My heart rate increased rapidly, going from average to uncontrollable and intense in seconds. Talking in a low voice we agreed to sneak on to the next mountain top, just a couple of hundred meters ahead. On arrival, the animals were still unaware of our presence so we moved to the next one. However, when we arrived at the third top, we couldn’t get any closer without risking alerting the mountain goats – but we were still 218 meters away! I was left with the feeling that this would not be easy. The wind especially was concerning – probably as strong as winds we would give names in Denmark.
We set up the rifle quickly and quietly using the tripod and looking through the rifle scope, I identified a large brown male goat. Chris gave me the green light to shoot this one when I felt ready. It was by far the largest and most spectacular animal in the group. I tried to calm my nerves as much as possible, which was not an easy task at this moment – especially since I had never faced such a difficult shot. I waited and waited but since the goat was looking away from us with its behind facing us, I did not feel comfortable pulling the trigger.
After what could have been 5-10 minutes, but felt like forever, the goat started moving away from us and I knew I would lose the opportunity if he went behind the bushes. Then, unexpectedly and for no obvious reason, the goat moved so that his right side was wide open. Now he stood perfectly, dominating the rock cliff and his herd. This was my chance – I pulled the trigger. I had a hard time believing what had just happened! Chris confirmed that the goat took a hit and went into the bush.
I could not see the brown goat anymore, which worried me a little, but I found comfort in the fact, that he was not part of the group of goats running uphill after the shot. We approached the spot with a loaded gun and found the goat lying in the bushes. The first shot had been perfect through the liver but billy goats can be very tough and one more shot was needed.
This was truly an extreme experience for me because even though I am always hopelessly optimistic when hunting, I never imagined that I would get a mountain goat of this size and beauty! After celebrating and sharing a few war stories under the sun, we skinned the animal and took the meat with us back to the truck. I got to keep the tenderloin, which my girlfriend and I turned into a delicious goulash at the campsite later.
For me, one of the biggest satisfactions in life is to hunt an animal and then enjoy the meat with people you care about – what a privilege! Now, back in Copenhagen, I am waiting for the skin and skull to be prepared and sent home, so I can enjoy and relive these memories once again.
‘Knæk og bræk’ to all hunters!