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Alaska Goat Hunting Season in Review

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AK mountain goats

The fall season started out with brown bear hunts and went very well, with great weather conditions and two happy hunters from Connecticut. Everything, you could say, fell into place. Needless to say, it has been a busy end of the year over at Southeast Alaska Guiding, as hunters from all over the country have flocked to Alaska’s rugged peaks to hunt mountain goats. So they arrived, one by one, on a floatplane. New hunters come in as the old hunters leave.

We just wrapped up our goat hunting season, which consisted of five different hunts. Hunt 1 began on Oct. 16 and ended Oct. 24. Hunt 2 began on Oct. 27 and ended Nov. 4. Hunt 3 began on Nov. 15 and ended Nov. 23. Hunt 5 began Nov. 23 and ended Nov. 31. Goat season started with ok weather, fairly normal. There were some wet days, but overall, a broad spectrum for the weather.

The first two hunts were more difficult, because there was no snow, even at the higher elevations. In the middle of October, you expect to see some snow. This year, that was not the case.  The hunters had to climb higher to get to the goats. With no snow, the goats had no reason to come down to lower elevations. There was one hunter for the first trip, although usually we take two hunters at a time. Since it was just one hunter, we only had to look for one goat, and successfully got a 9-incher. So we were able to return to town early.

On the second trip, with two hunters, the weather conditions were similar. The first hunter got his goat, another 9-incher, with a nice big body. He actually got his goat on the first day of the hunt and flew back home the next day. The other hunter was from Wyoming, a 60-year-old! Although it took him a little longer to get a goat, as he had to go on two big climbs. On the second climb, he took his shot and seized one, an 8 ¼ incher. That was an interesting hunt, because I took him higher up the valley than ever before. It was an adventure, to say the least. When he came down from the mountains, it was pitch perfect black and had to make our way back to the beach using a flashlight.

For the third hunt, the next group flew in on a floatplane. Both hunters snagged a pair of goats, an upper 9-incher and a 9 ½ incher, big bodies. It did snow a little bit for the third trip, so the goats started to come down. On the fourth hunt, we had our beach shot on the season, on the first day of the hunt no less. The hunter had a 9 ¼ inch goat within range and took a shot. It was very exciting.

On the 5thhunt, I had the privilege to work with a 76-year-old hunter. Despite his age a booking agency had him booked on an early hunt two years before. He was tough enough to make it up to the goats then but missed his goat and then could not climb anymore. He wanted to try again so I booked him on the last hunt when conditions are better for older and physically not so able hunters. This time he was able to take a nine inch Billy from the beach on the first day of the hunt. The other handicapped 68 year old hunter got his opportunity two days later and took a nine inch Billy also from the beach. At Southeast Alaska Guiding, we happily work with hunters from all lifestyles.

Overall, it was a productive goat hunting season, and the average goat was over nine inches. Hunters left Alaska happy, and that is all you can really ask for. What way to end the year! Happy holidays from us at Southeast Alaska Guiding!

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