As a volunteer meat packer, I was up for whatever my hunting buddies wanted and as the one with goat experience, Jesse was up for whatever Ryan wanted.
We were 550 yards away from a mountain goat we were sure we couldn’t get and 535 yards from two smaller goats we didn’t want. Well, “we” in the sense that we were a team, but Ryan had the tag.
Anyway, we decided to continue down the basin in full view of the animals. If they spooked at least we hadn’t wasted the entire day to get the same result. If we were able to get close enough for a shot at the big one, well, we were close enough for a shot at the big one.
Just after the big billy reclined to sleep, we moved and immediately spooked the smaller two. Big boy stayed sleeping and as we got closer, we realized the slope was steep, but not ridiculous. As our angle changed, the cliff continued to relent.
We made our way across the bottom of the basin, eying the still-sleeping billy. We tucked behind a mound just below it. It hadn’t seen us. We had a play.
Ryan crawled up a small depression then poked up from behind a rock.
Jesse and I trailed and stopped 15 yards behind him. It was looking right at us.
In seconds it was over.
We hiked to it, and Ryan stood above his kill with the euphoria that comes with taking a beautiful animal. It’s sad on some level because the beautiful creature is dead, but you did just go get meat yourself rather than relying on someone else to grow, butcher, ship and wrap it for you. A few generations ago, there weren’t many middle men, it was just the way.
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