Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Goat Hunt 2010!

So...  You want to be a goat hunter?
Because this is what your legs will look like after the trip we are about to tell you about!  (Believe it or not, it's worse in person!)

Last Tuesday, Sheri flew in to stay with the kids while we snuck away to chase goats in the highcountry.  Thursday morning we got up at about 3 am and headed out so that we could get on the trail nice and early. 
Here we are packed up and ready to start our treck into Avalanche Lake.  We were planning on staying our first night there and then moving camp each day to another basin.

Home sweet home!  Here is our tent nestled in a nice little grove of pine trees.  It was such a perfect spot except that Clint forgot to tell me (until way later) that he found a very large pile of bear scat about 40 yards behind the tent...  and it was not very old...  Had I known we may have been moving camp!
and this is the stunning view from the door of our tent.  Does it get much better than this???
There were critters all over, including the coyote who left these tracks.

and at night there was a little ice on the water, but it never got too cold!
When we got to Avalanche lake we promptly spotted several goats.  We were thrilled cause those packs on our backs that seemed only to hold the essentials weighed in at 40 and 45 lbs.  We were looking more seriously at the idea of a spike camp and then just heading out on day hunts.  So, we decided to hunt that basin the first day and see what we found.  
Here is Clint filling up our water with our purifier.  We were so glad that we got that purifier, cause we had to get water anywhere we could.   
The first day we got schooled by the goats.  We saw one up above us and we tried to follow it up the mountain.  It slipped away from us and went down this chute to get away.  This was just as steep and ugly as it looks. 
Here is a little pica...  Such a cute little guy! 
For our day hunts we just put the minimum on our pack frames and headed out.  That way if we got a goat we could pack it back to camp. 
As you can see, everything was super steep up and down!
After we chased the goat up the mountain and it disappeared through the chute, Clint did spot it again and had a pretty easy shot at it.  Unfortunately had he shot it where it was, we may have never been able to actually get it because it was in a really tough spot!  Then we spotted another goat bedded down, and tried to sneak up on it.   But, I blew it and accidentally dislodged a rock that started a bunch of rocks tumbling down the hill.  Needless to say the goat didn't give us a chance to take another look and quickly left us in her dust.  As I said before, we totally got schooled by those goats the first day.  So, feeling a little discouraged we returned to camp, ate a good dinner and went to sleep. 
The next morning we woke up to another beautiful day and headed out.  This time we were smarter and set up in a spot where about 3 different basins came together.  After watching several goats move through here and there, Clint left to take a look into another basin while I watched for a goat that seemed to be moving towards us.  Here are some of the views we got to enjoy. 

All the sudden, I heard a shot.  One of the goats we had been watching had come out below Clint.  It is seriously amazing how fast they move.  They look so effortless and fluid just moving along, and when they decide to move they can cover some major ground.  After getting quite an education the first day, Clint had decided not to be too picky about his goat.  Last year this area only had a 25 % success rate so Clint had decided to take the first opportunity that a goat offered him.  So, here was a beautiful goat within range.  Clint took the opportunity and harvested a gorgeous mature goat. 
Here is the happy hunter when I got to him!
Well, now we have to go get to the goat!  So, we strap on our packs and prepare to make the slide/hike down to where the goat landed.  Unfortunately, after Clint shot her she had a little tumble before coming to rest almost at the bottom of the other basin. 
His goat is at the bottom of this!

Here is Clint with his amazing goat!  They are such neat critters and we have so much respect for them!  Aren't they beautiful!

Their feet are so cool and totally enable them to move with ease through the rocks!

After a lot of work, we made it up and out of the basin with the goat on our backs.  I ended up doing a lot of sliding on the other side cause it was really steep shale, and that certainly is what contributed to the extensive bruising on my legs.  But, we made it safely back to camp and this is the incredible view we got to enjoy...  Here is the reflection of the moon in a small lake by our tent. 
and this was the view out of our tent!

We ended up making it out one day early and back to our babies.  Nana and Grandma took incredible care of them, but I was happy to be home to them.  Clint and I agreed though...  it was such an amazing experience and although it was such hard work we will have amazing memories.  There are so many stories from this trip that I want to share...  but I wanted to get the basics pictures and hunt posted on the blog, so enjoy!  Thanks for letting us share our experience!  It was truly a hunt of a lifetime! 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Snipe hunting with Perry!

Two weekends ago, we had the pleasure of having Perry along with us on a Snipe hunt!  Although there weren't nearly as many birds this time, everyone got a couple and it was fun to share this with Perry.  He was really the one who started my love of hunting by taking me along when I was just a kid.  We always have had a good time together, and this time was no different. 
Here is Perry with one of his snipe!
Clint and Perry

Last weekend Clint and Brock went up to the Rocky Mountain Front to see if they could find a ewe sheep for Brock.  There were some critters, but they weren't able to harvest one.  Hopefully next time it will work out a little better!  But, they had a wonderful time!
Now we are headed out to chase goats!  Clint's mom, Sheri, will be here tomorrow and we are headed out from Thursday to Monday to see what we can find.  Sheri is going to stay here with the kids and between her and my mom, they will have a very good time!  I am going to miss the kids like crazy, but it's just not feasible to take them with us this time.  But, there will be a lot of deer/antelope/bird hunts in their future!!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Here is Dane "helping" Grandpa drive the tractor!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

First Hunting Trip With Both Kids

Last Saturday, we took the kids out to enjoy one of our favorite September rituals...  snipe hunting!
The weather was great, the kids were wonderful, there were a lot of birds, and Clint and I were both shooting well!  It doesn't get any better than that!

One of us carried the kids, the other one got to shoot.  It was a little awkward carrying both of them, but we made it work!

Clint with one of his birds.
Dane carried one around the whole time!

the "Dane" look... 

Me and one of my birds!
Dane totally got the hang of it and would spot birds all over!  Then he would tell us to get it!  We all had a great time!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Boys and their little sisters...

Dane had some "happy stickers" that he got for going potty.  Well, everyone was content so I ran upstairs to do something.  When I came back down, Dane was so proud cause he was "sharing" his stickers with his sister. 
Here is the mischievous little guy right before we went bird hunting yesterday.
Here is Miss Kimber enjoying some time in her saucer.  She loves sitting up and looking around, but we have to put something behind her for when she gets tired and wants to put her head back.  (hence the Cabelas magazine behind her)