Spanish Goats In Hawaii - Part 1
Posted On: Aug 20, 2015 |
By: Jeff Leahy
Feature Stories | Just Get Outdoors
Four in the morning comes way to soon when you are on vacation in paradise. After an all-day travel from Montana to Hawaii and trying to acclimate to the heat and humidity, I was ready to start my first guided hunt in Kona, Hawaii with my friend Nolan. I jumped out of the comfy, plush hotel bed and into my Ridge Reaper camo pants and started lacing up my Columbia hiking boots. I was pumped! We were so nervous we'd be late that we stated running down the halls of the Hilton. We must have been a sight to see - head to toe camo, backpacks and binos strapped to us and ME carrying my pink savage 25.O6. Here we go, Spanish Goat hunt on the Big Island.
When we arrived at the Parker Ranch, the sun had yet to rise. It was so early, but I was stoked to show off my huntress skills. We went into the office to sign our disclaimers and meet our guide. As soon as I stepped into the office, I could see our guide let out a sigh, “Oh great,” I’m sure he was thinking, “It’s a girl”. We filled out the paperwork in silence, not really knowing what to say. I was definitely a little intimidated. We headed out to the Razor 'ATV' to load up. I took my savage 25.O6 out of the case and held it up with pride; after all it was pink and awesome. Our guide grimaced at it and asked to take a look so he could load it up and adjust the straps to fit him. I was taken back! “Excuse me, that’s my gun and I will be handling that!” I exclaimed. Our guide turned to Nolan and gestured, “How is she going to carry that all day?” Nolan replied with a smile, “Oh, she can handle it just fine.” The guide did a little grunt and then we all loaded up into the Razor. After that little episode, I knew I would be under a microscope and I would have to be on my 'A' game. I wanted to prove that all my hard work leading up to this hunt meant something to me and to show that women really are capable hunters.
We were on the move; naturally I sat in the back while the boy’s chit chatted up front. The area was spectacular, so different from the green lush mountains of Montana. The terrain was rocky and had lots of rolling hills where animals could hide. The sun was beaming down on us, I was not used to hunting in the smoldering heat. I took the opportunity to admire the scenery and glass as often as I could for wildlife with my Vortex optics. I felt in a daze, the crashing sound of the ocean on the shores and the hum of the Razor. “This is the life!”, I thought to myself. The guide found a good spot to park and it was time to start walking, perfect, time to show off my skills. Before we began our hike though, he offered one more time to carry my gun but I just waved my hand and started marching. In no time at all, we spotted a herd of Billie’s and Nannies resting on a cliff side. We posted up behind some thick brush at the bottom of the cliff and started glassing, the boys with bino's and me through my scope. I was at the ready, one in the chamber, bipod down, set to fire. I was astonished to see them only 30 yards away and they had no idea we were there. We watched them for a good half hour but they kept moving along the rock ledge, just enough to where I couldn’t get a good shot because of the steep terrain. I was becoming very impatient; I whispered to the guide, “Should we maybe move around them and come out the back side for a clean shot?” his eyebrows perked up, “Uh, yeah that’s a good idea.” He replied a little shocked that I knew what I was doing. I clicked the safety on and folded the bipod up and we three began to creep along the tree lines around the rock pile of goats, hoping to remain unseen by the multiple sets of goat eyes. My thoughts bounced from anticipation to trepidation and to the memories of all the things that led me to this moment – it was time to succeed or fail and I was ready.
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