The goal of this series of articles is to take you from a green mountain goat hunter, not knowing where to start, to being able to get your hands on a snow-white mountain dweller.
I’ll start with where I began hunting, what lead me into hunting mountain goats and to my addiction to hunting these critters. Even if it means just packing gear for other people. I’ll pepper in some gear reviews, all my errors in story form and hopefully expedite your learning curve.
To begin, I’ve been hunting ever since I can remember. I can remember my first deer hunt when I was four or five. My dad and his buddy Rich took me and my brother out. Spent half the day hiking around until my dad got his deer. My younger brother Lance and I insisted on helping drag the little mule deer out. I even have memories from earlier about spring bear hunting with my dad and his friends.
I grew up in central British Columbia in a town most famous for Rick Hansen and Carey Price. The town Williams Lake consists of a city limit of 10 plus thousand residents, with many more in the surrounding area. It’s a forestry town in the middle of cattle country. Like I said, I grew up hunting mule deer, moose, and black bears.
I ended up moving to Vancouver to go to film school. I worked part-time and later full time at a sporting goods distributor. We distributed for major firearms companies, hunting brands, and fishing products. I quickly ran up the ranks through inside sales to gaining my own territory in northern British Columbia. It was based out of the small town of Smithers and then later moved two and a half hours west to Terrace BC.
I got on the hunting forums before my move to see what the hunting was like up Smithers and Terrace area. Most guys put the kibosh on mule deer hunting and stick to bears, moose and… mountain goats. They told me I should meet up with a certain mountain goat hunter that is renowned amongst the particular forum. Unfortunately for me, he was moving southbound. There was however some other really experienced mountain goat hunters I could talk to. I never did meet up with any of them until later. But the one I guy I pestered through the forum quite a bit for knowledge.
So once I completed my move from Vancouver to Smithers, I had my limited entry hunting (LEH) synopsis splayed across my floor before I even had a bed. I knew I wouldn’t ask any starting points. Most of the work was going to be done on my own. I set some criteria about where I was going to apply. It had to be relatively close to Smithers and low draw odds… that was it. I found an area with 1.2:1 odds. Almost a gimme.
Join me on my next article where I discuss tips for scouting these elusive animals.