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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I'm new here. Actually I was interested in pack goats when I found this forum and bought a couple bottle babies. A lamancha and saanen/alpine cross and wethered them. Since then I've been working with them and they'll follow me just about anywhere. It's been a lot of fun. Four years ago I was bowhunting when I saw a 500+ lb black bear. I put a stalk on him and it got uncomfortable when I was moving to fast and snapped a twig. At that time I heard an echoing loud woof that came about 30 yards off to my left behind brush I couldn't see through. Unfortunately California doesn't let you carry a protection side arm. So I cautiously backed off with my pointy stick. Last year I was retrieving one of my cameras in the snow when I found tracks in the same area. I measured them and they were 14" by 10" wide with very little melt. I'm guessing the accurate size is about 12" by 9". I've been a houndsman for 15 years so I'm confident with my sizing guess. Sorry about the long lead up to my question but here goes. Me and my buddy are going to scout hard and find him this year. As much as we'll need them, I'm a little apprehensive about bringing the goats up there. My worry is they are going to sitting ducks if we high line them behind while we are bowhunting in our stands. Is my fear for the safety of my goats warranted with that big boy lurking around? Am I worrying too much? Or are there things we can do to prevent a caprine lunch? Thanks for looking.
 

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i take my goats hunting all the time... Where i live (Montana) i would never highline them and leave them alone due to the griz and wolves..... If i did they would baa and bleat which would likely cause a predator to come in and get a free lunch. I don't hunt from stands with them, but i do let them follow me around when i bowhunt. I shot a nice bull elk last year with them following me.
In short, at least where I hunt, i would never leave them alone in camp or elsewhere.
 

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I seem to remember a scene in Jurassic Park where they tied a small goat to a stake to try and spook a T-Rex.... well maybe my recollection of details is off a bit. ;-)

I don't think bears are spooked by goats so as long as the bear doesn't see/smell you I doubt the goats will make a difference. We had a doe join us for breakfast and she came within spitting distance of me. We also had a moose follow us just after dusk, which came with in a few dozen feet.
 

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Hello, You did not say if you were packing into a camp or how far. Electricity may work to deter a bear. I would not trust it with a wolf or a cat. There are some portable electric options. I like the idea of a ground blind. If they are board or tired they will probably lay down. Good luck.
 

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I had two two black bear encounters last year and the goats did not scare either of them. The first one happened after shooting my elk and i followed the black bear around for a couple of minutes trying to shoot it as it blood trailed my elk. It kept looking back but didn't run or spook until it passed down wind of me. The second one a few days later actually ran to me and stood on its hind legs. As i was about to shoot it at 35 yards my buddy yelled it had cubs... luckily i didn't shoot and it turned into a little more of an "encounter" than i originally wanted.
In both cases the goats didn't spook the bears.....not sure that is a good thing... especially when it comes to griz :)
 

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I'd move out of California if I couldn't pack a sidearm while hunting. But, bear spray might be in order if you choose to stay. Some of them will spray 10' or more. Take the boys with you and train them to lay down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Idahonancy,

I'm not packing in far but still I'm packing in 2-5 miles for the black bear. I was looking into the maxflex electric fence. I'll start hiking with them in the backcountry this summer.

Joecool911,

I'd love to move out of California. I'm so done with this crazy state and it's anti-hunting crowds but unfortunately I have to make the best of it. I'm fire and my wife is SO, so we're stuck. I recently got my CCW and purposely put my bear/ hound hunting gun, 454 raging bull, for this very reason. lol I think I will start working with them to lay down.
 

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That's why I got my ccw years ago. Utah was the same way. If you archery hunted you couldn't have a gun on you or in your camp.
They finally seen the light and allowed archery hunters to carry for there protection. I bet you will be fine with your ccw. I would probably
call the fish and game office just to cover your self.
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Even simple things like shooting stray dogs that enter a farmers property are much different then for someone without livestock. I have been told by a number of different sheriffs, dont even bother calling anyone. Just shot the dog. Was told I didnt even have to wait for it to become a nuisance, I am allowed to protect my livestock.

Granted there is no one in my area that is willing to come out and get a stray dog so I am forced to deal with them as I see fit. Last year a stray come in to the property. I got him cornered and he was kinda aggressive. He hadnt paid the goats any interest at all but the aggression thing didnt bold well for his future. But being a kind soul, I knelt down next to where he was captured and gave him a second to realize I wasnt going to hurt him and he warmed up real fast. I brought him some water cause he was panting hard. He drank up and after that was just as friendly as if he were my own dog. So I spend the day (Friday) calling around to anyone that might come get him. Cops nope, Pound nope, Dog rescue nope, Animal shelter nope. I couldnt keep him and no way I turn strays back on the loose so I had to decide to shoot him or... take him to city hall and tie him up to their front door. Here the city hall runs the animal rescue. So I did the later. I guess they do cover outside their city limits after all. :) See its all about the loop holes HAHA!
 

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Just stumbled across this post and though I'd pitch in my 2 cents. I've found that having my goats with me while I'm hunting is a huge plus. I think their scent tends to mask mine and sets the wildlife at ease. I can practically walk right up to antelope, deer, and elk if I have my goats with me. I would never leave them high-lined and unattended here (Wyoming); we just have way too many predators (bears, cats, and wolves). I haven't actually taken them bear hunting, but they do carry my bait into my bait sites for me. I don't particularly like the idea of using my goats as the bait. Check on CA livestock protection laws, but I'm pretty sure you had to be on your own property to carry a weapon for livestock protection. I was stationed out there for a couple years, and had to put up with their crazy laws. Is the CA CCW still only valid for your county of residence? And are you hunting solely within your county?
 

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California isn't the only state that forbids carrying a firearm during archery season. I've never understood how they can legally suspend your 2nd Amendment rights during hunting season....another reason I left California forever as soon as I turned 18 (nearly 40 years ago).

You might search the Archives, as this topic has come up and been discussed at length before.

Personally, I take my goats with me for the exact same reasons you stated in your initial post. In north Idaho, where I do most of my hunting, there are far too many predators to run the risk of leaving my goats tied up and defenseless back in camp while I'm hunting miles away. Secondarily, it's nice to have the goats with me so that if/when I do get an animal down, I don't have to hike all the way back to camp to get the goats so they can help me pack it out.
 

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I don't have a gun but I do carry bear spray. I've never encountered a black bear on the trail and hope I never do. My biggest fear is for my dog rather than the goats, they tend to agitate bears (a hiker's dog was killed by a black bear in the Sierra foothills last year). I've been to Grizzly country, but never hiked there - would LOVE to, but I'm too afraid of grizzlies, especially since I'm usually alone (need a camping/hiking friend!) - cougars don't intimidate me much, and I'm not personally afraid of wolves at all (well, they ARE my favorite animals), but would not want to meet any of the above with my dog, since he's an idiot who thinks he can take anything on (stupid Istanbul street dog!).
 

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I never used to carry a firearm with me during archery season as I never felt the need. As a human, I wasn't worried about attacks from other predators (although I think I'd feel differently if I hunted in grizzly country). But since I started packing with goats I always carry a sidearm with me - hunting season or not - for the goat's protection. Any predator (bear, wolf, cougar, coyote, wild dog) that has deer on its menu would be more than happy to dine on a slower, easier-to-catch goat!
 

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You're a good man Dave. If everyone took that level of responsibility for animals, I don't think we'd have too many problems with strays. I did have a "stray" grey wolf on my property a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, I didn't get a clear shot. I don't mind having a few of them around, as long as they stay away from my animals.
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Had a large male Coyote just sitting on a rise beyond my pasture fence looking into the goat pens last week. I got a shot off at him. He bolted like he had been hit but I have no idea if I got him or just scared the crap outta him. We have been blessed in that non have attacked the goats. The last coyote I got, I took the tail off it and brought it to the back porch, went inside to get some salt and when I come back out, my cat was totally arched and growling because she could smell it up on the table. So am guessing at the very least, they have come onto the property and tried to eat my cat. But it would be a bad day for the coyotes if they do ever decided to hit my goats. Id have no issue about tracking em back to their dens and slaughtering the entire lot of em. I keep pretty good tabs on em. 2-4 rouge males and 2 large packs out behind us and 1 large pack up on the hill in front of us. No worries from the hill top gang. But the two behind us have been displaced by the planting of crop circles and come harvest time get very very noisy and close to us.
 
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