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REJ
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PostThu May 09, 2002 8:19 am 
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I have always admired the mountain goat.  The only close encounters I have had with mountain goats were in the Olympics and the Black Hills of South Dakota.  The goats got very close and didn't seem to be very afraid.  Goats in these areas were introducted to provide hunting opportunities.  The Olympic herd is mainly protected in the National Park whereas the Black Hills goats are hunted.  In the North Cascades I seem a few goats but generally from a far distance.

The discussion on hunting goats got me to do a little research on the status of mountain goats and the goat hunting season.  All this information is from Washington State Department of Fishing and Wildlife website.

The 2002 season is from Sept 15 to Oct 31.  The permit quota for this year is 22. Between 3,000 and 4,000 permit applications are received for a goat license.  A mountain goat license costs $109.50.  The only areas open to hunting in the North Cascades are in the Chelan and Methow area.  Therefore no legal hunting in areas such as Mt Baker, Pugh Mtn, Three Fingers, East Ross Lake, etc.  In 1987 about 300 permits were issued with 140 goats reported killed.  In 2000 38 permits were issued and 30 goats were reported killed.

With regard to habitat the Department notes that:  "long-term, decline seems to suggest that habitat changes are negatively influencing goat numbers."  The primary cause appears to be the degradation and loss of alpine meadows due to fire suppression and natural forest succession which degrade mountain goat forage and increasing recreational use.  Solutions are the use of fire as a management tool to restore alpine meadows, minimize road construction and human disturbances to the alpine habitat.
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Dslayer
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PostThu May 09, 2002 11:22 am 
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Thanks for the stats--I was under the apparently erroneous impression that mountain goats populations  were growing because more hunting areas were being opened, particularly closer to my neck of the woods and the places where I most often see them, the Tatoosh and Indian Creek-they seem to be holding their own and then some.  There's also a fair population on Timberwolf Mountain, but it's illegal to hunt those.  One day, maybe 20 yrs ago I was slipping through the woods on one of the flanks of T-wolf hunting grouse and I found myself in the middle of a herd of goats as they grazed up a hillside.  I hunkered down and the entire herd over the course of an hour moved by without seeming to notice my presence.  That was one of the greatest experiences I've ever had in the outdoors.

Another Timberwolf goat story I know of took place during deer season.  A hunter amongst some of the rocks and cliffs took a crack at a deer--I never did find out if he hit hit it--and a goat who unbeknownst to the hunter was on the other side of the ledge he was on and hidden from the guy-came roaring around the 'corner' and knocked the guy over a cliff.  Both of the hunter's legs were broken--I was across the drainage when this occurred and could hear the ambulance/police siren and figured someone had been shot.  The next day, this guy's story was in the paper; I think he had to spend the night, legs broken, out in the cold.

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"The Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights is my concealed weapon permit."-Ted Nugent
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Stefan
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PostThu May 09, 2002 12:04 pm 
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Speaking of Mountain Goats, where is Mtn. Goat?

Anyway, you guys should be all over Backpacker Joe's idea about introducing grizzlies.  More grizzlies means more people afraid of going to your lakes you want undiscovered!

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Tom
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PostThu May 09, 2002 12:15 pm 
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lol, if the grizzlies don't get you the goats will, and don't forget about those wolves lol.gif.
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#19
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PostThu May 09, 2002 12:17 pm 
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Stefan, you are a moon.gif head.  biggrin.gif

But you might have something about there about re-introducing the grizzer bar as a means of protecting OUR mountains from the rif-raf! biggrin.gif
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Dslayer
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PostThu May 09, 2002 1:41 pm 
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If I could choose the people that the grizzlies ate that would be one thing...I'm not particularly anti-grizzly himself--but, of course, kids would get killed or their unthinking, stoned, drunk parental guardians would get them killed.  One of my predominant memories of my family's trip to Yellowstone when I was 9 was watching somebody hand feeding a grizzly and some goofball parent giving their kid a handful of french fries to run over to feed ole Yogi. Unbelievable---of course, in the intervening 20 or so years they've done a lot to seperate bears and people in Yellowstone-to the point that it was hard for my daughter and I to see 'our bear.'  (We were tourists and didn't get out into the backcountry) And when we saw our bear the Rangers were there quickly to see that it went its way unfed--Reintroing grizzlies brings into play a whole lot of potential problems--like when they decide to invade the dumpsters of someplace like Leavenworth.

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"The Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights is my concealed weapon permit."-Ted Nugent
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Forum Index > Trail Talk > Rise and Fall of the Mountain Goats
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