I've been weighing applying for goat this year. Applied for sheep last year but did not draw. I've been bowhunting elk in the Boulders for years, and have had the opportunity up there to get within a couple hundred yards from some goats. I've been wanting to go after them with the bow, but have worried about (a) the "suicide leap" you spoke of, and (b) just getting close enough. Your comments about goats letting you get close are encouraging on both counts.
IDFG just opened up a goat hunt in the area I hunt elk by expanding the boundary of a neighboring unit. I believe I will apply for it. Wish me luck!
Thanks for your comments on the article. On my hunt I took both rifle and bow. While out and about looking for billies (with rifle), two nannies and a kid walked right past my bow and arrows leaning up against a tree.
I'm not as lethal with a bow as I'd like to be, so I took, and eventually used, my rifle.
Scouting we were able to get amazingly close. I got within 8 yards of one fabulous billie, twice. And either he, or another nice billy, ran one of my buddies off the trail (the second pic). I was also fascinated by how close a nanny with kid let us get. And on another occasion I easily approached a nice billie to within decent bow range. I think if you had a bunch of time - you could take one with a bow.
In a total of about 6-8 days of scouting and 2 days of hunting, we saw about 24 goats. I have some more pics, etc. on my site ... http://www.serioushunter.com/ .
But in the Boulders they could act differently, and the numbers are probably different. There are a lot of goats in the Seven Devils - and in the Seven Devils they see a lot of people - and (or should I say, but) - some of the people carry rifles and have goat tags. I think planning on taking both weapons would be good idea, until you know more.
The Boulders sounds like a fabulous hunt - let me know how it goes. Once you get your goat - give me a shout - my dad and I both got bighorn sheep this year.
Does anyone know why fish and game doesn't have a Mt. Goat hunt in the leadore/ Gilmore summit area of eastern Idaho. I lived in Idaho Falls before moving to the Boise area for college and used to hunt the beaverhead unit for elk. While preseason scouting I would frequently sneak up on Goats up on high ridges overlooking drainages I was scouting for elk. Also I am not talking a couple of goats but lots of them. I have pictures of a time I was in the middle of a Group of about a dozen of them up above meadow lake. I could have shot several nice billys in that group with my bow.
Dale Toweill, email = dtoweill@IDFG.STATE.ID.US, heads up the trophy species stuff with IFG. He knows and decides. Send him a polite, detailed email and he'll probably get back to you ... maybe it's a herd he doesn't know about. Or maybe they are letting it get just a bit bigger.
Just got back from hells canyon for the day....We didn'get get to see the seven devils, just went along the scenic byway along the dam. We saw 11 goats, which were my first goats ive ever seen. The forest service pointed out the first 3 to us, which was a billy,nanny and kid. We later saw 7 right in front of the dam viewing scope and saw the last one 50 yards off of the road. The last one also had a collar, any idea about those? I plan on making a trip back out here to camp and stay longer, as I absolutely loved it being from Kansas it is a nice change of scenery.
Which dam were you on? That is so cool. The Seven Devils are a mountain goat factory - and I know IFG catches them and releases them elsewhere - so I wouldn't be surprised if IFG tags them there for study also. I'll bet the `guy at the dam' might know more.
Try to put your tree stand in a tree with plenty of background cover, keep the prevailing winds for that time of the year to your face, and take care of those pesky squeaks and creaks your stand may have developed while sitting in the shed. A good treestand lube can be made by heating petroleum jelly until it reaches a liquid form. Some hunters have reported success by including a cover scent in this mixture before applying it to their stands.