Wyoming Mountain Goat Hunt

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Yes, the title, Wyoming Mountain Goat Hunt is a bit misleading.  I will admit to it right here.  It is just my feeble attempt at being clever and grabbing your attention.  Now, I won’t come out and say that it is entirely inaccurate because pronghorn antelope are often referred to as “goats” and I did take it on a mountain.  Here is the story.
 
The last year we were successful at drawing tags for antelope in Wyoming, but the second year we didn’t draw a tag.  Instead we had to find a unit with left-over tags if we wanted to hunt.  Our normal unit had lots of public land, but the one we settled on had very limited public land, but we had a connection that would hook us up with a landowner that for a trespass fee would allow us to hunt his land.
 
What none of us realized was that the land was at the top of a mountain; hence, the title, Wyoming Mountain Goat Hunt.  See, I told you that it wasn’t entirely untrue.  We tried the public land options the first day, but had little success.  I did have a pronghorn with about 12 inch horns in my sights on that day, but the guys talked me out of taking him.  They suggested that the private land would likely yield bigger bucks.  Yeah, right.
 
I don’t blame them because I made the decision and really thought that private land would equate to better hunting opportunities and bigger bucks.  I was wrong, but I am not complaining because as many people have said before me, there is a lot more to the hunt than just taking an animal.  This hunt would turn out to be one of my favorites and most memorable.
 
Getting back to the mountain, we met the land owner and he gave us a map to his land.  It had rained and even with four-wheel drive it was a bit slick getting to the top of the mountain.  It seems that is normally so dry in Wyoming that the gravel roads are covered with a dust that creates a very slick coating when it gets wet.  We made it to the top of the mountain and decided to take a hike to see if we could find a goat.
 
We all know the saying about things going from bad to worse.  Here we were on top of a mountain in Wyoming with what seemed to be little game so how could it get worse?  Add a blizzard, yes a raging wind blown blizzard to the mix and that is how it can get worse.  It was freezing and the visibility made glassing for the goats very difficult. 
 
We decided to call it quits and wait out the storm.  As we headed back to the truck, I caught some movement in the distance. I scanned with my binos and saw that it was a buck antelope.  I could tell he was young and small; smaller than the one I passed on yesterday, but with no better prospects I was going to take him.
 
The year before I used a .30-06 but this year I was carrying my .243 Winchester.  It had a laminated stock and a bull barrel so it was a heavy rifle, but accurate and fun to shoot.  I extended the bipod and settled in for the shot.  I estimated the distance to be 200 yards and squeezed off the trigger.  Charlie immediately told me I missed, but I didn’t think I did.  Still, I chambered another round and was in the process of acquiring the goat in my scope when he just fell over.
 
The 100 grain Sierra Game King bullet did the job.  It was a perfect shot except for one thing.  No one told the goat he was dead until he fell over.  He just never know he’d been shot.
 
So that is the story of my Wyoming Mountain Goat Hunt.  I didn’t get the biggest goat, but I think I came away with one heck of a story.  How many other people can brag they shot a pronghorn antelope on top of a mountain in a blizzard?

Comments

GooseHunter Jr's picture

That is a very interestesing

That is a very interestesing story.  Antelope can ve found in alot of weird places.  I once was bow hunitng elk and cam across a real nice buck at 8500' on the top of a mountain and wondered what the heck he was doing there.

CVC's picture

You have to wonder about

You have to wonder about those errant animals sometimes.  Ask yourself, now what were they thinking?  I suppose the answer is they aren't thinking and just acting on instinct or some other internal drive that says, climb that mountain.  Everyone else is going down, but I will go up.

jim boyd's picture

A gratuitous attempt to fool

A gratuitous attempt to fool the reading public!!!

Guess what?

It worked and you admitted you did it, so no harm and no foul!

There have been times when we all passed on game and then possibly wished we had not - I call that a great trait, regardless of whether or not you are able to rebound and either take a lesser animal or not take one at all.

I beleive that there is no shame in either occurrence...

Many times, hunters are made to feel bad by others when they state "would have been a good one next year" or some other comment to that effect.

Some times, I feel these comments are genuine and well intentioned and other times, I feel they are mean spirited or spiteful.

I call that a successful hunt: You came, you toughed it out and managed to take the... umm... well... let's see here... the magnificent Wyoming Mountain Goat!

Way to go!!!

Jim

CVC's picture

LOL, yeah I admitted that it

LOL, yeah I admitted that it was my attempt to be clever....just a play on words to grab the reading audience's attention.  There may be a footnote to this chapter.  A poster on here wants the horns to mount for his grandchildren and I offered to send them to him.  Wouldn't that be a nice ending to this story if they ended up as a child's Christmas present?  I woudl be as tickled as the kid who received them knowing that I played some part in making a kid happy on Christmas.

jim boyd's picture

Great idea and I think you

Great idea and I think you should send them.

Do antelopes have horns and not antlers?

CVC's picture

They definitely do not have

They definitely do not have antlers, but I am not sure if they technically are horns either.  They have a "horn" that is shed each year.  It is comprised of hair and I think I've read it technically doesn't meet the true definition of a horn.

CVC's picture

It was my smallest goat to

It was my smallest goat to date, but actually one of my favorite hunts due to the location and snow.  Just proves there is more to hunting than the animal.  It is the complete adventure that makes a hunt.

Here is some information on the Sierra Game King bullet.

Sierra GameKing bullets are conventional soft point or hollow point spitzers with tapered jackets, but tend to feature high ballistic coefficients. All are boat tail designs. Their terminal performance and application is similar to other soft point bullets, producing quick kills on CXP-2 class game such as deer, antelope, and black bear. GameKing bullets intended for larger game simply have heavier jackets and harder cores (lead alloyed with antimony).

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Too funny!  I wazs thinking

Too funny!  I wazs thinking the same thing, wondering why an antelope was being called a mountain goat.... lol

Good story, nice goat!  One of these days I will go for them, maybe even next year in Wyoming.....

jaybe's picture

I was wondering

Yeah - I was kind of wondering when I saw the picture of the antelope!

 That does look pretty unusual with the snaw and mountains in the picture.

 I was wondering also about the Game King bullet. Is that a full jacketed hollow point?

Thanks for the story.

 

CVC's picture

It is a soft point bullet  

It is a soft point bullet