Green River Star -

RS hunter takes 2nd largest goat recorded


courtesy photo

Will Russell poses with the mountain goat he harvested, which turned out to be the second largest ever recorded from the state. Wyoming Game and Fish Dept. photo

Will Russell, a hunter from Rock Springs, and the 2015 Wyoming Game and Fish Department Super Tag mountain goat winner, harvested the second-largest mountain goat ever taken in Wyoming. The mountain goat officially scored 50 2/8 inches, certified by the Boone and Crockett Club.

Mountain goat hunting licenses are one of the most coveted and hard-to-draw hunting licenses in Wyoming.  Russell, though, won the opportunity to purchase his license through the Super Tag raffle. Russell bought just one Super Tag mountain goat raffle ticket, and his ticket was selected among the 4,526 tickets sold.

By winning a Super Tag, Russell was able to hunt mountain goats in any open area in the state during Wyoming's two month season.

"I've been around goats hunting the last three years, but I've never had a tag. I've only watched them. This is the first time I could shoot one," said Russell. "I had a goal to hunt in all three areas and to set a state record."

Mountain goats are hunted in two geographic locations in Wyoming: the Beartooth Mountains north of Cody, and the Palisades area south of Jackson, divided into three hunt areas. The Beartooth Mountains encompass some wilderness while the Palisades area is non-wilderness. There are no preference points for mountain goats since Wyoming law limits a hunter to one mountain goat license in a lifetime--unless you draw a Super Tag.

Russell eventually harvested his record-setting goat after several weeks of backpacking, hiking and scouting

"I could have easily shot some of the first goats I saw. But, I enjoy backpacking, hiking with my wife, and having a good time in life," said Russell. "I set the goal for a state record as a joke, at first, between my wife and me. I didn't realize it was going to be that big of a goat until I checked it in with the Game and Fish biologist."

Tentative draw results for 2016 Wyoming mountain goat licenses will be available beginning in early May, and Super Tag raffle tickets are available until July 1. Winners are notified by mid-July.

"I'd like to be the first person who congratulates the winner of the mountain goat Super Tag this year. Mountain goats really are the king of the mountain, and you're in for an outstanding year," said Russell.


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