Rocky Mountain goat shatters world record
Justin Kallusky shows off his Rocky Mountain goat taken near British Columbia's Stikine River in 2022. The previous world's record was also taken near the Stikine River in 2011 by Troy M. Sheldon. (Photo courtesy Boone and Crocket Club)
| March 2, 2023 12:00 AM
A special judges panel convened by the Boone and Crockett Club has confirmed a new world record Rocky Mountain goat. The club announced the new record at the Wild Sheep Foundation’s 2023 Sheep Show in Reno, Nevada.
Justin Kallusky’s British Columbia billy officially scores 60-4/8 points, eclipsing the previous world record by three points. Each horn measures well over 12 inches.
“This new world record is truly a sight to behold,” said Mike Opitz, chair of the Special Judges Panel. “A Rocky Mountain goat of this caliber is a true testament to continued conservation efforts and one tough hunter.”
In 2019, Justin Kallusky and a friend were hunting Rocky Mountain goats along the Stikine River of northwestern British Columbia, B.C. The Stikine is big water with steep canyons, loved by whitewater kayakers and hunters looking for adventure.
“On that hunt, I told my friend there’s a goat over 12 inches in this spot,” Kallusky said. “It’s really good habitat.”
He returned in 2022 to see if his prediction would pan out. When he first spotted this billy, it was in an odd position.
“It was bedded facing uphill and stuffed up under a rock to hide from the sun,” Kallusky says.
The only thing they could see was a big goat butt, he said.
After four hours, the goat finally stood up, but something looked slightly off. “I asked my friend, ‘Why does his head look so small?’ I knew it was a good billy, but not until I walked up to it after the shot did I really understand.”
Kallusky, a do-it-yourself backcountry hunter from British Columbia, went on his first sheep hunt with his uncle when he was 15. Growing up, he was always drawn to the outdoors. While other kids watched Saturday morning cartoons, he would watch hunting shows.
Now 42, Kallusky works as a lineman at B.C. Hydro and hunts every chance he gets. He wasn’t expecting to find the biggest Rocky Mountain goat in the book.
“I’m not a trophy hunter by any stretch of the imagination,” he said. “I’m out there for the experience.”
After a hunter kills a Rocky Mountain goat in B.C., they are required to have it inspected by a provincial inspector. The biologist took one look at the goat and said Kallusky needed to talk with Grant Markoski, a local Boone and Crockett Official Measurer.
When they met, Kallusky thought Markoski was going to have a heart attack.
“I pulled this goat head out, and this old boy almost had a jammer,” Kallusky says. “He put his hands on his head and started walking around in circles.”
Markoski has been a Boone and Crockett Club Official Measurer since 1991. During his three decades of service, he’s measured quite a few goats, though nothing prepared him for this billy.
“When I saw this thing, I could not believe it,” Markoski says. “It was so much bigger than anything I’ve ever seen. When you see it, your jaw will drop.”