultimate stealth.

    By mid morning we are up 1000ft. Everthing always looks easy and quick from the map and valley below. The incline of the mountain has reduced us to a steady pace with no shortage of breaks. At approx. half way up my partner informs me that in order to shave weight from his pack he left most of his water below and now needs to share my supply. And because I'm so OCD about having spare everything in my pack As I'm packing plenty. Closing in on 2 oclock weare close to what we believe is the last steep nasty section before we crest the top. This stretch is a mix of boulders and loose nuggets that require a guy to climb like a chimp using all hands. Below us is a slide/ cliff that would be certain death . I'm feeling the climb and I start to lag behind. I'm feeling rather scared and uncomfortable which is a feeling that seems to gowith most goat trips iv been on since. I'm ready to call it quits and get somewhere safer as I keep thinking about my wife and newborn daughter back athome. Without warning everything around me is moving and I'm in the middle of a rockslide , and there is really nothing between me and the bottom of the mountain below. I don't remember much about that moment but I manage to grab ahold of the only rock that seemed to be stationary. My partner just ahead of me decribed what he herd was like a dump truck dumping off the edge. the whole mountain range was ringing with the should of boulders crashing down the mountain. Sick to his stomache expecting to see nothing left in the spot I had just been he saw me clinging to the rock and came down and helped me over somewhere stable. I was pale as a ghost just shaking we sat there for awhile aswe calmed down. We figured there was no way that goat didn't hear that , hemust have buggered off we were sure of it.


    Last edited by ditch donkey; 01-05-2019 at 06:18 PM.

  10. #9
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    Re: Krag Dwellers Part 1

    We gather our selves and well it certainly seems like a better plan to go up and over rather than go down the way we came up. That goat is long gone by now. I start organizing my gear and my partner says he is going up without his pack to double check what so ever the crest. Shortly he is giving me the motion of horns on his head. I grab my gun ditch my pack and scurry up to join him. Ill be damned but there is a goat bedded down facing us asleep,about 500yards away . We quickly check him out vith binos. His horns look like billy profile and his bases are bigger than his eyes. We have both looked overa bunch of billy quizzes online and feel pretty confident but this our first goat in real life .
    Staring at him from one side of the saddle and he is at the far end. There really isn’t much between us and the goat for cover but there is a small depression. He hasn’t woke up yet but is facing us bedded, so we start to crawl on hands and knees through this depression and were now 377 yards. That’s it were out out cover we are as close were gonna get. There really isn’t much to rest on just smaller rocks around us. I don’t recall much except the goat got up and locked eyeswith us. Luckily he was broadside and my partner got as comfy as possible and let one fly. Looking through the glass I thought I saw hair fly but really I hadn’t got a great look due to the 7mm mag that just went off beside me. The goat just stood there unphased by these two cowboys. Shot #2 goes and once again I may have noticed some hair but who knows. The goat casually walks away. Panic sets in we jump up after him looking for a better rest. Shot 3 goes and it probly didn’tconnect due to panic and the fact that my partner was probably running while he shot. The billy climbs up a small rock face and we manage to close the gap abit. We are exhausted , short of breath, panicing, and dehydrated as we had left our water in the packs and had been rationing all day. Our goat stands there and then turns go go up and over and out of our sight into the nex tdrainage. Last shot and nails him in the shoulder and the goat goes off the ledge and land s back on our saddle. We did it, finally hit him.
    We slowly make our way over to him as we don’t have the energy to go any faster . We take a minute to thank the goat for the harvest and go over to get our hands on him. Before even grabbing the horn my partner reaches back picks up its tail and yells f#$k ya its got balls. Now we are excited we have the most basic confirmation that we had a billy.
    Last edited by ditch donkey; 01-05-2019 at 06:25 PM.

  11. #10
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    Re: Krag Dwellers Part 1

    Glad you’re posting dd. HBC is in dire need of a hunting story; and a goat one to boot!

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