Our Field Correspondent Alex Juris takes his son and nephew after some mountain goats and is housed in fine style.
It was July 2015 and with a forecast of wind, rain and snow for the the property we were to hunt, Stan and Harry were still keen to leave the stresses of the big smoke behind and chance the inclement weather predictions.
My good mate Mick offered us the use of a sturdy well built cabin called The Humpy in the hope it would keep us safe and dry. Over the next couple of days the weather prediction being true humpy repelled all that nature threw at it in the way of rain and sleet, kept us snug as the proverbial bugs in a rug.
Mick had cut us up a good supply of fire wood and we laid a a fire, ready to light that evening. Once we had had the obligatory chat we got into planning our stalk, mindful of the prevailing wind; it was winter, so no guesses for the direction ‚Äì you got it ‚Äì from the south-west, straight off Antarctica. Stan prepared his backpack and Tikka T3 .270, Harry was into his gear and Browning A-Bolt .308 for the start of our feral billy goat hunt.
Making our way up a steep climb behind the humpy, we blew out some of those city cobwebs and got the heart rate pumping.
On top of the ridgeline, we were now on a main track and moving steadily higher. Once we stopped on a peak, we glassed onto the next ridge over, but no dice, so I decided to look below us into a huge gorge and lo and behold, a few yards down below us we sighted some goat horns. That sort of grabbed the guys’ attention they stalked in, staying above the goat.
Soon the slick-actioned Tikka and Browning were working overtime,culling a small mob of feral goats, with three nice billies biting the dust. The boys also got onto a couple of meat animals for the eskies and an open fire was planned for the first night’s cook up of fresh goat meat.
Day two dawned cold and wet but after top night’s sleep* in The Humpy we are keen to go hunting, a light brekkie and we are soon at a nice vantage point glassing a good mob of goats. *(Alex is a notoriously light sleeper and he reported to me that he thought an Aboriginal witch doctor may have visited the site in the past, conferring on it a magical restful quality – Ed)
Stan and Harry stalked the goats and I got to watch the hunt unfold. At 150 metres Stan put a nice Billy on the ground and then gave Harry the all-clear to stalk in on the goats, which are again milling around in some scrub unsure of where the danger is. Now wielding his over-and-under shotgun firing solid slugs Harry puts another two goats on the deck with the shotty imaginatively nick-named sluggy.
The weather now seriously deteriorated, so we called an end to this hunt, but we’d had a great outing, despite the heavy winds, rain, freezing temperature and yes even snow. Until next time guys and thanks again to Mick and The Humpy.