Mountain Goat Kills Hiker

alaska, alaska hunting expedition, hunting, Uncategorized

I found this article while researching Alaska Mountain Goat hunting.  In my findings, I have learned never to mess around with a Mountain Goat.  A mountain goat almost took my life in 2011 while I was hunting South Central Alaska.  I almost completely severed a finger from rock shale while stalking the goats, however managed to connect with a beautiful goat.  Check out my youtube video and compare the dangers of my  Mountain Goat hunting video veersus this article.

Austin with tenderized mountain goat and injured finger

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sD4CObfmhtI

I was lucky enough to have my Thompson Center Muzzleloader with me in order to take care of my goat, the hiker in this article wasn’t as lucky.

Outdoor Life Writers

Robert Boardman, 63, was hiking with his wife and friend in Olympic National Park on Monday when he was attacked and killed by a mountain goat. The trio was hiking up a popular switchback trail and decided to stop for lunch when the goat approached them and started acting aggressively.

Boardman tried to scare the goat off, but instead of running away, it charged him goring him badly in the leg. More hikers came to try to help Boardman, but the goat stood over the man’s body and wouldn’t let any other hikers come to his aid.

An hour after the attack, rescuers finally arrived at the scene but Boardman died from his injuries. Park officials eventually shot and killed the goat.

Apparently, that specific goat had show aggressive tendencies in the past. “It has shown aggressive behavior, however, nothing led us to believe it was appropriate to take the next level of removal,” park spokeswoman Barb Maynes told the Associated press. “This is highly unusual. There’s no record of anything similar in this park. It’s a tragedy. We are taking it extremely seriously and doing our best to learn as much as we can.”

The goat is being examined by scientists to see if it had any diseases that could have caused it to act so aggressively.

 
Find more information on this article at:

http://www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/newshound/2010/10/mountain-goat-kills-hiker

Utah’s “Goat Man” Confirmed to Be a Hunter Studying Goats

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Utah’s “Goat Man” Confirmed to Be a Hunter Studying Goats

by Outdoor Hub Reporters on July 24, 2012

submitted by: Agnieszka Spieszny

The mystery of the goat man may have been solved. Utah wildlife officials have confirmed the details of a phone call received from a Southern California hunter claiming to be the “goat man.” The unnamed caller said he is a hunter who is preparing for a mountain goat bow hunt in Canada next year and is testing a goat suit. He came to Utah because he heard it was easier to get near the goats there for training.

The goat man has been a hot, but bizarre, topic across news stations since the initial sighting on July 15. Utah wildlife officials worried that the costumed man may not be aware of the potential dangers of goats, which can be aggressive when defending their territory, or he may not have known about the upcoming goat hunting season beginning this September.

Turns out the man was well aware of hunting season and was preparing for his own.

Phill Douglass of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said the 57-year-old hunter called the Division and provided enough information to put their curiosity to rest. He described his suit as a hooded painter’s uniform and a fleece.

To catch up on the story and to see photographs of the “goat man,” view the news coverage video KTNV TV in Las Vegas.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHA6eo2ZYNU&feature=player_embedded

 
Image screenshot of video by ktnv on youtube, slider image by Lynn Chamberlain, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

http://www.outdoorhub.com/news/utah-goat-man-confirmed-hunter-studying-goats/?utm_source=iContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Outdoor%20Hub%20News&utm_content=July+25%2C+2012+Goat+Man+Unmasked

Alaskan Professor Battles Off Grizzly Bear with Insect Repellent and a Walking Stick

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This is the kind of story that makes you want to walk out your door and purchase a gun immediately.   Surprisingly enough, she didn’t turn her insect repellent into a flame thrower which may have also worked.  Great ingenuity, and glad she is still alive.

by Outdoor Hub Reporters on July 17, 2012

submitted by: Agnieszka Spieszny

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While the insect repellent Natrapel can’t go touting its anti-bear abilities just yet, it did come in handy for one hiker, her two nieces and her dog when they encountered a grizzly bear on a trail in Alaska. The spray was a decoy for the bear and a placebo for Alyson Jones-Robinson, an English Professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Jones-Robinson had camped on the Granite Tors Trail about 40 miles east of Fairbanks the day before with her two nieces, aged 13 and 9, who were visiting from Washington state. When Jones-Robinson, 43, came upon a young grizzly bear on the 15-mile trail in the Chena River State Recreation Area last Thursday, she was doing her best in panic mode to save her nieces and her husky, Rowyn.

“It was a very surreal experience,” Jones-Robinson told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner the day after the encounter. “All I could think about was this bear is so close to me I can see its teeth. I could have kissed it. I wished I had a gun.”

Eyeing the bear, she estimated that it was about 5 feet, 5 inches and that it came up to her chest. The bear was acting aggressively, bluff-charging, circling the huddled group of scared hikers and occasionally taking snaps at the dog who couldn’t resist fighting back.

“It was terrifying. On a scale of 1 to 10, it was above a 10. My adrenaline was going so fast all I could think of was getting the kids and dog to safety,” she told the Fairbanks Daily. “I told the girls if the bear attacked me to take the dog and don’t look back, to get off the mountain and go until they found somebody.”

Following one of the bear’s bluff-charges, Jones-Robinson deployed a can of bear spray when the bear was four feet away. “Then I fell with my pack on and dropped the bear spray,” she said.

The bear momentarily retreated then came back to circle her again. So she defended herself with whatever she had and threw a pack of macaroni and cheese at it. Then her nieces called out that there was another bear. “As it circled around me, I heard the girls yell, ‘There’s another one. There’s another bear up here,’” Jones-Robinson said.

She never saw the bear, but instructed the girls to thrown down their packs where they were and to come to her. In the dog’s pack was a bottle of Natrapel, a DEET-free insect repellent that she held out in front of her like the can of bear spray, threatening to spray the bear should he come close.

In a chaotic scene, the bear snapped at the dog and the dog tried to attack back each time. She worked between holding the dog back, hitting the bear on the head three or four times with her walking stick and brandishing her bottle of Natrapel in front of her.

Just minutes into the ordeal, the bear retreated and the hikers walked backward to the trailhead without their packs, with the bear in view the whole time, Jones-Robinson brandishing her insect repellent and walking stick.

Just like jaws following a swimmer sinisterly in the water, the jaws of the woods came after them on the trail. It circled and bluff-charged as Jones-Robinson tried to predict charges to hold up her walking stick in defense.

Eventually they made it off the mountain and the bear sauntered off, but the crew was exhausted by that point. She only sprayed the bear with Natrapel once, but said it didn’t have any effect on the bear. She said her nieces were troopers who struck poses to make themselves look bigger to the bear, even though they were crying the whole time.

The Friday after the attack, Jones-Robinson went out and bought a gun.

 

Kenai River Fishing Report 2012

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Dolly Vardin “barrel belly” caught on a micro flesh white fly

Alaska experienced a record setting snowfall this 2012, the effects of this massive snowfall are felt across the state.  Record snow falls means enormous amounts of mountain and glacier run off, basically the rivers are flowing at a much faster rate than normal years.  All this water melting and pushing its way towards the ocean has begun to effect the fishing quality of salmon runs for all anglers alike.  The Sockeye salmon run follows generally two “runs” during the Alaskan summer months.  One “run” being in June while the second “run” comes in July.  A “run” is a large influx of salmon moving toward their spawning grounds.  This gives anglers one last opportunity to harvest their quota of salmon before the spawning process begins.

The lifecycle of the salmon is an interesting one.  A salt water fish, not meant to live in freshwater, head from oceans to rivers on a quest to spawn.  The spawning cycle is essentially the last effort of survival and restarts the life cycle of the salmon population.  Once a salmon begins to spawn, their flesh and bodies deteriorate, giving their offspring the ultimate sacrifice of themselves; this sacrificial gestures purpose is to feed their hatchlings eventually making them into larger fledging fingerlings. These fingerlings will then travel to the ocean for 2-3 years, generally speaking, to “fatten up” into large 5-10 lb Sockeye salmon.

Daddy Auggie, Taylor, and Uncle Austin with T’s first fish!

The main mission of this Alaska fishing trip was to go fishing with my brother and his daughter, this was Taylor Manelicks first fishing trip.  Fishing in one of my favorite childhood fishing spots, it wasn’t long before Taylor got her first fish nibble.   As we arrived at the creek, Dad (Auggie) carried Taylor down stream to an over hanging limb; the perfect place for hiding trout.  Taylor put her pink colored hook in the water and in the blink of an eye something tugged her Barbie fishing poles line.  Immediate laughter and excitement ensued… Taylor really enjoyed her self.  This was the most memorable and special moment of the entire trip.  I could not have been happier as her sweet little face said “can we go again?”  Dad and Uncle Austin said ” whenever you want!”   After catching Taylor’s first fish, the fishing game plan changed and we headed South.

Daddy and Taylor with her second fish....

Daddy and Taylor with her second fish….

Heading to the Kenai Peninsula this 2012, to fish the legendary Russian River Red salmon would be dismal at best.   However the catch isn’t always as important as the adventure itself.  The overflowing headwaters of the Kenai River made fishing for Red Salmon extremely difficult.  Fishing the “first run” of Sockey Salmon was very anti climactic. Not experiencing any luck of the Kenai river,  hiking toward the Russian River Falls was the best option.  The hike to to falls was around 2.3 miles from the Pink Salmon Parking lot, not to bad of a hike.  The only problem is walking through brown bear territory, the concern is keeping your salmon after you catch it…  Several piles of large bear scat littered the trail, but not to much of a concern as the owners were not present to claim it.

Russian River

Reaching the “red hole” was easy enough and the fishermen littered the river banks.  Shouldering up to the fishing spot and fishing for an hour or so provided only eight snags (on the river bottoms rocks) and one brown bear encounter.  As we left the fishing hole and began to walk up the ankle busting trail, we had an adrenaline filled encounter.  Cresting the hill near the fishing grounds Greg and I came nose to nose at 4 yards from a 500 pound female brown bear.  I yelped “hey bear” while simultaneously jumping behind a small spruce tree(as if it would save me).  The bear was very uninterested as we didn’t have any salmon, and trotted off across the trail.  Hiking back to the parking lot and changing our fishing game-plan was the best option.  It was later decided that we should probably stick to Rainbow trout fishing, and using rafts to float the Kenai River was our best tactic.  Using “micro flesh flies” to simulate dead salmon chunks, a 9-13ft leader with a strike indicator, and one split shot 18 inches above the fly was the key set up.  Putting our raft in the Kenai River, fishing began immediately.

Kenai River Dolly Vardin 2012

Kenai River Dolly Vardin 2012

Auggie the captain and oarsman of the boat, believe it or not, had the hardest job of the trip.  The oarsman must keep the vessel floating strait ahead downstream while steering the boat float safley through the “best holes” while dodging rapids.  Auggie put me in the hot spots the entire time, and I credit his long oar sets to the trips fishing success.  Thanks Augg.

The Captain and the Angler

The Captain and the Angler

After fly fishing and producing several trout and one monster 23 inch Dolly Varden, I decided to hike back up near the Russian falls and try one more time for Sockeye salmon.  Upon arriving at the “honey hole” and heavy moving water, I knew the key to catching a salmon in the fast moving current would be heavier weight.  Using a longer leader with a heavier weight, I needed to feel the weight bouncing off the bottom of the river.  This new tactic allowed me to feel my fishing gear touch bottom and put my monofilament in a direct line with the low swimming salmon.  After five minutes of fishing with no other fishermen insight besides a meandering brown bear, I hooked into a large Sockeye.   “zzzzzzz,zzzz,zzzz” the line bailed out of my fly reel as the salmon screamed down stream.   The heavy current made the fish feel three times as heavy,  out of fear of breaking my 7-8 weight rod, I bowed my rod down stream.  The fish using the current to his advantage snapped my line after a 5-10 second fight.

Russian River Rainbow Trout

Russian River Rainbow Trout

So exhilarating!  Fighting a sockey salmon on the Russian River with only one brown bear to combat fish with, is rare indeed.  Usually there are fishermen standing shoulder to shoulder, however the dismal salmon run discouraged fishermen from treking to the Kenai leaving the river all to me.  Quickly retying my home made “Russian River Fly”, I was fishing again in no time.   After another two hours, I hooked two more fish in the mouth, only losing the fish down  stream in other hard fights.  Not having any fish to clean, I wasn’t to worried I didn’t “catch” a salmon.  I felt the rod pull hard and the salmon swim with mighty strength, fun enough to have one on the end of my line.  The trip was highlighted by Taylors new enthusiasm for the outdoors and new found excitement in fishing.  Grandpa, Auggie, Sarah, Paxson, Taylor, including me Austin Manelick had a wonderful time spending moments together in the great outdoors.

The fishing report:

Kings Salmon: Closed throughout most of the state.

Kenai River first Sockeye run: dismal at best : Fast moving water makes it difficult to use the “floss technique” on the Sockeye Salmon.  Heavy weight with a “Russian river” single hook fly is the best method.

Technique:  Use a 5 foot leader off of your heavy splitt-shot weight, attach the Russian River fly.  The more material on your Russian River fly makes your fly sit higher in the water, more material equals more boyancy.  The Salmon swim low to the river bottom, remove material from you fly until you get your weight and hook bouncing off the bottom.  You must bounce your weight off the bottom or  you waste time fishing.

Second run: Picking up on the Russian River as Sockeyes begin to make their way toward the Russian River Falls.  Hike up river and spot for fish in the river before attempting to fish.

Trout fishing as usual is great on the Kenai River, you need to have the correct flies in order to hook them.  Steak and EGGS patterns and or white micro flesh flies seem to be working the best.  Use single egg pattern bead for a secondary option as the salmon have began to spawn.

Caution: With high fast flowing rivers, the bear population cannot fish as well.  Be careful and bring bear spray or handgun with you.  People have reported being chased by bears on the public walking trail systems.  

Alaska Bow Hunters Certification Course

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Brown Bear hunting in Alaska. Intense right? Imagine yourself looking at the massive Alaskan Brown Bear through your 4×12 mounted on your Ruger .375 Alaskan at 200 yards. Now picture yourself looking down the sights of your compound bow from 50 yards. Getting a little more up close and personal now? Well imagine yourself 15 yards away from this magnificent animal with no sights, no scope, no 300 grain bullet and no margin of error. If you haven’t guessed it yet, I am referring to a traditional bow.

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Lack of time led me transforming my backyard into a range with the help of my father

Long Bows and Re-Curve bows are more primitive than most other hunting techniques and are taken up by hunters because of the skill level required to harvest any game with these bows.

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What the game you are harvesting should look like so you don’t take an unethical shot.

I got hooked on traditional bows this past May from David Austin and Vince Pokryfki. Vince and Austin were still hunting and glassing for brown bears using their long bows. Austin let me shoot his bow a couple times and right after shooting his bow I told Vince and Austin “I am gonna get my license when I get back. These things are awesome”. Vince and Austin said that would be great, but I could tell by their response that they didn’t really think I was serious.

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Hard at work

Well lone behold I went online and signed up for the next class. July 7th in Sutton, Alaska. I went to Fish and Game and got my booklet to study for the test and asked a few questions about the course. Although Fish and Game does not keep official records of the course, the hunter education section gave me the following rough estimates:

*There are around 1,500 avid bow hunters who register for the course annually.

*Of those around 3-5% of those hunters use a traditional style bow. That is around 45 people.

*Of those 45 people about 5% percent pass. That is around 2.25 people.

Now although those are rough estimates, those ares still staggering numbers.

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Lack of space led me to using my environment to practice for all the tough shots I could expect.

When I arrived at the course for my bow hunters license on the 7th I was nervous to say the least. The course work was completed and the test was taken before I knew it and then it was time to head into the field and do the field day shoot to qualify. The whole class grabbed their gear and converged under a pavilion getting ready to start the shoot. Everybody in the whole class pulled out a compound bow. Everyone except me. When pulling out my re-curve everyone glanced at me like I was crazy. I was just thinking about all the advice Austin had given me (over the phone by the way). He stressed to be confident.

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Shots on the test ranged from 5-30 yards from all angles. 

I was very surprised at how nervous I was. I couldn’t remember the last time I had so many butterflies. All I needed was a glass of “Man The Hell Up”, and sure enough I could hear Austin’s voice going through my head. Well “Man The Hell Up” is what I did.

After the course I called Austin, “Hey man I didn’t pass” -Me

(Awkward silence on the other end) – Austin

“Just kidding man I passed”-Me

“HE PASSED OH MY GOD!”- Austin

Austin was so pumped up and surprised I passed It felt great. It wouldn’t have been possible without him getting me into bow hunting and allowing me to use his gear to get me started. I also have to thank my father, who received his bow hunter license in the 70’s in New Jersey with a bow similar to mine.

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Fred Bear used to picture a fox in his head and placed it in the vital area of a moose. Aim small, hit big.

And I cannot forget Hidden Antler. From Texas to Alaska Hidden Antler was my gear of choice without a doubt. Check them out by following this link.

http://www.hiddenantler.com/

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Hidden antler with me through thick and thin. Literally.

Make sure to follow Missionak on Facebook and subscribe to this blog!

Wildlife Hiking in South Central Alaska

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Crow Pass Trail is a 24 mile one way traverse starting at either Eagle River or Girdwood that will bring many wildlife sightings, glaciers, bridges, creek crossings and the halfway point entitles the hiker to cross Eagle River, which stems from Eagle Glacier.

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First Sighting of Eagle River

I decided to undertake this challenge starting at Eagle River, making it to Girdwood and then turning around and completing the 48 mile hike in 3 days and 2 nights. On my journey I saw wildlife ranging from Black Bears to Dall Sheep and a Cow with her Calf stopping me dead in my tracks. On the side of the trail I saw no less than a dozen spots where a bear had laid down and scat from various wildlife.

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Black Bear Cub

Starting off in Eagle River there is vast vegetation making it very habitable for bears and I found myself often clutching my Mossberg Maverick 12 gauge loaded with 000 bear shot. Several times I could hear rustling around in the brush ahead of me so I starting singing one of my favorite Tom Petty songs just to let the animal know that I was approaching as to not startle it. Except one black bear encounter with a sow and her cubs,and one moose encounter of a cow and her calf.

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Another cub sighting shortly after

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Beautiful view from the Eagle River side

After I ran into the bruins the trail opened up a bit and I could hear movement on the trail. I could tell it was not a fellow outdoors men because of how fast it was moving through the brush. My singing didn’t deter it either so with Mossberg in hand I cautiously turned the corner only to find this:

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This cow and her calf were dead in the middle of the trail. At one point they started feeding toward me and I yelled “HEY MOOSE” several times before it seemed to catch wind of me and before I could get another shout out they were off into the wilderness faster than lighting.

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View looking down on Eagle River before crossing to the Girdwood Side. 

After crossing Eagle River I got this breath taking shot of the trail I had just come from. I was ready to cross over to the Girdwood side.

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After making the 24 mile march to Girdwood I decided to take a brief nap before I started my 12 mile march back to Eagle River where I would set up camp for the night before setting off for the last 12 miles of the adventure.

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Eagle River with the sunset in the background. 

When I woke up at 0700, I snapped this photo of the crossing where everyone must cross to get to the other side of the trail.

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Eagle River 

After the crossing and a few hours of hiking I knew I was close to the trailhead when I spotted these camping spots, creeks and make shift bridges.

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This traverse was a very enlighting experience and if you are in the area I highly suggest you set aside a couple days to do this hike. If you have two vehicles, most people will drop one off at either Eagle River or Girdwood and then have a friend drive them back to the other trail head so that when they have completed the hike their vehicle is there waiting. Unless you are a true Alaskan of course, then you will be able to do the 48 mile hike with no assistance at all. Make sure to be aware of all the wildlife, especially on the Eagle River side where the brush can get very dense. If in doubt sing, talk to yourself make noise and DO NOT scare any animals as they can become aggressive. Enjoy the Alaskan Wilderness!