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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought it would be cool to hear about some close encounters you've had with other critters while out goatpacking.
I've had many but one of my favorites involved a black bear. I had hiked several miles into a roadless area on an old grown over trail and stopped by a small spring to take a break and eat my lunch. There were massive old growth cedar trees in there with hardly any ground cover underneath making it look like a manicured park. While I lounged against one of the trees watching the water and eating my lunch, the goats wandered off behind me looking for some lunch of their own. All at once it occurred to me that I wasn't hearing any munching going on and leaned around the tree to my left looking for them. They were all standing still as statues and staring off to my right. So I leaned around the right side of the tree and there stood a 200lb black bear on the old trail only 10 yards away. It was also standing completely still watching the goats. He was so focused on them that he didn't see me move so I sat there for a few seconds watching. I remember thinking "hey this is cool, wonder what he'll do? Chase them or just wander off". Then I realized "hey dummy, they have all your gear on and if they get chased off you'll be searching through the brush for the rest of the day looking for gear and goats". So I stood up, which drew the bears attention to me. His eyes went wide open and he hauled out of there 90mph. That scared the goats and they came running toward me at the same speed. I ducked back behind the tree just as they came skidding to a stop all around me. After a few minutes they were back to munching like nothing had ever happened. What started as an ordinary hike turned into a great memory I'll cherish forever.
 

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Bears seem to have some problems processing what goats are. Alice and I were down by Tahoe and had a young bear follow us, sort of going parallel to us and the tail. He kept coming closer and jumping up on logs to see what the heck those big things were. Well, when he got close enough to make the goats nervous one of the goats bluff charged him, up on his hind legs. The bear turned tail, fell off the log, ran and jumped into a creek and was going so fast by the time he hit the other side that he couldn't get back up and buried himself in the other side. :oops:

Once he pulled himself together and ran off the other side, we could se his mama standing up in the woods, with a look on her face like "That is not my child". :lol:

We were trying to take photos but Alice was laughing so hard they turned out blurry.

Another time we had a bear come in in the middle of the night and the goats just started walking toward it and he ran. Alice had her head out and was watching and kept teling me to put my head out and look, but she was so excited she kept saying "he's right in front of your tent, just put your head out and look." Yeah, right. :roll:
 

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I won't be able to top bear encounters but we had a great time two years ago when we met a fox family (fox mum and two cubs) playing in front of us a maybe 100 meters away for about 10 minutes. We stood downwind and the goats kept still so they just played and played.
 

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A few years ago I was hunting by my self. There was a full moon out. I turned them loose after I ate and went to bed. My goats would wander off a short distance to eat. Then the coyotes would start yapping at close range the goats would run back to me. I would look out the window to see what all the commotion was. Ill I could see were 4 goats standing around looking into the meadow and I could hear coyotes howling, yipping. They did this pretty much the whole night. Needless to say I didn’t get very much sleep. If I would have been in a rifle zone I would have dispatched a few of those yipping varmints.

On another elk hunting trip we had a heard of elk in our camp running back and forth bugling all night long. I didn’t get any sleep that night either.
 

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I once pitched my tent in a deer trail on the way to a salt lick. Got tripped over all night. The dog I was with just laid there looking disgusted at the stupid creatures out there.

I also was camping out on the desert and went to sleep only to be awakened about a hour later by the sound of someone reading me the riot act outside my tent. Now, my heart almost stopped since I was out in the middle of the desert without anyone around,as far as I knew. But as soon as I sat up it stopped. When my heart stopped pounding and I laid back down it started again.
What had happened was that I had set my tent over a rodent house under the ground and this poor little dude came home and found his house all messed up. Well, of course, for the next hour I had a giggling fit while listening to him complain. :D
 

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like sawbuckmaster i've had a few fun nights being spiked out in the wilderness having elk crash threw the trees around camp. It definatly makes your mind start wondering when your all alone.

Last summer while i was on a fire up in oregan we were burning out off of a road and we had a black bear run through our fire line and about run over the guy who was stand fifteen yards behind me. He said he about pissed his pants.
 

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Oh where to begin with animal encounters? I've lived my entire life trying to maximize them and have had so many "close" encounters.

Our family has been blessed enough to have a 300 pound black bear walk right by us (Randy was taking a photo with his 4X5 camera and didn't see the bear until he walked in front of his lense as Randy was under that black cloth pretending to be Ansil Adams). The three Goggin girls were resting under a tree on a day hike enjoying a veiw and trying to spin bison wool that had been left on the tree trunk. We enjoyed this beautiful black creature's perfect fur, hanging down in tight ringlets (he'd been swimming) and his pretty eyes, perfect ears and cute feet as he walked by. He was no more than 15 feet from us, walking silently and completly at ease with us as we were with him.

We had a honey colored bear in camp in Lassen once, I was walking through the woods one way and he was coming the other, both as silent as we could be, apparently for neither one heard the other coming until we came nose to belly around a large tree. He flipped over backward and my memory is mostly of his round behind as he ran crashing through the brush away from me. Poor chap.

In Redwood NP I was dayhiking with my two packers, Pie and Laz when 3 bear cubs run away up a tall, tall tree. Pie stopped, having seen the momma bear and would not budge for a while (processing...) so I stopped too and soon found her, she was sitting in an ancient apple tree in an old apple grove, eating green apples. The thing that made her so danged cute was that she was sitting there, rear end perfectly fitted into a curved branch, shoving apples in her face as fast as she could, smacking and drippling foamy apple juice down her front while her one back leg swung lazily back and forth giving her the appearance of Huckleberry fin! I sat down nearby and watched her for about 30 minutes before heading back down to camp for dinner. It was a neat time. We were on a rise so she was about eye level in her tree and about 25 feet away as the sparrow flies, but longer walking down the rise.

Randy and I were sleeping in Olympic once in a sort of meadow full of crunchy fall leaves. The leaves seemed a good place to put the pyramid tent (no floor) because they were a soft bed. In the night a LARGE animal came snuffling through the leaves. I lay, awake and tingling with excitment, wondering what it was, the moon was full but I was not near the edge and Randy was laying with his face part way out of the tent due to gap between the bottom of the tent and the ground. Turns out it was a huge bull elk and the thing stopped to snuffle and wuffle Randy's face and then moved off. I was nearly bursting with excitement! How amazing! Touched by a bull elk!! I waited until he was good and gone before saying in an awed whisper "Wasn't that great?" my inquiry was met with a soft snore from Randy who slept through the entire encounter. In the morning he was embarrassed thinking he must have snotted and drooled all over himself in the night. I had a good time telling him it was elk snot and drool!!!!


This stuff is one of the big reasons we go out.

Charlie Goggin
Lightfoot Packgoats
 

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When I was in Montana a few years ago a mountain goat and I decided to come up the same ridge trail from opposite sides. Imagine both our surprise when we met at the top with about 15 feet between us.

I don't think he was as impressed as I was. The wind was blowing hard across the trail so there was no way he could smell that I was there.

We stared at each other for a good minute before he turned around and walked off.
 

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The most unusual animal encounter I've had with my goats was last April in the southern Black Range of NM. A coatimundi ran across the trail about 10 yards in front of us and then climbed about 10 feet up a tree and let us watch him for a minute until he ran down out of the tree and into the brush. That was the first time I had seen one of those critters outside of a zoo.

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
tgallaty said:
The most unusual animal encounter I've had with my goats was last April in the southern Black Range of NM. Tim
Is that the area that is supposed to have the Jaguars that moved up from Mexico or were you too far north. Those cats make the hair stand up on the back of my neck. Give me a bear any day!
 

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Rex,
I believe it is the Peloncillo Mtns. way down in the bootheel along the AZ border that sometimes is visited by jaguars. The Black Range is farther north and east of there. However, there are mountain lions throughout the entire region.
Tim
 

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We occassionally have black bears wander into our area, usually they have swam across the Ohio, from WV looking for a new territory- but to date I've not seen one. We DO have coyotes crossing our upper field Grrrr.

Tonight , a yearling whitetail deer walked back and forth along the goat pasture fenceline in curiousity... The two saanens walked over and touched noses. Merry flopped down but Jaxxie walked thru the fence to play and follow for a few feet...dork. The deer wandered around for quite awhile and then meandered off into the woods. Bet it'll be back- momma may have ousted it for her new fawn(s). It was neat to watch.

-Wendy Hannum
Secret Creek Farm Packgoats
SE Ohio
 

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tgallaty said:
The most unusual animal encounter I've had with my goats was last April in the southern Black Range of NM. A coatimundi ran across the trail about 10 yards in front of us and then climbed about 10 feet up a tree and let us watch him for a minute until he ran down out of the tree and into the brush. That was the first time I had seen one of those critters outside of a zoo.

Tim
I used to hike there in the 60's and 70's. My Grandparents are from TorC.

I haven't got any goat and animal encounters, other than my young cremello QH, who is jealous enough of the goat to be a pain in the butt.

When I was training my first llama, I decided to take a nice, quiet moonlight hike on easy trails. There was a light snow, and a big hunter's moon, so there was plenty of light. I was walking in the Whiterock Conservancy area. I topped the cliff, coming out of the oak woods into a meadow that was white in the moonlight. As we stepped into the light, a fan of deer spread out around us. They must have been shadowing us, wanting a closer look at the llama. They glided along with us all the way to the road, and stood, black cutouts in the meadow, while we continued on through the gate to the lane.

Recently we were getting in some early spring camping. The tent was smaller than the one I'm used to, and I had my whippet with me. Usually I leave the smaller dogs home when it's cold, since the whippets battle me for bedding even when it's hot. I was a little irritated because somebody's fat, yellow lab kept coming to the front of the tent every morning, waking me and the whippet up by going through camp and even leaning on the tent. He must have been a spook, I thought, because by the time I got my glasses on, and got outside, he was crashing off into the trees.

This went on for a week or so, until I was down by the creek below camp. There was a loud crash, and then, silent as smoke, a mountain lion loped out of the bushes, ran to the trail head and stood for an instant before sliding down the other side of the hill. My mind didn't register what he was at first -- they are not common in IA -- my first thought was "big hyena yellow deer thing" -- you know the odd way cats lope. I suddenly realized who that "fat yellow lab" really was! And also remembered how my cats play with anything in a bag... He did come back the next morning, but I guess the spell was broken, because we never saw him after that.
 

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Do I dare tell I had the 2 boys out for a little browsing around the lawn today before I went to work- they saw a rabbit, couldn't figure out what it was, and ran full tilt back to the pen.

A rabbit...boy do I have my work cut out for me! *laugh*
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
bentmettle said:
Do I dare tell I had the 2 boys out for a little browsing around the lawn today before I went to work- they saw a rabbit, couldn't figure out what it was, and ran full tilt back to the pen.

A rabbit...boy do I have my work cut out for me! *laugh*
LOL!! Running to a place of security is the norm for goats. On the trail you'll find out "you" are the place to run for protection when something startles them. Nothing like being the target of a goat stampede. I've found that standing calmly is the best way to avoid being run over. Trying to move quickly out of their way only makes them think you are scared too so they really kick it in high gear.
 

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I experienced that last weekend. Cabra was out with a new goat buddy (escaped meat goat) and the suddenly felt "threatened" by the end loader. They flew at me -- right through a crowd of teen girls who all screamed!

Luckily they know the goats, and knew the were running for safety, but they sure scattered the girls and the chickens.

Moved my question to the training area....
 

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Hi, I'm new to all this. I have three wethers. Their daddy was Lamanch. The twins mama was Alpine and the last is half Nubian. I got them when they were ten weeks and have hiked with them nearly every weekend.

We had gone up a local trail that is popular with dogs. I want them to learn to either stand their ground or come to me rather than scatter.

We arrived at Dog lake and there were several hikers who had let their dogs off the leash to play in the water. I still didn't really know what the goats would do if chased so I let them loose. They usually walk right under foot. I sat down and let them wander a bit.

As soon as Larry saw the dogs he came running to me. Curly waited until he had a chocolate lab on his tail to come to me. Then the lab took off after Moe, who is the smallest of the three.

It was obvious the dog was just wanting a good play, but Moe didn't know that. It was actually magnificent to see the two animals at full run. The goat was much more agile than the dog. But panicked as he was and having had enough he jumped in the lake and started for the center. The dog gave up about 10 yards in.

I have been training them with a boatswains whistle as the equivalent of my baa. So I walked to the edge of the lake and whistled and he swam back to my side.

Since then I got a Dog Dazer II. I have tested it around the neighborhood and it stops 9 out of ten dogs in their tracks. I aim it at the dog when he is looking at he goat. It puts out a blaring sound that only the dog can hear, and the goat gets credit for it. Several of the dogs have taken submissive postures to the goats. A couple ran away.
 

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On our first overnighter we came across a deer in the morning. The goats were browsing in the field and I pretended to browse by dipping my head low and then popping up to look around.

Apparently the deer thought that because this other herd animal was browsing, it must be safe, and she came out and joined us. I would casually walk towards her while browsing until she would get uncomfortable and hop a couple times, then I would turn around and browse the other direction. And she would follow, getting close than when I approached her.
At one point she was only 20 feet from me. We played with her that way for about 45 minutes.

Later in the afternoon we had another encounter like that, but I don't know if it was the same deer or another one.
 
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