Thursday, February 16, 2012


I was tipped off last night to a goat that's been stuck on a cliff for four days on the north side of the island, so tonight I hurried through my after-school errands and rode my bike up to investigate. I'd been told the goat was about 10 meters above the water, so my plan was to just wade to it and shoot from the water.  But when I arrived I saw that she was a good 40m above the ocean and in a very difficult spot to even get close enough (~20m) to take a shot.

[white spot in the middle]

I analyzed the situation for about as long as I could before needing to make a decision (it was getting towards 5:15pm and it gets dark at 6:30pm).  I decided to wade around and try to scout out a good shooting location, then come back tomorrow and make the shot.  But once I got over beneath the goat, I realized the place where I was standing was probably going to offer the best shot.

[I was closer than this when I shot]

I hem-hawed around for a few minutes balancing out the remaining daylight and the likelihood this goat could survive a fifth day standing in the same place.  Eventually I decided I should take the bird in the hand and hope for a good shot, then a death plunge.  So I set everything up quickly, including the camera.  I have never practiced shooting at a near vertical angle, but since I don't have sights on my recurve bow, I just aimed high.

As you can see in the video, I was a little premature in declaring the goat's death.  My shot was almost perfect, as it went into the right side of the chest cavity (should have caught lungs).  I fully expected her to die within a couple minutes, but she was a little stubborn.  She climbed back up the cliff then bedded down.  I came up on the back side of her and got close enough to jump her from her bed, at which point she ran back to this side.  So I came back and scared her back to the other side, then snuck up on her again.  This time I had the bow ready and I took a <10m shot at her through some brush.  She didn't like whatever happened (I don't know if I actually hit her, though I assume so) and she jumped the gap above me and ran into the forest.  This was bad news.  I wanted to keep her on the rocks where I knew her location.  Now that she was in the forest she could go anywhere.  And it was really starting to get dark.  I hurried after trying to see if I could spot her.  I found tracks down on the beach and on the next knoll I spotted her up through the trees.  She was moving very slowly uphill and looked sick, so I backed off and waded back to my bike.  I returned home, confident that she'll die overnight.  I will have to go back in the morning to retrieve her.  Unfortunately I have to catch a boat to Aka at 7:45am, so I will need to be home by 7:20am to assure a shower, which means I need to be done up there by 7am.  So I need to head out at 5 or 5:30am and find her in the dark with a flashlight to have enough time to cut her up and get the meat into my refrigerator.  I'm already nervous that some of the meat will go bad overnight, so I need to get it cooling asap in the morning.

[how she climbed a cliff with a hole in her chest, I do not know]

Update tomorrow!

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