No Goats, No Glory – A Hunting Story.

Posted on September 14, 2012


British Colombia (Paul – I figured I’d take a break from the usual bleak news that we’ve been talking about and instead toss up a really cool hunting story.  A buddy of mine had been talking about hunting today, so I thought I’d go in that direction.  Hey, there’s one good thing about fall, right?  The MEAT!

This is a story about a guy from Alexandria, Ky., who went to British Columbia last October and shot the biggest mountain goat that’s ever been shot. If you’re squeamish and/or don’t like the idea of hunting, well, the crossword is in the back of the Metro section. Otherwise, pull on the metaphorical pack, and take a break from the Reds and Bengals. It’s a cool trip.

Troy Sheldon hunts for the thrill, not the kill. The trips he doesn’t bag a trophy are as worth it as the trips when he hauls a set of antlers through airport security. He likes the beauty of the landscapes and the camaraderie of close friends and the primal-ness of it all.

He has hunted all over the world. Big-game stuff: Brown bear in the Yukon, red stag deer in New Zealand, moose in British Columbia. Sheldon and his friend Carey Renner have a hunting bucket list. Up next, in the spring of 2014, is a black bear hunt in coastal British Columbia.

This story is about a mountain goat. A 300-pound mountain goat Sheldon and Renner would name Half Buck Billy. They spent eight days tracking goats in the Canadian Rockies, near the Stickine River in northwest BC. Up and down mountains, across ravines, clinging to ledges, 50 pounds of gear bending their backs and testing their balance.

Troy Sheldon

They went seven days, walking eight to 10 hours a day, without taking a shot. They saw lots of goats, females mostly, but none was close. They’d hike to the top of a ridge, then spot a goat on the opposite ridge. They’d hike down, through a ravine and back up the other side. By then, the goat had disappeared.

“We were getting a bit disheartened,’’ Sheldon recalls. “So much energy up and down these mountains, and not even a shot.’’ He knew the goats were among the most agile beasts on the planet, seeming to defy gravity as they hung all but parallel to the ground, from precipices 4,000 feet up. What he didn’t know fully was how much his own endurance would be tested. Sheldon’s 48. A great age to play golf, not so great to play Daniel Boone.

“More people die on mountain goat hunts than any other hunt,’’ Sheldon says.

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Posted in: Patriotism