Stumbling into some serious luck, Nick won first a Dall sheep hunt and then a mountain goat hunt through the Grand Slam Club/Ovis. Paying a monthly membership to be a part of the conservation organization that also holds monthly raffles for amazing hunting trips, Nick says that he felt like he won the lottery when he received calls that he had been drawn for each. Not wasting any time, he ironed out the details and headed first to Alaska for Dall sheep. For a hunt of a lifetime, Nick says it really happened pretty quickly. Getting to camp a few days prior to the opening day of the season, he says they used the time to glass and locate rams. On opening morning, they headed out where they had last seen the sheep but found they weren’t where they thought they were. Using tracks, they followed the sheep from one ridge to the next all day long and into the evening. Nick says at the end of the day they had to decide whether to hike all the way back to camp and start over the following day or hunker down on the mountain without tents and wait it out in hopes of getting a jump start on the next day. Staying on the mountain paid off, he reveals, as the sheep were just over the next ridge giving him a shot opportunity within the first 24 hours of the hunt. Nick says he ended up shooting an old ten to eleven-year-old ram. Reflecting on the hunt, Nick says taking a ram so quickly was bittersweet, as a hunter you don’t want the pursuit to be over on the first day. At the same time, the opportunity to take a mature ram is the exact moment a hunter waits for regardless of the time frame it happens in.
Next, Nick headed to British Columbia in pursuit of mountain goats and celebrated his 40th birthday while on that challenging hunt. Mountain goats live and thrive in really rough terrain and Nick says the hunt was probably the hardest thing he’s ever done noting that you have to put on a lot of miles and cover a lot of ground in order find, stalk and get a shot opportunity at a mature billy. The challenge of the hunt is not only physical, but mental as well, Nick says. The first two days weren’t bad he notes, but by day three and beyond the fatigue had set in, the mental impact hit him, and he was missing his family. The goats were high during their hunt and walking the side of cliffs, adding an extra element of challenge to the hunt. Nick says on day two he had a shot opportunity at a good billy, however it was sitting on the side of a cliff and had he shot the goat, it would have tumbled nearly 1,000 feet which would have ruined the meat, cape and horns and made recovery nearly impossible. Nick says that they spent a few days in camp at a glassing point surrounded by goats, just waiting for the right situation to pan out close to them. In the meantime, they were watching a lone billy on the next mountain over that showed consistently each day. After not seeing any shooter goats for days, they made the challenging decision to pick up camp and relocate to the mountain where they had been watching the lone billy. Nick says, ultimately, he was able to find the goat and take a 400+ yard shot in order to tag the nine-year-old billy and fulfill his dream hunt. He notes that glassing and sexing goats can be difficult as nannies and billies don’t have clearly defining features and that makes the hunt even more challenging.
Be sure to listen in as Nick Hoffman recounts his experiences hunting Dall sheep and mountain goats and living out two of his personal dream hunts. Also watch the new season of “Nick’s Wild Ride”, Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET on Outdoor Channel. You can catch previous seasons and episodes of “Nick’s Wild Ride” with the MyOutdoorTV app, be sure to check it out!