Sunday, February 19, 2012

Goat Update

Instead of going in for goat recovery the next morning before work, I found myself still awake at midnight  and so decided to head up then and not be limited on time.  I rode up to the beach and headed off into the crashing waves in pitch blackness, as the low cloud cover eliminated any star or moon light.  I brought along three flashlights and searched until all their batteries started to wear down.  I found myself in very dangerous situations (atop cliffs with no apparent way out) and very frustrating ones (a blood trail leading seemingly nowhere).  At 3:30am I decided to call it quits.  I got home at 4am and slept until 7am, then struggled through the day at work before heading back up in the evening for another 2 hours of searching in daylight.  But unfortunately that didn't help as I was still unable to catch a glimpse of white attached to a dead goat.


I don't know what happened to her.  I'm sure she's dead.  I just don't know where.  When I wrote in my last blog post that I really didn't want her going into the forest, this is why.  It's a nasty place only navigable by goats.  She managed to find enough energy (despite having a three-pronged razor blade bouncing around in her chest) to climb a ridge and disappear into the underbrush.

Looking back on the scenario there's numerous things I could have done differently that probably would have resulted in a freezer full of goat meat.  But this is only helpful if my errors were egregious, which I don't think most of them were.  When I first found her bedded down on top of the cliff I probably should have left her there to die overnight instead of shooting her again.  But with the information I had at the time - that she was bleeding heavily and should have been cut through the vitals and in a place I'm not sure I could have reached - it seemed like the right thing to do to try and finish her off.  Unfortunately her adrenaline fueled a leap across a dangerous gap and into freedom, if only for a few hours until she bled out.

Knowing that she would have eventually succumbed to starvation helps a little.  She ended up dying from what I think was a low-risk attempt at salvaging her meat.  It bugs me that I made such a good shot and have nothing to show for it.  Fortunately there are many more goats and nobody hunting them, so I can take the lessons/experience from this and be a better hunter next time.

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