Spring Goat Hunt….BJ Holdsworth field testing the Contour pack.

November 12, 2014

Youth of today is totally spoilt with the gear available these days, I’m not an old geeser but I’m old enough to remember how terrible my old pack was and how it near killed me on every excursion. A canvas bag attached to a steel frame was what it was—it did have two straps the ones that went over your shoulders and that was it, no chest or waist straps and only one big compartment ..That thing would throw you off balance on every opportunity kill your shoulder and don’t get me moaning about how my lower back used to feel, crikey I was 18 going on 81 or so I felt….

Now we have some Hunting packs made by pros, designed by hunters, tested by hunters—and guess what they work bloody well , I received a Hunters Element Contour pack a few months ago to try– and it rocks, it is the perfect small load ‘Day pack” and came into it’s own on a recent Spring Goat hunt..

With a cloudless windless Spring morning camera man Tim and I set off looking for a good Billy , Goats come and go off our property and with a good climate and some nice goat country out back, we usually don’t have to go to far before finding our quarry ..

These guys were spotted from a long distance, there were easy goats which were closer but there were two big fellas in this group and one grey Goat that looked well over 30 inch’s tip to tip , it was just too tempting…

After a bit of a wander we bumped a small bunch of Red hinds fortunately they bolted in a direction which wouldn’t alert the Goats but as we popped up through a scrubby gully they had simply vanished, in the ten or so minutes where we had to dip into a gut they must have wandered off, with all the nearby cover it could have been almost any possible direction …What was music to our ears was a goat bleat in the no so far away distance and with no wind at all we could just mooch in slowly and try and get closer, this was a bow hunt after all..

We found nannies and kids but no Billys they had to be here but where? we kept slowly pushing on and finally once skirting the nannies it was Tim who spotted them, my eyes were looking elsewhere as usual but these guys were now bedded right on a ridge on the edge of cover I guess they were enjoying the morning sun but wanted some shrubbery close by in case of the likes of US..

With Bowhunting you always need a clear shot a bullet can do a wee bit of pruning as long as its only twigs but an arrow does not need any excuse to fly elsewhere–believe me I’m speaking from personal experience..Our goats had too much manuka in the way we had to cut back and tack around, this would be well worth doing especially if the prevailing wind, (A NW breeze) kicked in which at 9 am was a sure possibility and besides this was a good billy after seeing him through the bush we now knew we had a trophy goat in town …

The big problem was our nice new approach had little cover and what little there was stopped at about 50–60 yards from the ridge they were bedded on, we got to that spot and the bino range revealed a distance to the biggest Goat as being 51 yards exactly , this was going to be a long shot, there was still no wind at all which was nice and there had been a bit of  bow training at that distance so we just sat in the trees and waited ..

An hour went by and finally the smaller Billy got up and took two steps with that he was gone, there was now two left I began to think I would have to take my shot as soon as he got up, he had a big body that we could tell at the distance which was another positive–the bigger the body the bigger the target.

Suddenly he got up and stood broadside, with the morning sun hitting his flank what I did notice right before drawing my bow was a shadow which formed a crease right where I needed to send the arrow , my visual concentration now fixed on that spot I drew and paused. It felt good, no wind and an animal that was perfectly broadside grazing, I tightened my back and the arrow was gone…Because of the trajectory the arrow in flight climbed way above the line of his back but dropped perfectly into its boiler room, he jumped and disappeared behind the ridge his buddies following in a frantic dash..

I looked at Tim he gave me the thumbs up and I couldn’t wait to see the impact in slow mo on the cameras LCD screen , once viewed we were jubilant my longest shot on a Goat and got it on film not to mention my PB Billy! what a hunt…

He made 25 yards before piling up and I think gravity had assisted half of that distance, he was in a heap down the hillside and I was a very happy boy…..

What I have to now mention is that pack, I took one of my longest shots on a game animal with the pack on, I had been wearing my Contour pack all morning and forgot it was on–that’s how it should be, I would normally remove any pack before taking a shot like that but I didn’t and it worked out pretty well,  comfort and how it fits me with knowing I can freely move my shoulders without restriction as addition to it being balanced very well spells GETONE if you need a good pack…The video has turned out o.k. I am now busy editing it so there will be some evidence to this blog–coming soon..


We waited like this for an hour, my shooting lane flanked by Manuka.



Where he fell one of my best Billy’s to date, on a perfect day with not a cloud and no wind to speak of..


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XXS 90-95 35-37
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XL 115-120 45-47
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130cm / 51.2"



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