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View Full Version : 2011 Mountain Goat hunt in pictures.



6mm Remington
04-17-2012, 04:45 PM
After 33 years of applying for moose, sheep, and goat, I finally drew one of them. I got a Mountain Goat tag for the Bitterroot Wilderness in the Kootenai Creek drainage. I was the only tag holder for that zone of which the west side of the Bitterroot valley is split into several zones in that district.

I started scouting in July as soon as the snow melted enough so I could get back in the canyon. I also started contacting wardens, biologists, and other folks to give me some insights. My son went scouting with me a few times, and each time we went further and further up the drainage glassing as we went.

I never saw a single goat until I was heading into the North Kootenai Lake on a trip. I was about 3 miles in and saw what I think was a goat across the draw from me and laying in the timber. I could not tell with binoculars if it was a goat or not. Season was not open yet, and this was just a scouting trip. I still had 10 more miles to go to get to the lake to set up camp so I didn't want to take the time to drop my pack and dig my spotting scope out. It's 13 miles by GPS from the trailhead to the lake. I got back to the lake and never saw anything on the way in. I glassed as I went in any likely loooking places. Got back and set up camp at the north lake and began glassing right away. Never saw any goats. Checked out the lake and places to come back and camp in a month at the first of October. Had plans to come back on horse with two friends. The next morning I was not feeling very well and after looking and glassing until noon I decided to head back out. I was going to stay one more full day, but I was throwing up and had some bug of some kind. I hit the trail with a 60 pound pack at noon and made it back to the truck at 9:30 PM. It was a long day and I felt miserable the whole trip out. It still was fun and was amazing to see the beauty back there.

Kootenai Creek
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/008-13.jpg

http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/007-13.jpg

http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Prettyfalls-2.jpg

http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/SouthsideofKootenaick-2.jpg

More to follow.

6mm Remington
04-17-2012, 04:48 PM
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/009-11.jpg

Camp at the lake.
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/NKootenaicamp2011-2.jpg

North Kootenai Lake
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/NKootenaiLakefromtheeastside-2.jpg

http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/BeautifullakeSept2011-2.jpg

6mm Remington
04-17-2012, 04:51 PM
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Lakefromcamp-2.jpg

Rough Country
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Lookingsoutheast-2.jpg

Looking east towards the Bitterroot valley. About 11 miles from here to the truck!
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Lookingtowardsthevalley-2.jpg

http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Northsideofthelake-2.jpg

6mm Remington
04-17-2012, 04:59 PM
October Camp at Kootenai lake. Early October 2011. Still snow from a previous storm and more was coming. Oh my!
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/003-12.jpg

My buddy Jeff relaxing while I'm cooking steaks on the fire. You thought he was tired. He and I rode about 9 miles and walked for 4 miles giving the horses a break. One small rodeo on the way in. Jeff got thrown in some rocks and almost stepped on by the horses.
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/004-15.jpg

We went in on Monday, and this picture is on Wednesday when the weather finally broke and we decided the smart thing was to head out. It looked like it was only going to be a short break in the weather and then it was just going to hammer us. Monday evening it started to snow, blow, and then rain. It did this all night. Thank goodness it never got colder because we would have had feet of snow. The rain kept it so it only got about 4 inches deep, but it was so wet it sloshed and water squirted up when you walked.
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/013-6.jpg

All day Tuesday it continued. Only were able to come out to take care of the horses. You could only see 100 yards max at times, and even that was iffy. Not conditions to be climbing up these cliffs in even if you could see.
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/014-10.jpg

6mm Remington
04-17-2012, 05:03 PM
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Camp.jpg

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I had walking pneumonia and had missed two weeks of work prior to this trip, but there was no way I was not going to miss this! It was hard to get three guys with time off together to do this, and I had applied for 33 years to draw the tag.
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/012-5.jpg

This was only about 5 miles from the lakes on our way out, but the weather had completely changed down low. Looking back to the west towards where we had camped, it still looked miserable. It was snowing and blowing, and cold.
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/JayDarrah.jpg

6mm Remington
04-17-2012, 05:04 PM
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Camp.jpg

http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/010-9.jpg

I had walking pneumonia and had missed two weeks of work prior to this trip, but there was no way I was not going to miss this! It was hard to get three guys with time off together to do this, and I had applied for 33 years to draw the tag.
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/012-5.jpg

This was only about 5 miles from the lakes on our way out, but the weather had completely changed down low. Looking back to the west towards where we had camped, it still looked miserable. It was snowing and blowing, and cold.
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/JayDarrah.jpg

6mm Remington
04-17-2012, 05:11 PM
Little out of sequence, but these are thimble-berries on one of my scouting trips. Man they are good. Like a raspberry on steroids! Full of vitamin C also. The Huckleberries were just getting ripe at the lake in September, that's how much of a difference the climate is back there.
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Thimbleberriesmmmgood-1.jpg

I was blessed with a couple of days hunting (locked in the darn tent) with my buddies, but I still had a great time. Now it's back to business. This is one of the camps I stayed at roughly 3 miles in, then I would hunt from here.
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/010-7.jpg

This fall was very wet up there and it rained and snowed on me a lot. I felt like a wet mop most of the time. It made it hard to glass and see as lots of days I was only able to see 100 yards or so at the most.
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/001-22.jpg

This is about 4.3 miles in and was my favorite spot to camp to hunt from. I had water about 1/4 mile away, and it was flat and soft where I had my tent. I could hunt back towards the lakes as far as I wanted from here and it made it feasible. There were lots of good cliffs and slopes to glass in both directions.
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Nov32.jpg

6mm Remington
04-17-2012, 05:16 PM
Here is near 4.3 mile camp. My pack weighed 36 pounds with my rifle in the scabbard on the pack. I had it in my hands at this moment. There was a lady who made it back this far all by herself so I asked her to take a picture of me. I carried 36 pounds every day up and down these slopes.
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Nov31.jpg

Good ridge above this camp. I spotted my second and only confirmed goat of all of these months hunting up this ridge. I only saw a flash of white running through the timber and had jumped it working my way to the top of the ridge on the north side of the drainage.
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Nov39.jpg

http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Nov36.jpg

Climbing up the ridge to the top on the north. It was steep to say the least, but did kind of taper off for a while once I made this really bad portion.
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/g6.jpg

6mm Remington
04-17-2012, 05:18 PM
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/g12.jpg

http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Destination-1.jpg

http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Goat27.jpg

http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/006-7.jpg

6mm Remington
04-17-2012, 05:21 PM
Drowned rat.
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/g7-1.jpg

http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/g8-1.jpg

Finally, hunting with someone again. Got one of the guys from the first trip to go with. Said you feel like climbing, and he agreed! We started out of the bottom and worked our way to the top on the north side only a couple miles from the trailhead. It looked goaty to me! Hoped we didn't get cliffed out.
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Nov111006.jpg

http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Nov111013.jpg

6mm Remington
04-17-2012, 05:23 PM
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Nov111005.jpg

Looking west, south west across Kootenai creek
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http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Nov111010.jpg

http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Nov111011.jpg

6mm Remington
04-17-2012, 05:25 PM
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Nov111008.jpg

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6mm Remington
04-17-2012, 05:27 PM
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Nov310.jpg

http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Nov34.jpg

http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Nov313.jpg

http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/006-6.jpg

6mm Remington
04-17-2012, 05:31 PM
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Tire dogs!
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Nov311.jpg

6mm Remington
04-17-2012, 05:44 PM
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Nov3.jpg

http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Nov111002.jpg

I put in 129 mile total, doing a GPS track every time I went in scouting or hunting. 111 miles on foot and 18 on horse. I saw one confirmed goat the whole time. Saw a couple deer down low, some turkey, about 20 head of elk with one 6x6 bull, all down low at the valley. Saw only a doze elk tracks the whole time back there, a few deer tracks, a couple moose tracks, and about 5 wolf tracks. Had one black bear cross the trail behind me one day, some other folks saw him, and that was it from July to late November. The lake looked full of trout and they were really jumping. I want to go back and go fishing with my son this summer. It is incredible country back there. I would do it all over again and don't feel I was cheated out of anything by not getting a goat! I loved it.




Almost home. The end. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. I had a great time and saw some amazing country.
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/022-3.jpg

Bitterroot Bulls
04-17-2012, 06:26 PM
Great pictures and great hunt, 6mm. If the trophy is in the experience, I think you made Boone and Crockett.

I see that goat tags in the Bitterroots dropped tremendously this year. That was some tough hunting.

6mm Remington
04-17-2012, 06:52 PM
Great pictures and great hunt, 6mm. If the trophy is in the experience, I think you made Boone and Crockett.

I see that goat tags in the Bitterroots dropped tremendously this year. That was some tough hunting.
Thanks, and yes I did make book! It sure was fun. Great experience. I used Stoney Point walking sticks because it helps so much with balance, taking load off your legs, and making your upper body do some of the work. I broke one and wore out the tips on two more. They would get shoved up into the staff and then be no good essentially.
My longest two days was 26 miles, 13 in and 13 out when I went scouting and got sick. That was all with 60 pounds on my back. My longest single day was 17 miles with my 36 pound pack on my back. I went in 8.5 glassing all the way , and then of course 8.5 back out. That was a long day............. I didn't really even have anything out of the ordinary in that sucker, but with 8 pounds or so of rifle and sling, it weighed 36 pounds on a scale. I made sure and had food, hydration water bladder, bottles, fuel, a shelter, and essentials in case I got stuck out there. One thing that did shock me was the fact I had cell service for most of the canyon, lost it towards the end, and then again had service at the lake. Since I hunted alone for 99% of the time, I carried it just in case something happened and I needed help.
I work four ten hour shifts, so I have Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off. I took almost every Thursday and/or Monday in addition to those three regular days every week and went hunting, so I did spend a lot of time back there. I still was tired and worn out enough that I stopped goat hunting for a few days and took my son elk hunting. He got a nice fat cow which was great. That gave me an excuse to rest for a few days while his elk cooled and I could cut her up and get her in the freezer. With pneumonia for a month and everything else I battled BB, I was one tuckered out son of a gun when it was done! Loved it though!

Son Jeff's cow at about 90-100 yards. One shot 300 WSM & 180 gr. Accubond. She dropped in her tracks.
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Jeffelk2011003.jpg

Recovered Accubond
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/180grAccubond-ELK-300WSM003.jpg

Rear half on my dad's Critter Cart that he builds. Scowl on my kids face is not because he is not happy, he just looks like that whenever I take his picture for the most part. I know, shocked this coming from a teenager!
http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab134/davidwalrod/Jeffelk2011006.jpg

packer58
04-17-2012, 07:08 PM
Those are some great pics 6 mm. Looks like two types of country..............straight up......or straight down.

Kevin Root
04-17-2012, 07:19 PM
Very nice pictures and it both sounds and looks like a successful trip 6mm Remington.

6mm Remington
04-17-2012, 07:56 PM
Thanks guys. It was a very successful trip. I wish my kid could have gotten some time off to go back with me when I was actually hunting and not just scouting, but with activities and school he just couldn't do it. I missed that the most, even more than just having someone else with me. I would have liked to gotten to share it with someone a bit more because it was so special, but the flip side of that is that is was so neat just doing it by myself. I saw hardly anyone. The only time I would usually see anyone was within the first 3 miles or so of the trail. Other than that I was pretty much by myself.
David

tommyp
04-17-2012, 08:30 PM
awesome !
great pics, what a wonderful experience.

Jon Boy
04-17-2012, 09:27 PM
Looks like an incredible experience.

packer58
04-17-2012, 09:31 PM
Hey 6 mm, I'm a solo hunter "most of the time" and can really apreciate what you went through on your hunt, my hats off to you wether you killed your goat or not. It takes a solid individual to go in that deep alone............again, good job.

Big Sky
04-17-2012, 10:10 PM
Looks like an awesone trip. Makes me want to slow down and record my hunt better.

6mm Remington
04-17-2012, 10:28 PM
Thanks guys. I appreciate the kind comments and I'm glad you like the pictures. I carried my digital camera in my right front pants pocket because I knew if it was not immediately accessible that I would not take the time to stop and dig it out to take pictures. I've started carrying it that way on hunts from here on out. I'll probably get some shots I never would take. I sure appreciate having them all now.
David

hvfd21walker
04-17-2012, 10:32 PM
What an awesome adventure 6mm. Its all about the adventure not the kill.

Vanish
04-18-2012, 10:40 AM
Thank you for documenting. I enjoy reading about the hunt more than the kill anyways!

CoHiCntry
04-19-2012, 04:59 PM
I recognize the guy from the "Wardens" tv show... right???

Jon Boy
04-19-2012, 05:26 PM
I recognize the guy from the "Wardens" tv show... right???

I was thinking the same thing.

6mm Remington
04-19-2012, 05:40 PM
I recognize the guy from the "Wardens" tv show... right???

Yes you do! Ugly cuss isn't he. We used to box on a team together is how we met many moons ago. Jeff was in a lighter weight divison than me, but in the same club.

Bitterroot Bulls
04-19-2012, 05:49 PM
Ugly cuss isn't he.

Easy there, 6mm, you're no prom queen yourself ...

:P

6mm Remington
04-19-2012, 06:44 PM
Easy there, 6mm, you're no prom queen yourself ...

:P
Hey hey, lets not be getting crazy here BB! I had a tousand fights and only been hit twee times! :p (That is slurred speech like Rocky might use.)

brooks
04-19-2012, 06:56 PM
Now thats what I call a great hunt ! Some beautiful but rough country for sure.

marcusvdk
04-20-2012, 10:52 PM
great pictures and documentation of the hunt. Looked like a great adventure in some amazing country. Its amazing how nice solitude is some times.

6mm Remington
04-21-2012, 12:50 AM
Thanks guys. I did enjoy it a lot and had a great time and that's what it is all about.