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Speed Goat hunters, any advice?

jbohiojbohio Senior MemberPosts: 5,575 Senior Member
The time is drawing near, we head west Thursday. We should make it to the Casper area sometime Sunday.
Any of you goat hunters have any advice for a flatlander, first time goat hunter?

Heck, I've never even shot a game animal with a centerfire rifle! This is a stupid shotgun state.

FWIW, we've been to the rifle range every Sunday for the last two months, loads are finalized, rifles are dialed in, drop/windage tables are taped to the stocks.
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Replies

  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,093 Senior Member
    One thing to keep in mind is that depending on the amount of altitude change, your drop may change 3-4 inches at your longest ranges (4-500 yards or so)
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    Goats are funny. They can either be exceptionally dumb or exceedingly smart and skittish. Somewhat correlates to the hunting pressure placed on them. They aren't too hard to stalk if you use terrain to your advantage. If you can't get close enough, play on their curiosity. Wave a white rag or something. Sometimes a buck will come closer. I've even had them come closer by low crawling across the ground when I ran out of cover. They all moved closer trying to figure out what I was. Might just close that last 100 yards or so you need.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,575 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    One thing to keep in mind is that depending on the amount of altitude change, your drop may change 3-4 inches at your longest ranges (4-500 yards or so)

    I hope to find out, I plan to re-sight the rifles once we get to my in-laws, ithey're at roughly the same elevation as the hunting area, ~5500 ft.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,575 Senior Member
    BPsniper wrote: »
    Goats are funny. They can either be exceptionally dumb or exceedingly smart and skittish. Somewhat correlates to the hunting pressure placed on them. They aren't too hard to stalk if you use terrain to your advantage. If you can't get close enough, play on their curiosity. Wave a white rag or something. Sometimes a buck will come closer. I've even had them come closer by low crawling across the ground when I ran out of cover. They all moved closer trying to figure out what I was. Might just close that last 100 yards or so you need.

    That, is neat. Thanks!
  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    I probably wouldn't do either of those things right out of the box. But if you run out of cover, might as well give it a try.
  • WORLD TWORLD T Member Posts: 262 Member
    I went on my antelope hunt a few weeks ago in New Mexico. I could not walk out on the road and get withing 1/4 of a mile from them before they started to run. The day before the season started I found where they were crossing and put up a cheap pop up blind about 200 yards from where they enter the alfalfa fields. The next day, they were walking within 50 yards of my blind with me sitting in it. I shot mine at 190 yards. Easy shot with my browning x-bolt. Good luck on your hunt.
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,805 Senior Member
    Remember, goats only defense is their eyesight and speed. They stick out like sore thumbs on the prairie. They can see a LOOOOOONG ways away.

    The white flag trick is fun lol it can also be a great way to stop a goat who is trotting and won't hold still to be shot. Get his attention and they almost always stop broadside and stare.

    Also remember, they don't often stay still for long especially if there are small bucks around, that herd buck is going to be going nuts chasing his does and running off other bucks.

    Know your drift tables too, it IS going to be windy, its Wyoming, its a given.

    Don't forget, they're a lot smaller then most people think, but they have big vitals for their size, takes a lot of lung to run the way they do. Unless they are like 450+ yards away...DON'T HOLD OVER! Easy to do, trust me (thats how I screwed it up last year)

    Oh yea, get them cooled down QUICK and be mindful when gutting them, goats got some smelly glands, quite pungent on some of them. I think when most people have said they didn't like antelope meat, it was tainted from the glands or it was heat spoiled. It'll likely be in the upper 60's to 70's when you tag one.
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,575 Senior Member
    Oh yea, get them cooled down QUICK and be mindful when gutting them, goats got some smelly glands, quite pungent on some of them. I think when most people have said they didn't like antelope meat, it was tainted from the glands or it was heat spoiled. It'll likely be in the upper 60's to 70's when you tag one.

    Thanks for all the other tips, Dan. This one, ^ do you cut them off in the field? I know some guys that swear by it for whitetail, but it's never really made a difference, that I could tell. I do know that my FIL has brought home a few goats that were inedible.

    I plan on having coolers, and ice on standby. I was also considering breaking them down and packing them in ice until we get back to CO, were I can process them. My FIL says he's gonna put his in a meat locker. I'm not sure if he's gonna have them process it, or just keep it chilled till we head back south.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,035 Senior Member
    As MHS said, goats are a bit smaller than deer, and more often than not they are a bit closer than you think. Spare the holdover unless you're pretty sure they are a ways out there.

    Here's a couple bits of hard won practical advice:

    1) If Wyoming is anything like Colorado, don't put your hands, knees, or butt in direct contact with the ground without first carefully checking the area first. While cactus does rot away, the spines don't. Even a seemingly "clean" spot of ground can hold tons of hidden cactus spines. Knee pads aren't a bad idea, and if you think you're going to do any belly crawling, elbow pads would be handy.

    2) Bi-pods.....I've killed 4 antelope in the past 4 years, and I was using my short BR height bipod on only one of them. But, I keep the bipod attached anyway, since a lot of your time is going to be spent sitting and looking, and the bipod is a very handy way to set the rifle down and not have to hold it all day long. Keeps the rifle out of the dirt (there won't be anything to lean it against), and ready to put into action at a seconds notice.

    3) If using a variable power scope (and who doesn't), when time comes to make a shot, if the critter you want to center-punch is in a group, use the lowest power you feel comfortable with. Antelope can go from calmly standing around watching you to full-out psycho lunge in less time than it takes for your bullet to reach them. If you have your scope cranked up high to get a really great sight pic on your selected target, it's pretty easy for one of the others to jump into your line of fire without you seeing the signs that it's about to happen.

    4) As strange as this sounds, even on the wide open plains, when you drop an antelope 300 yards out there, they can be a bit difficult to find, even if they drop DRT. It's wide open country (at least where we hunt), and it's amazing what a couple degrees off on your initial track will do to you extended nearly a quarter mile out there. Every antelope I've ever shot managed to fall into some calf deep dried grass. Every antelope I've recovered (all of them) at first gave me the initial impression of being a rusted piece of barn tin. Though a pale brown on their sides, the ridge along their spine is a bright rust color. That's always been what I've spotted first, and my knee-jerk assessment of what I was looking at has always been "folded over rusty piece of barn tin".

    Be ready to make a decision fast, and don't hesitate once you have. Remember, stock still to 50 mph+ in the blink of an eye, and I've had more than a few opportunities disappear in a cloud of dust because I took an extra second to mull over the situation.

    The neat thing about antelope hunting is that whether you get one or not, (and I'll be more amazed than you if you don't) you'll be seeing them all day, and it'll feel like you're on the verge of success almost all the time. That makes for a long, drawn out, exciting day.

    Good luck, my friend.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,474 Senior Member
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,575 Senior Member
    Thanks, a bunch, Mike. Those are some things that I would have never thought about. Especially the bipods....I was gonna leave my 6-9"'s at home, thinking that they wouldn't do me any good in grass, and only take my one 12-24". And the scope...I'm sure I would have had it dialed up, and never thought about seeing what the rest of the clan are doing.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,093 Senior Member
    Joe. I remember your thread asking about what to take, but I don't remember what you decided on :silly:
    So, gun? Bullet?
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,575 Senior Member
    Good article, Ernie. Strangely enough, I read the first couple of pages of that last winter, when I was doing research for the trip. Never realized it was you.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,575 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    Joe. I remember your thread asking about what to take, but I don't remember what you decided on :silly:
    So, gun? Bullet?

    I'm taking my new Savage 111 Long Range hunter, in 6.5-284. Topped with a Monarch 4-16SF. Shooting 120gr NBT's at 3085 FPS.
    My wife is taking the Remington 700BDL HV .243 that I picked up last year. It's been transformed, a set of Talley's, a Monarch 4-12SF, and a B&C Medalist.
    She's shooting 90gr NBT's at 3006 FPS. This load shoots great, the old Rem is grouping in the .4's, with me at the trigger!
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,093 Senior Member
    Sounds good :beer:
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,035 Senior Member
    As I indicated above, my bipod is pretty much a convenience item and used simply to keep the rig out of the dirt. As a pdog shooter, I'm a great believer in bipods, but.....only the short ones used from a table/bench. I've never been able to get a really steady sight pic using the taller pods (the ones tall enough to get you above knee high grass). I'm sure there's a technique to it that works well, but in the Corps we were taught how to quickly assume a solid sitting position and I've always had good luck with that. As long as my tail and feet are in contact with the ground, I don't feel a need for a bipod, and I can usually hit a good sitting position at antelope speed. But.....if you do this, don't forget about the cactus spines.:cuss: It almost sounds like a joking matter, but one in the wrong place can really make for a miserable day.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,939 Senior Member
    Oh gee, let me think if there's anything I can add that hasn't already been covered. You're already received a ton of good advice.

    Regarding BP's advice to wave a white flag or something, check the state game laws. I know that doing this is illegal in Colorado, and it may also be illegal in Wyoming. Regardless, as they say, ignorance of the law is no excuse.

    The last goat I shot walked toward me AFTER he and I saw each other. He probably saw me first. All I did was sit down, in plain sight, and waited. If they have already spotted you, there's not really a lot of options left. They will either run away faster than you can imagine, or stick around and perhaps approach you.

    As I've already mentioned, get a good range finder. It is SO easy to misjudge the distance.

    If they're running, they have two speeds. Fast and 'Oh my God!'. If they're merely running fast, it's about like shooting at a running whitetail. Otherwise, throw rocks and save your ammo.

    If you're hunting fenced property, and see antelope far away, pay attention to where they cross the fence. They won't jump it, but they'll scoot underneath it so fast you'll wonder if the fence was really there. For some reason, they're prone to crossing at the same places when pushed, so it could be a good strategy to set up within shooting distance of wherever you see them cross.

    And, as Linefinder already mentioned, unless you see the goat you shoot at drop or run off, check it out. I shot at a running doe one year. I saw 7 goats run into a little bit of a low spot just as I shot. They disappeared, and re-emerged from the far side a second or two later. I only saw 6 leave. I walked the 100 or so yards to where they were when I shot, and found that I had hit the doe I was shooting at in the head. I never saw her drop. Linefinder has a similar story on a very nice buck he shot a couple of years ago.

    Most of all, enjoy the experience. If this is your first antelope hunt, it will be like something you've never experienced before. Take lots of pictures, and post your results here as soon as you can.

    Good luck!
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,575 Senior Member
    Thanks a bunch, Jerry. And Mike, Gene, Dan, BP, and Ernie. It really means a lot to me, I can't wait to go.....and get back to report in.
    I don't wanna make a big fuss, but for yous reading this thread.....we went to my buddies farm, down south today. To get some long(er) range work in. Neither she nor I had ever really shot long. I've been diligent, working up loads, chrongraphing, recording, compiling data. I finally loaded it all up into Nikon's Spot on ballistics calculator, yesterday. Printed up some range cards, taped them to the stocks, to correspond to the Nikoplex reticles in the scopes.

    I made up a life sized antelope cardboard cut out, complete with white/black painted areas. I placed it at the back of my buddy's farm, and added a 4" shoot-n-c where the heart ought to be, for hits.

    Our first position was 269 lasered yards, shooting uphill. My first two were high. I let her shoot. 3 shots in the 4" circle!!!!! I corrected, landed a couple.
    We moved back to 320 yards. She missed the first two low, then landed the next two. I missed my first two high, then landed my last three.
    There was a pretty decent wind blowing, maybe 10 mph, we were both holding off for wind.
    Then, we moved back to 402. I landed four in 1.885". -.264. So, that's 1.621". I was tickled. She then proceeds to shoot a .902" group. -.243. .659"!!!!! at 402 yards!!!! I'm not saying it's repeatable, I'm not saying anything other than it happened. But, holy crap. My wife shot a ~.700" group, at 400 yards with the rifle I built, and the load I tailored to it, and the scope dope I came up with. It'll probably never happen again, but I'm one happy dude!!

    I think we're ready for the trip. My wife was terrified to shoot at anything over 100 yards away, but after today, she's ready for anything. The life sized cutout was a great success.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    Sounds like fun JB. I hope you guys have a great hunt!
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,035 Senior Member
    jbohio wrote: »
    It'll probably never happen again, but I'm one happy dude!!

    Oh, yeah it will. The first times the tough one.....once you do it and see that it can be done, your confidence gets a huge boost, and confidence is 90% of the LR game.

    I don't even care to remember how long it took me to finally connect on a 500 yard pdog, but once I did, the very next one was at 589, and the next at 618. Within two weeks of connecting on the first 500 yard dog, I expected to hit every darn one I shot at, and a 300 yard dog under almost any conditions was suddenly a no-brainer chip shot.

    You both got the hard one behind you early. Great work (rifle/loads/marksmanship). Congratulations to you both!:beer:

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,575 Senior Member
    Thanks, Jerm, and Mike. Means a lot.

    Mike, I sure wish we could take the southern route back from Casper to Montrose, swing by your way. I'd really like to buy you a beer.
  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    Outstanding! Those goats are in trouble.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,035 Senior Member
    Feeling's mutual. Since you're about to become wildly addicted to pronghorn hunting, I suspect our time will come. Probably sooner than later.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,575 Senior Member
    Linefinder wrote: »
    Feeling's mutual. Since you're about to become wildly addicted to pronghorn hunting, I suspect our time will come. Probably sooner than later.

    Mike

    Sounds like a date.
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,805 Senior Member
    So.....you actually started shooting a LOT better at 400 yards then 250? What, were you guys afraid the card board goats may charge? :tooth:
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,575 Senior Member
    So.....you actually started shooting a LOT better at 400 yards then 250? What, were you guys afraid the card board goats may charge? :tooth:

    Apparently! She was pretty close, all day. I was high, first few spots, until we go to 400. Either way, we both did really, really well at that distance.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,474 Senior Member
    Good shooting for sure
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    I have what i think would be the perfect speed goat cartridge, except I put a big long barrel on it and along with the Yugo action it's pretty heavy for that purpose, the .257 Bob AI. You get near 25-06 performance in a shorter action. Besides, it's CUTE!
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    Linefinder wrote: »
    As I indicated above, my bipod is pretty much a convenience item and used simply to keep the rig out of the dirt. As a pdog shooter, I'm a great believer in bipods, but.....only the short ones used from a table/bench. I've never been able to get a really steady sight pic using the taller pods (the ones tall enough to get you above knee high grass). I'm sure there's a technique to it that works well, but in the Corps we were taught how to quickly assume a solid sitting position and I've always had good luck with that. As long as my tail and feet are in contact with the ground, I don't feel a need for a bipod, and I can usually hit a good sitting position at antelope speed. But.....if you do this, don't forget about the cactus spines.:cuss: It almost sounds like a joking matter, but one in the wrong place can really make for a miserable day.

    Mike

    I've never hunted outside of Texas, but being from Texas, I can truly say Cactus SUCK and not in a good way.

    Edited to Add: I'm full of Qua Qua here. I forgot, I have hunted quite a bit in Missouri with my first wife's dad. But I never killed anything bigger than a squirrel or rabbit. I did deer hunt but never killed any. I was following my FIL's lead, but after awhile I figured out the fact that I knew infinitely more about deer hunting than he did.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • wildgenewildgene Senior Member Posts: 1,036 Senior Member
    ...you got yer maps, right???

    ...try to look over as many goats as you can, memorize trails & crossings, & don't forget the good ol' drive, you just wanna push instead of drive...
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