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Forum Index -> Full Moon Saloon -> Trail Closed by Goat Feeders
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Snowbrushy
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Joined: 23 Jul 2003
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Post Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:18 am   
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The popular Scotchman Peak trail is closed indefinitely for the safety of the mountain goats. Silly hikers. This is why we can't have nice things.

http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2015/sep/11/aggressive-mountain-goat-prompts-scotchman-peak-trail-closure/
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NacMacFeegle
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Post Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:43 am   
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LOL the article says someone was bitten by a goat! I would assume the goat was eating out of his hand, because there's no way a goat is going to come charge in and bite you!

Like every "aggressive goat" closure, this is a result of the fear of lawsuits instilled by the death of that guy in Olympic National Park.

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Read my hiking related stories and more at http://illuminationsfromtheattic.blogspot.com/
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BigSteve
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Joined: 06 Mar 2007
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Post Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:48 am   
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Never heard of a goat biting someone, but FTR, a guy was killed by a goat in ONP a few years ago. That was an outlier event, of course.

A goat licked the salt off the nape of my friend's neck while she belayed me on the first pitch of SEWS standard route.

I've had goats lick sweat off my legs. Lots of us have shooed goats who were within a couple feet of us as we peed.
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olderthanIusedtobe
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Post Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:53 am   
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Anybody read the comments at the end of the article?  A lot like here.  Turned into a circular argument about "you people ruined my favorite hike by publicizing it!"
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Slugman
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Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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Post Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:13 am   
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It is ridiculous to say that fear of lawsuits caused every goat closure. Or any goat closure. Zero evidence for this claim is presented, probably because zero exists. The lawsuit was tossed out on its ear.

Also, actually reading the article would have told someone that the person bitten was not necessarily feeding the goat that did the biting. So the second part of Nac's post is as untrue as the first part. 

Land managers have responded to the death, and to other attacks, not to bogus lawsuits that went nowhere.
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NacMacFeegle
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Post Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 am   
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Drinky Crow wrote:
It is ridiculous to say that fear of lawsuits caused every goat closure. Or any goat closure. Zero evidence for this claim is presented, probably because zero exists. The lawsuit was tossed out on its ear.

Fear of lawsuits is a powerful motivating factor for many land management decisions, especially when it comes to those involving supposedly dangerous animals. Even if a lawsuit is defeated the legal costs can be high. Prior to the death of the hiker in Olympic NP (and the resulting lawsuit), goats weren't considered much of a threat, even when they became badly habituated to humans. Several years back when hiking at Logan Pass in Glacier NP the goats shared the trails in close proximity to hundreds of hikers. I don't remember seeing a single sign warning people of the "dangerous" goats then, but I bet such signs are all over the place there today! The fact is that goats aren't the threat the media has recently portrayed them to be based on one isolated incident.

Drinky Crow wrote:
Also, actually reading the article would have told someone that the person bitten was not necessarily feeding the goat that did the biting. So the second part of Nac's post is as untrue as the first part. 

It doesn't elaborate on the circumstances of the biting, and I can't think how it could have happened other than by someone feeding it by hand. I suppose that if you let a goat lick the salt off your skin like BigSteve describes it might decide to take bite, but I don't think it would be something indicative of aggressive behavior.

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JVesquire
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Post Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:56 am   
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Like Steve said the ONP thing was an outlier. Those goats were not native and aggressive, unlike most goats, from what I remember. I doubt it is a lawsuit issue, necessarily.
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joker
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Joined: 12 Aug 2006
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Post Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:59 am   
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Here's a view of what their more human-habituated cousins are capable of:

We have run into a pretty bold goat up on Iron Peak in the Teanaway a few times - once it really really seemed eager to come up to us while I had my dog  with me (on leash) - a friend was able to ward it off by getting between us and clacking his trekking poles together loudly above his head, but it took a while and the goat stayed overly interested for some time. I'm not sure I'd count on the "non-native" thing being a requirement for mountain goats to get aggressive.
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Cyclopath
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Joined: 20 Mar 2012
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Post Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:43 pm   
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Mountain goats and farm goats surprisingly distantly related, the ones in the 'Chants and T'way aren't even bona fide goats.  Mountain goats are much closer cousins with musk ox than with with actual goats.
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alpendave
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Joined: 01 Aug 2008
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Location: Kitsap Peninsula
Post Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:05 pm   
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Not much to see up there anyway:
<a data-flickr-embed="true"  href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/tannergrant/1111082716/in/album-72157602776317263/" title="flickr13"><img src="
width="1024" height="768" alt="flickr13"></a><script async src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

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RandyHiker
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Joined: 27 Jul 2008
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Location: Bellevue,WA and Harlem,NY
Post Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:17 pm   
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Weird, it seems that Scotchman peak is in area 1 and Mtn goats are in season..

http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/?getPage=125
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joker
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Post Thu Sep 17, 2015 2:14 pm   
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Cyclopath wrote:
Mountain goats and farm goats surprisingly distantly related

Yeah, but I could not resist the opportunity to post that video  smile.gif
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Snowbrushy
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Post Thu Sep 17, 2015 6:48 pm   
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The article showed this picture of a wound on the animal with the horns. No kids, it's not a nice Unicorn. And that is a puncture and stabbing wound probably from another mountain goat. Fierce. Wild. You probably think that I'm trying to scare the holy crap out of you.
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Mike Collins
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Post Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:14 pm   
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Snowbrushy wrote:
puncture and stabbing wound probably from another mountain goat. Fierce.

Mountain goats have evolved thick dermal shields over the rump and rear to protect against puncture wounds. The dermal shields can be up to 1 cm thick.
http://www.jstor.org/stable/3798378?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
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Mike Collins
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Post Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:39 pm   
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joker wrote:
a friend was able to ward it off by getting between us and clacking his trekking poles together loudly above his head, but it took a while and the goat stayed overly interested for some time.

The goat wasn't "overly interested". It was sizing up your friend and determining if it was worth the fight. Clacking poles over the head is not a good idea as it could be interpreted as aggressive behavior. Avoidance behavior is a better option. Show that by walking away and not looking at the goat which will be interpreted by the goat as non-threatening. Steeve Cote is a professor at Universite Laval in Quebec. He is the guru for mountain goats having written dozens of articles and having spent months observing them. The beauty of the internet for me is that it allows you access to academic authorities. You can write to him yourself as I have at steeve.cote@bio.ulaval.ca Here is a link to an article he has written. Scroll down to page 1067 and read about aggressive behavior in mountain goats. http://marco.recherche.usherbrooke.ca/pdffiles/goatChapter.pdf
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