Goat hunting: patience pays!

I’d spied the group of goats from the top road on my farm, grazing on the middle to lower sections of a steep-ish gully with one tree for cover. So many eyes about will make for a tough hunt.

Getting to 60 metres without being caught would be awesome. The late afternoon meant I could wait for shadows from the hill to dim my silhouette.

The smell of the goats blew into my face, with the breeze making the scrim over my head and shoulders swing gently. Trouser-piercing dried thistles rustled against me as I descended slowly, crouching low.

After 140 metres, I gave the legs a rest. Check what else might be in the mob and what might come from a couple of spots in the gully that were obscured.

Ten minutes I sat. More goats came out – from behind that tree where I couldn’t see. My target billy came up from his hollow into the open.

Longer shadows and no sunlight directly on me now. Time to creep further down. Another 35 minutes pass as I move the 50 metres to my planned shooting position. Happily, no pigeons were hiding in the long grass. Time for patience.

How’s it feel when you stay put as your target gets closer? That old billy wanted to round up the mob to head off to the forest to sleep.

The mob kept feeding where they were. Up the hill he came.

Rangefinder out. Closest nanny is 47 metres. The billy was now at a distance of 84. This was it.

Round in the chamber, sling around the elbow in a sitting position. Wait for a quartering-away angle.

The Lithgow LA102 barked. The goats all jumped. But the billy had that hunched leap that told me the shot was good.

The mob started to move quickly, not sure where the threat was with the echo. The billy moved with them, then toppled.

With a big chest and heavy body, he was an ageing warrior getting past his prime.

Now to get up that bloody hill.

This story was published in our Hunter’s Diary competition, in which you could win one some fantastic hunting and shooting gear! Find out how to enter by clicking here.




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Gary Thiess