You think it‚Äôs easy getting a big feral goat trophy? Well, it is ‚Äì until you want one with a 40-inch spread. Then it gets very difficult indeed. Like taking a 32-inch sambar!
A friend of mine who deals in hundreds of thousands of goats, mustered for the abattoirs, reckons only one in about 25,000 animals grows horns bigger than 40 inches ‚Äì that magical 102cm’s – tip to tip.
I shot a 42-1/2 incher as a young man at Olary in SA, then it took nearly 50 years to get another as good. I was with Mike Cleary, Peter Mills and Reid Hjorth at the time and we grassed 11 goats in total ‚Äì all over 38-1/2. My best was 42-1/2 inches and it scored 126-7/8 Douglas Score points.
Recently, my mate Robert Borsak went hunting at Bourke with Mike, intent on getting a 40-incher from what we call ‚Äúthe trophy paddock.‚Äù It always seems to contain three or four good billies that are notoriously difficult to nail ‚Äì hence their horn size.
As luck and good management would have it, Robert decked a 42-incher on the second day, with his 270 Winchester, running at about 90 metres. He was using Remington Coke Lokts, pretty much my standard fare these days, when not reloading,
The next day the duo came up on a billy that was obviously a brother to one I shot the year before. We had named this unusually horned critter ‚ÄúHandlebars,‚Äù because his horns looked like spiralling motor bike handles. Robert dropped this one running as well, at 120 metres.
‚ÄúWe were very lucky to find these goats relatively easily in hot, dry conditions. All thanks to the excellent work of Mike,‚Äù (who knows this particular property like the back of his hand.
Just shows that a smaller head can best a bigger one (40 vs 42) by 13 points if ithas deep curls
For the record, the biggest goat ever shot was taken on this same property and measured 52-1/2 inches spread. Now that‚Äôs a goat! We‚Äôre looking for his son.