Rocky Mountain High

By Brady Miller
British Columbia, Guided, Public Land

Rocky Mountain High - Brady MillerMarch/April 2014 EBJ (Issue 82) - For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of pursuing mountain goats with a bow. Maybe it’s the experience of the rugged mountains they call home, or perhaps it’s the difficulty involved in getting there. Mountain goats might not draw the same attention as the thick-horned sheep of the Rockies or the long thin-horned sheep of the northwest, yet their splendor and solitude at the top of the rugged peaks is truly something to behold.

Like all hunting trips, this one started off with a long road trip and this time our group, which included my dad, was headed for the northeast corner of British Columbia. We ended up roughly 35 miles into the backcountry, with the majority of that having been spent on horseback. Upon our arrival to camp, I couldn’t help but grab my camera and binoculars and scan the surrounding mountainsides.

After a short night’s sleep we were treated to some freshly brewed cowboy coffee and after a quick bite to eat we were off on horseback. A two-hour ride brought us to a glassing knob where we would spend the rest of the day looking for moose and goats. Early the next day, we were back with the binoculars and spotting scopes looking for goats. Red and yellow leaves shimmered in the morning light, announcing fall’s arrival as we made our way up the mountain.

Barrett and I were the first to reach the edge of the cliffs and we began to glass the upper portion of the basin. Luckily, a nice goat was bedded 200 yards below us on an extremely steep cliff, so it seemed like a shot would be possible from above the goat. The cliff edge made for a perfect stalk route because I could remain out of view and stay relatively safe navigating the cliff bands. I closed the distance and carefully glanced over the edge and there in front of me was what I had climbed up there for. I rose to my knees and eased the limbs back, allowing the string to come to rest on the draw stops as I anchored the release against my jawbone. I let out a breath, attempted to calm my nerves and sent a well-placed arrow into the goat’s vitals. We carefully picked our way down the avalanche chute to the goat. The steep scree slope turned to hardened gravel, making things a little complicated. Words cannot describe how it felt to place my hands on the goat for the first time!

I will forever cherish the memories from this hunt. We experienced truly pristine wilderness and mountain bowhunting at its finest. In the fading afternoon light, we finally made our way off the mountain and back to the valley floor. I savored this special moment for a while and then I began anticipating the challenge of punching my moose tag in the coming days!

Rocky Mountain High - Brady Miller

For a full account of Brady's adventure, go to page 14 in the March/April 2014 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.