For some of us hunters, there is nothing in all the world quite like a mountain hunt. Unfortunately, though, the major mountain animal most of us want to hunt - the bighorn sheep - is simply not within reach. So-called Governor's Permits are way too expensive and drawing odds overall have gotten so bad in the Lower 48 that a hunter can go a lifetime without drawing a single permit. Take my own case for example. In 23 years of applying for bighorn permits in various states, I have only drawn one and that was in Wyoming in 1977. Lest that drive you to despair, I am here to tell you there is another major mountain animal here in the Lower 48 that you can get drawn for. That animal is the Rocky Mountain goat. In all, there are six states where non-residents can apply for goat hunts and the odds are not bad in three of them, notably Colorado, Idaho and Montana. It is worth noting that there are not many mountain goat permits available anywhere. What makes a permit relatively easy to draw is the low number of applicants. Quite simply, mountain goats have been under-appreciated as a trophy animal for many years. One unfortunate side effect of this is a near-absence of goat guides in the Lower 48. If you get drawn for a goat permit, you can count on it being hard to find a good goat guide. In fact, you may well wind up going afield on your own. It is worth keeping this in mind as you put your draw-hunt strategy together. Above all, find out all you can about the areas you apply for. Many of them are extremely difficult to hunt. It will do you little good to receive a tag in a unit that is beyond your ability to hunt. One of the best ways to learn about various units is to talk to local game biologists, and I have included as many appropriate contact numbers as I can for the state of Montana. Good luck in the drawings!
Herds of mountain goats roam throughout........(continued)