Tag Archives: Colorado

Pronghorn Jerky With Raisins and Madeira

Pronghorn Antelope

Incoming! Jerky On The Hoof

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 3-4 pound rump roast or similar cut
  • 3/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3/4 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3/4  cup Good Madeira
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Salt

DIRECTIONS

Cut meat into 1/4″ strips. Place remaining ingredients into blender and mix well. Then pour mixture over meat and refrigerate for at least 48 hours. Dehydrate for 8-10 hours, or until done.

Pairs nicely with the remaining Madeira, but then again, that’s the general idea.

Enjoy!

– Bear in mind that this jerky does not call for any type of added preservative. Refrigeration, or freezing,  is best for long-term storage.

Recipe by Michael Patrick McCarty

Pigeon Jerky

Most people don’t think of making jerky out of this common and often underrated bird, so good pigeon jerky recipes are scarce as hen’s teeth. Either that, or our fanatic pigeon shooting friends are holding them quite close to the vest.

We’ve been experimenting a bit with pigeon jerky and we have a few ideas. Many beef jerky marinades seem to work fairly well. Duck or goose jerky recipes can be adapted too. We’d love to hear about some of your favorite creations.

Soy and Ginger Pigeon Jerky

  • 6 pigeon breasts
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

Pound and flatten pigeon breasts in an effort to make them as uniform as possible, then cut into thin strips about 1/4″ thick. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and add the breast meat. Marinade for 4 to 12 hours in refrigerator, then dehydrate for about 8 hours at 155 degrees. It is done when it cracks easily when bent.

Serve with some creamy goat cheese of your choice on a good artisan cracker and a glass of good Port to wash it down. Guaranteed to stump the crowd, because almost no one can guess it’s origin. They will, however, want more.

Meditations / Pixabay

 

Mountain Goat Sausage – It’s What’s For Breakfast!

 

StockSnap / Pixabay
PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

 

Grinding Wild Game Meat At Home With Food Grinder
Homemade Sausage and Burgers Are The Best   Sausage making is more art than science, and it is really a matter of personal taste in the end. Creativity is king, and it’s fun too.

I like patty sausage, so here is one bulk sausage recipe that you may enjoy:

Hot Italian Mountain Goat Sausage

  • 5 pounds ground shoulder or cut of your choice
  • 2 Tbsp Salt
  • 8 tsp Fennel Seed
  • 8 gloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 tsp Oregano
  • 5 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 1/4 tsp Coriander
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1 1/4 tsp Caraway

Mix very well. Form into patties and fry in the cooking oil of your choice.

*You may also wish to substitute 1 pound of ground pork butt for 1 pound of goat, which seems to go together quite well and does add some flavor.

**This recipe also works well with elk, mule deer, and pronghorn antelope. I have tried them all, and to my added surprise, I believe I like the mountain goat the best.

It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it!

A Close-up Photo of A Rocky Mountain Goat on a Cliff
The White Spirit of The Mountains

May the goat be with you!

—————————————————————————-

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

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First Impressions – Mountain Goat On The Grill

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In Honor of The Rocky Mountain Goat. Burgers For The Grill. Rocky Mountain Goat Recipes

Paying Homage to The Rocky Mountain Goat. Burgers For The Grill. Photo by Keli Tschappat

October 3, 2015

I have waited a long time to taste the meat of the Rocky Mountain Goat, and I am…surprised. The question is, of course, just exactly how to you prepare it and cook it

Surprised mostly, I suppose, because it did not taste anything at all like I thought that it would. And surprised too because most of the information that I could find on the internet and my library of wild game cookbooks was anything but hopeful. You might say that recipes for mountain goat are far and few between.

Granted, I have only tried one small sample from the front shoulders, and that was ground well without added fat to get a true taste of the meat.

But we prepared some large patties and heated them medium rare on a hot grill on a perfect mountain evening, and they were good.

In fact they were great, served with buns and the usual burger accompaniments. They didn’t last long at all, and they left us wanting more.

I am at a loss to describe the taste completely, though perhaps that is the difficulty. The meat was subtle and mild, and fairly flavorless, but in a good way. Sometimes, less is more with wild game.

It may have something to do with the fact that this billy was perfectly processed in the field, then quickly and thoroughly cooled by mother nature as well as any walk-in cooler.

What I can tell you is that it was firm and clean without a hint of gaminess. It was well…refreshing, wild, like the promise of a new day in the bracing air of a high mountain valley.

Finding a recipe for this amazing animal almost anywhere is about as difficult as harvesting one in the first place. So, when in doubt, let the spirit move you and make it up, I say.

It is a blank canvas of possibility, and I look forward to experimenting with this wonderful wild meat.

A spice here, a spice there – a complimentary sauce or two. Some sausage for sure. Let the celebration continue…and if you have any suggestions, you know what to do.

*I have now tried this with 5% added beef fat, and I can highly recommend it.

 

Rocky Mountain goat recipes. how to make hamburger and rocky mountain goat sauasage
Now That’s What I’m Talking About…A Mountain Goat Burger as Big as The Sky

 

A FEW WORDS ABOUT MEAT GRINDING

One theme emerged when researching the gastronomic qualities of Mountain Goat. That theme in a word, is tough!

It makes perfect sense, considering where they live and what they do. Their meat seems to be infused with an inordinate amount of sinew and connective tissue, which would seem to explain a thing or two about their character. You’d be tough too if you spent the long winter clinging to a cliff or looking for something to eat on an impossibly cold, windswept ridge.

A crock pot obviously comes to mind, and no doubt that I will be breaking it out very soon. In lieu of that, a small electric meat grinder may be the perfect tool for the job.

My hunting partner has had his grinder for many years, and I know that he would be hard pressed to count how many elk and deer and other wild game animals have had some of their parts run through it. It worked wonderfully on this five-year old billy too.

While using it the other night I was reminded at just what a miraculous and indispensable machine it is for the big game hunter. Or any kind of hunter, for that matter.

There are things that you can do after this little beauty has finished that you simply can’t accomplish any other way, with the exception of a hand grinder, of course. The possibilities are endless.

Might you have a hankering for some german sausage? Or Italian is more to your taste? How about some meat sticks or hot dogs? Have you ever used a jerky gun? It is essential in making jerky from ground meat too.

In my mind it is one of the most beneficial tools that any hunter could own.

Enjoy!

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

Those Were the Days…For Fishing On The Fryingpan River

There was a time when the now world famous Fryingpan River near Basalt, Colorado, was known mostly by a more local group of fisherman. I was lucky enough to be one of those, and we had things pretty much to ourselves, back in the day.

Anyone who has fished there more recently may find that hard to believe, but it is true.

Here are a couple of images on black and white film, circa 1982, of some more normal looking trout that proceed the introduction of mysis shrimp to Reudi Reservoir and the appearance of the monster, football-shaped trout that soon followed.

But then, that’s another story…

Photographs by Michael Patrick McCarty

Active Member Outdoor Writers Association of America

 

Photograph of a rainbow trout next to a flyrod, taken on the banks of the Fryingpan River ear Basalt,, colorado in the early 1980's. Photograph by Michael Patrick McCarty

A Close-up Photograph of a Rainbow Trout with a Wooley Bugger Fly in it's Mouth, Taken on the Banks of the Fryingpan River Near Basalt,, Colorado in the Early 1980's. Photograph by Michael Patrick McCarty

Master flyfisherman Pat Hayes, with a Rainbow Trout Caught on a Flyrod on The Fryingpan River, Near Basalt, Colorado in the Early 1980's

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Recommended Reading:

Front cover of Book Fifty Places To Fly Fish Before You Die by Chris Santella

The Fryingpan River is definitely one of those places that you should fish before you die. We generally have a copy of this title in our bookstore stock, if so interested.

Colorado Enacts Seasonal Restrictions For Shed Antler Collection

 

A shed bull elk antler lays on top of the melting snow in Colorado. Photograph by Michael Patrick McCarty
A Late Winter Prize. Photograph by Michael Patrick McCarty

The Colorado Parks And Wildlife Agency (CPW) will begin enforcing new, sweeping, seasonal restrictions for shed antler and horn collection beginning March 2, 2018.

Thereafter, the closure will be in effect from January 1-April 30, annually, and will apply to all public lands west of I-25, with some additional closures effecting several game management units in the Gunnison Basin. These new restrictions will not apply to shed collection on private lands.

The purpose of this ground breaking regulation is to mitigate the recreational impacts on wintering big game animals, at a time when they are most vulnerable to stress and increased mortality. The restrictions were developed to address the specific needs and issues surrounding Colorado’s unique wildlife resource.

Repeat, or egregious violators are subject to a fine, and a levy of five suspension points applied to the application or purchase of any licenses issued by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The accumulation of 20 or more points within a five year period can result in the suspension of hunting and fishing rights for up to five years.

Additionally, the possession of each individual antler can be considered a separate violation, with additional fines for each, in aggregate. Violators may also be charged with the harassment of wildlife. Other federal, state, and county agencies can coordinate with CPW in enforcement action.

According to CPW, “If you are hiking in an area where there is currently a shed antler and horn collecting closure and you see an antler or horn, you are advised to leave it alone. There is now way for a CPW officer to differentiate between you and someone who entered the area for the purpose of shed collecting”.

The requirement of a priced permit, or license, for shed collection is not required at this time, though it may be required in the future.

You can read more about the new regulations Here.

By Michael Patrick McCarty

12019 / Pixabay

An Elk of Snow, and Spirit

A photograph of a larger than life-sized bronze sculpture or a trophy bull elk, taken in a winter snow storm near Carbondale, Colorado
Into The Storm. Photograph by Michael Patrick McCarty

A larger than life sized bronze sculpture of a bull elk, found near Carbondale, Colorado.

Please follow us at http://throughahunterseyes.com/ and https://steemit.com/@huntbook

Active Member Outdoor Writers Association of America

https://steemit.com/photography/@huntbook/an-elk-of-spirit-and-snow

The Bull of John Plute – An Elk of History & Epic Proportions

PW Power Bugle Elk Call


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The John Plute Bull. A former Boone Crockett World Record Elk. Found now hanging at the Crested Butte, Colorado Chamber of Commerce
A Legend in Elk Genetics; A Dark Canyon Monarch. Photo by David Massender

October 2015

…An elk bugle echoes down and around us in the half-light of early morning, as the towering walls of Dark Canyon take over the skyline. The high, whistling notes are nearly overcome by the falls above, the waters now airborne, flying from the cliffs towards Anthracite Creek. We catch our breath as we climb up the Devil’s Staircase, towards the great unknowns of the Ruby Range and the perils of the Ragged Mountains…

No, this is not the scene of some campy, dramatic flick, as mysterious and foreboding as it may sound. But it was the backdrop, with some poetic license included, of a monumental event in the big game hunting world. It is here, in 1899, that John Plute of Crested Butte, Colorado looked down his rifle barrel and laid down one of the largest set of elk antlers ever recorded.

He has quite a history, this bull, and I can only imagine that his story only survives because of luck and some divine providence. It is said that Mr. Plute was a good hunter, and he often traded wild game for the goods that he needed. More than likely, he was usually not too concerned about the size of a bull’s headgear. Perhaps, in this case, he was.

He was also known to be a colorful character. An inveterate bachelor, a miner, and a mountain man, he traded the head to the local saloon keeper in payment of an overdue bar bill. It later passed to the stepson of the saloon owner, who dragged it out of storage and submitted the first unofficial measurement of its antlers in 1955.

The formalities took a little longer yet, until it was officially recognized by the Boone and Crockett Club as the new World’s Record Elk in 1961, The final score came in at a jaw-dropping 442 3/8 points.

Photographs simply don’t convey the magnificence of this specimen, and you can barely fit it within the view finder anyway. In person it is very nearly overwhelming, and it takes some time to evaluate its true size as the eye struggles to gain perspective.

The rack at its greatest spread tapes at over 51 inches, with 7 points on one side and 8 points on the other. One antler has a basal circumference of over 12 inches, and two points are more than 25 inches long. When first mounted many years after the kill, it was fitted with the biggest elk cape to be found. It was probably not quite big enough.

I have been fortunate to hunt some of the nation’s top trophy areas, and I have come across some big bulls in my time. A 325″ class bull is bigger than many elk hunters will ever encounter; a 350″ elk will really get your attention. I have yet to ground check a Boone and Crockett class elk, though it has not been for lack of trying.

Once, on a Colorado bowhunt, I very nearly harvested a bull that most certainly was approaching that magical 400 point plateau. The memory of that guy can still keep me up at night, and I doubt that I will ever forget the sense of awe he installed within me. I can hardly imagine another 40 or 50 inches of bone on top of his skull.

The Plute bull was the World Record for over 30 years, and many thought that it would never be beaten. The glory days of elk hunting appeared to be long gone, after all, …or were they?

In 1995, the elk hunting world shook once more when an antler buyer purchased a head that he had seen in the back of a pickup truck. Killed by an Arizona cattle rancher in 1968 and never measured, it was eventually determined to be bigger than the bull of Crested Butte. Even then, it only beat out the existing world record by less than 1/2″ of total score.

Obviously, Mr. Plute never knew just how big his elk really was. It does not sound that it would have mattered much to him anyway, though I probably should not speak as if I know. Very little has been passed down about his everyday doings, or his end.  Some have said that he died while breaking a spirited horse; others have said that no one really knows. Perhaps the truth of his ultimate fate is lost upon the winds and snow fields of the wild lands that he roamed, like many men of his era. In my way of thinking that only adds another layer to the legend, and to the mysterious nature of a place that once held a bull such as this.

It is impossible to know the full extent of this elk’s legacy. No doubt his genetics still warms the blood of his countless descendants, banked for the day when they can fully express their immeasurable potential. Who knows how many elk like him, have lived, and died, without being seen?

The head now hangs at The Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce, which might seem an ignominious end to such an important animal. Perhaps it may not be the best place to honor him, but I do not get to make that kind of choice. For most, he is a curiosity and a fine tourist attraction, though I doubt that the uninitiated can grasp its true significance.  For my part I am grateful for the opportunity to admire him in any way that I can.

The Dark Canyon of Anthracite Creek has yet to hit my eyes for real, but it will. I am drawn to it, curious too, and my hunter’s eye wants to see what it will see. Hunt there, I will,  just to say that I did. I hope that John Plute would approve.

Most of all, I would like to think that a giant elk like him still roams those mountains. In my dreams I see him there, hanging back in the dark timber just out of reach of mortal men, suspended on the edge of time and the longing of hunter’s soul.

See you out there!

 

The John Plute Boone & Crockett World Record Bull Elk. Now Found at The Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce in Colorado
A Proud Achievement. Mount On Display At The Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce

 

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

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If you would like to read more about trophy elk and mule deer, we suggest that you acquire a copy of Colorado’s Biggest Bucks and Bulls, by Jack and Susan Reneau. We generally have a copy or two in stock. Feel free to Email for price quote and other details.

In Praise of The .30-378 Weatherby Magnum

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Exit Pupil (mm): 3.60 mm
Eye Relief (mm): 17.00 mm

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Michael Patrick McCarty Gives a Thumbs Up Just After Making A Killing Shot On A Mountain Goat in The Snowmass-Maroon Bells Wilderness of Colorado with a .30-378 Weatherby Magnum. Best Rifle for Mountain Goat Hunting
Mr. Weatherby Does It Again on a Colorado Mountain Goat Hunt. Photo by Rocky Tschappat.

October 3, 2015

The Colorado High Country will test the boundaries of heart and soul of any hunter, and the outer limits of rifle ballistics too. I hunted mountain goats there in September of 2015, and if their was ever a caliber made for such a task it is the .30-378 Weatherby Magnum.

Originally designed for the military in 1959 by Roy Weatherby, it was not available to the general public as a factory offering until 1996. I suspect that the majority of big game hunters have still never heard of it, even though it was used to set world records for accuracy at 1,000 yards and held that record for decades. It remains the fastest .30 caliber ammunition on the market.

I have a friend that is a big fan of this cartridge, and he is an old hand at long-range precision rifle shooting. He once took an elk at 750 yards, and when he heard that I had drawn a goat tag he all but insisted that I give it a try. He said that this was probably the closest it would ever get to a mountain goat, and he wanted a picture of the two together.

Now that’s a buddy and a pal that you can count on. There are not a lot of people in this world that would hand over a $2000 rifle with a finely engineered scope and a $150 box of shells and encourage you to go play in the rocks.

The thought of attempting a shot over several football fields stacked end to end is one that I would not generally consider very seriously, but then again I had never shot a rifle quite like this. After all, that’s exactly what this rifle was built for, and reason enough to own one.

I had my opportunities too. On this trip I had to pass on some really big billies, but not because they were at 500 yards or more. Shot placement is always important, but in goat hunting it is what happens after the shot that is of paramount importance.

Each time the goat was in a spot which would have made recovery impossible without ropes and climbing gear, and my head said no while my trigger finger desperately wanted to say yes. More than one trophy goat has stumbled and fallen a long, long way down the mountain after failing to be anchored by what appeared to be a great hit.

It took several days to find one in a reachable spot. As it turned out, there was no need to worry. I shot my Billy with a 130 grain handload at 350 yards, and their was never any question about the end result. It simply never knew what hit it, and was down and out on impact. The round got there in one hell of a hurry too.

The .30-378 Weatherby Magnum is truly a high performance hunting caliber. You may wish to take one along on your next mountain hunting adventure.

I know I will.

 

Best Rifle for Mountain Goat Hunting. The .30-378 Weatherby Magnum Mark V with Synthetic Stock & Bipod & Ported Barrel. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty
The .30-378 Weatherby Magnum Mark V with Synthetic Stock & Bipod. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty

 

Best Rifle for Mountain Goat Hunting. A Cheat-Sheet to Die for. These Yardages Correspond With Hashmarks and Post In The Rifle Scope For This .30-378 Weatherby Magnum. 770 Yards? Photo By Michael Patrick McCarty
A Cheat-Sheet to Die for. These Yardages Correspond With Hashmarks and Post In The Rifle Scope. 770 Yards? Photo By Michael Patrick McCarty

 

Best Rifle for Mountain Goat Hunting. .30-378 Weatherby Magnum Cartridge and .270 Winchester Rifle Cartridge by Comparison. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty
.30-378 Cartridge and .270 by Comparison. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty

 

Best Rifle for Mountain Goat Hunting. A hunter picks his way down a steep mountain slope, while rifle hunting for rocky mountain goat in the maroon-bells snowmass wilderness in colorado's gmu 12. Even a .30-378 Weatherby Magnum can't help you here.
Where Angels, and Goat Hunters, Fear To Tread
Best Rifle for Mountain Goat Hunting. Two hunters pose with a Rocky Mountain Goat taken with a 30.378 Weatherby Magnum on a self-guided hunt in the Maroon-Bells Snowmass wilderness near GMU 12 in Colorado
Wet and Cold – But Happy!

 

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

For More Information on the .30-338 Weatherby Magnum see the Wikipedia Article Here

*You may also like our post A Mountain Goat Night and The Improbable Beast

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As it turns out, it does appear that I was able to take a very solid mountain goat for this unit. According to the Colorado Big Game Harvest Statistics for 2015, my goat was about 5 years old and had horns that were a bit better than average compared to other goats taken that year.

That’s some fine news, to be sure. Yet, I must tell you that in the end the length of the horns don’t really matter, at least to me. The real prize was the mountainous adventure of it all, and it’s a fantastic trophy no matter the score.

May you draw your own tag soon!

A Mountain Goat Kinda’ Night

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And I Lived To Tell About It…

 

Sometimes in life it is much better to be lucky than good, and that applies to big game hunts too. I was lucky enough to draw a Colorado Mountain goat tag in 2015, and that’s plenty enough to celebrate. I was lucky in the hunt too, in many more ways than one.

And I did get my billy. And I did live to tell about it.

I made the shot with very little legal shooting light remaining in the long, end of summer day. The good news is that my hunting partner was prescient enough to snap a photograph just after we found him. My camera had decided to quit working, and I would have probably forgotten anyway had it not. I was much too preoccupied with trying to stay upright.

The not so good news is that this is the only photo taken before it was caped and quartered and stowed in our packs.

Don’t get me wrong. I am quite grateful to have it.  After all, it is not an easy task to take any kind of photo while balancing upon the slick rocks of an extreme slope in a cold and driving rain. That was the easy part too, compared with the dangerous, almost death-defying hike back down to our spike camp.

We had not planned to be caught on the face of a mountain such as this, far above timberline in the deep black night. Extreme hunts can call for extreme measures, and a mountain goat is nothing if not an extreme animal. Still, I would not recommend such a predicament to anyone, except perhaps another goat hunter. Only another goat or sheep hunter would understand the beauty of it all.

It was, however, the perfect ending to a grueling and treacherous adventure. Adventure and grand pursuit before breakfast I say, or in this case, a long overdue dinner. It was a mountain goat hunt, after all, and I got all that I could have bargained for, and more. I would not have had it any other way.

I don’t mind saying that I could not have pulled this hunt off without my friends and brothers from another mother. You know who you are, and I owe you big. Very, Very big…

May you draw a tag soon – so I can return the favor, God, and screaming leg muscles willing! And for all of my friends that I have not yet met still waiting for a tag, please let us know when you do.

We can’t wait to hear about your encounters with the peaks and your mountain goat success. With luck, you will get the job done much earlier in the day!

 

Photo of a Rocky Mountain Goat taken just after dark, on a hunt in the Snowmass-Maroon Bells Wilderness of Colorado with a .30-378 Weatherby Magnum.
It Was A Dark, White Mountain Goat Night. Michael Patrick McCarty With A Hard-Won Wilderness Prize. Photo by Rocky Tschappat

 

A Hunter Poses with the cape of a Rocky Mountain Goat, taken on a self-guided mountain goat hunt with a .30-378 Weatherby Magnum in the Maroon-Bells Wilderness of Colorado's Game Management Unit 12
When Night Turns Into Day. I Took This Billy On The Cliffs Just Above The Snowfields in the Background.

 

A hunter prepares to backpack a heavy load of goat and gear, on a self guided goat hunt in the Maroon-Bells Wilderness in GMU 12 of Colorado
No Complaints Here. Just 4 More Miles To Go!

 

By Michael Patrick McCarty

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