Rough Country Goat 
Jordan Seitz - 2014

Sporting nearly 80 sets of eyeballs and nasals, this monarch’s harem was a force to be reckoned with. During the month long archery season, I dubbed them “the mountain goats” due to their uncanny ability to elude me in rough terrain more suitable for a bighorn, mulie, or elk.

The rifle opener dawned as one of those mornings God made for hunters. I lay prone with the herd bedded in front of me, the buck in my crosshairs. A bush obscured his vitals and I was simply waiting for him to stand.

An hour later a teenage buck flew in and scattered the herd until my buck was a speck in the distance.

I tried to keep up, but they got miles ahead of me. Sucking wind, I checked the clock. Half a day was what I’d taken off from work, and I was out of time.

That evening I spotted a member of the herd moments before it disappeared from view.
Game on!

After several rough miles, I’d maneuvered myself above the does hidden in a small saddle. The old buck was absent, but I assumed he was there somewhere.

Rounding a rock, I met the young devil himself from the morning! He stared at me, and then gazed longingly towards the does. I silently pleaded,
Don’t you dare! He snorted, and then he dared, charging down to the does. Together they plunged over the rim like a scene from “The Man from Snowy River."

Moments later, the old buck sauntered into the saddle and followed suit. I took off like an uncoiling spring. At the edge, I shouldered my rifle and leaned over an outcrop. Nothing. From the corner of my eye I caught movement; the crazy goat was entering some buck-brush as he backtracked. Enveloped in killer instinct, I reversed my steps. I caught sight of him through an opening in the brush and my shoulder cannon roared as I skidded to a halt. My peripheral vision caught several racked deer launching themselves into the canyon as the old mountain goat hit the dirt.

I’d like to say it was “game over,” but I’ve killed elk in places that were easier to pack out of in the dark. Every time the hooks from my buck jabbed me in the leg as I trudged along, I’d grimace, grin, and reflect that I’d repeat the adventure any day!