Mountain Goat With a Sharps Rifle

Both of my buddies Andy and Bill are accomplished hunters in there own right, but neither had ever taken a mountain goat. For them, like many hunters, the mountain goat sat on top of their list for years. So when they finally drew goat tags in Colorado, I decided to tag along for their hunt and bring the camera. Here's what happened ...

We began a 2,000-foot climb at 4:30 A.M. in hopes of pulling off one more Colorado mountain goat double. Andrew carried a Remington 7mm Model 70 and Bill carried a Sharps carbine that has been passed down in his family since the civil war. The gun looked almost as old as he did (just joking Bill).

We spotted several goats at first light and one group had more than two dozen with one large male in it. The scenario was picture perfect. Andrew had an either sex tag and Bill had a nanny only tag. I was thinking we could get two shots if we played our cards right.

We dropped down the slope closing the distance to 150 yards and set up for the shot on the big male. We hoped that the rest of the goats would run just below us after the rifle report.

Incredibly, the plan actually worked. After Andrew shot and dropped the male, several females ran just below our position. I called off the range to Bill (98 yards), but he fired just over the nanny's back. We watched the goats scatter, but one of the larger females crossed over to the other side of the valley and bedded down in the cliffs.

We quickly got a plan together and Bill and I headed across the valley in hopes of a second chance at the nanny in the cliffs. The terrain was steep and the air was thin, but Bill did a great job making it to the other side of the mountain and stalking up the cliffs. We closed the distance to 109 yards and the nanny gave us a good broadside shot. Bill's aim was true and he put the goat down.

It was a special day for all of us and I was happy that I could take part in another great mountain hunt.