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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I been around goats for a long time and I know how to take care of goats, I just don't know anything about training goats for packing. My primary use I want to use them for is packing gear into a hunting location and packing gear back out and if I get anything, packing meat out. One concern I have is goats getting scared of gun shot, or getting spooked in general. My experience with goat, if one got gets spooked the whole heard goes running. Any tricks and tips any one would like to share?
 

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Help them become acustom to gunfire. Start with 22 and work your way up. You are the herd leader. If you are not scared, they shouldn't be either. You can also start by slapping a couple 2x4's together. Keep them around and crack them often when you feed. Then put them in the truck and take em to the gunrange. Park a bit away at first and get closer. I've found the things we worry about are not a problem. I'd worry more about keeping them safe in camp during the hunt.
 

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I don't know much but have had my pack goats for a while. I tell people that the difference between a pack goat and other goats is that they are socialized and bonded to people. If the herd doesn't come to you and step all over your feet when they are scared, they are goats used for packing, not pack goats. IMHO

I have two goats that came from other herds. One is a pack goat, Mikey, and one is a goat that was used for packing, Diego. Mikey would crawl in your lap if he could. Diego will only crawl on top of you because Mikey wants to. Diego might start back to the truck on a break, and Mikey might follow him because Diego is senior.

So I got Pig from SweetGoatMama. He would rather visit me than be with the herd. He is a true pack goat. If the herd follows Diego, I can call Pig back and the rest will follow him, then Diego's instincts compel him to stay with the herd.

I have two goats that I got cheap when they were ten weeks old (Larry and Moe). I also got Curley at the same time and age. I spent all my time with Curley to get him bonded to me and not enough time with Larry and Moe. Consequently they are goats used for packing. I lost Curley to stones.

The effort put into Pig from birth is worth every penny that you may pay for a true pack goat. Caroline had him in the house, bottle fed him and I am sure must have had him in her lap a lot. I kept him with me and away from the other goats for about three weeks after getting him. I haven't had problems with Diego trying to drag the herd off since.

At night when they are not tied, they will wander a bit to browse. Every time they get spooked, they stampede back to my hammock.

So in the long term I would suggest getting at least one goat that you can dependably count on to come to you when you call in all circumstances. If he is a bigger, or best, the biggest of them all, the rest of the herd will (or should) follow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Take them or not?

Help them become acustom to gunfire. Start with 22 and work your way up. You are the herd leader. If you are not scared, they shouldn't be either. You can also start by slapping a couple 2x4's together. Keep them around and crack them often when you feed. Then put them in the truck and take em to the gunrange. Park a bit away at first and get closer. I've found the things we worry about are not a problem. I'd worry more about keeping them safe in camp during the hunt.
So not common to take the goats with you on hunt and it is more common to keep the goats at the camp?
 

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So not common to take the goats with you on hunt and it is more common to keep the goats at the camp?
I think that depends upon where you live. Here in Idaho (also applies to WY and MT) we have a significant surplus of large predators (especially wolves); therefore, most people opt to bring their goats along with them when they leave camp to go hunt, rather than leave the goats behind and risk returning to the scene of a slaughter at the end of the day.

Ken
 

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Recent pictures of our elk hunt. This was my husband's elk. It was a great week long hunt. The Ober boys were beat tired as they were on the trail alot. The weather got tough as the week wore on. I'll post pictures of the meat packing out. It was nasty.
 

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The truth of training goats to go with you hunting is train them to pack, they love hunting. In archery hunting we may move quickly or may stalk an elk at an extremely slow pace when in close or stand still for 2 hours in the snow as in the case of this elk. Goats don't have a agenda. They just figure it is their job to stand by or keep up for what ever you are doing. When mine got beat up I tried a one goat on 2 resting at base camp (no wolves or griz in the Crazy Mtns). They loved to be the goat that got the pack. They hated to stay in camp. This was not light duty hiking. There was nearly a 1000 foot of elevation, snow, wind, rain, mud, and creek crossings. They were always willing to go at the crack of dawn the next morning. The elk don't seem to mind the goats. The elk give the goats a stare down. It does not seem to bother the goats, they feed, sleep, or stand around quite relaxed. The goats hear us blowing on an elk bugle for years and do not seem to mind if the bull makes the bugle. The goats do seem to pay attention when the bull gets real close but by that time with luck some real hunting is playing out.
This was the nastiest weather I have ever had the goats in. It was snowing about 2 inches an hour, blowing sideways, cold and wet. These pictures were at the creek bottom after after we climbed down the slippery hill side. I kept pushing the snow off their saddles as it was sticky and would pile up. I can't say the goats liked the weather but they never stopped. They looked miserable as we all did. They had about 40 to 50 lb pack of meat.
 

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Nice. Thanks for the report and pics. Nice bull too. We've not had any luck yet, but we get another 3 weeks in nov/dec. we had warm and dry weather and closures of industrial forest due to high fire danger. Hoping for snow down to 1,000' during the late season! We had our first frost here last night. It's been unseasonably cold and wet here last few weeks. Hoping it stays that way.
 

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Thanks for posting and great pic's! They're getting me excited for opening deer next weekend. I was able to get my first bear last week and my husband filled his bear tag as well. Unfortunately the goats were not along, and we could have really used their help!
 

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Well done Nancy! That is some seriously hard-core hunting.

I'm sure it was miserable at the time (I've been there many times myself) but looking back on it now I'm sure it's with fond memories. The harder you have to work for a trophy the greater the reward.

Your goats are obviously well trained and in great condition. We all should be so lucky to have goats like yours.

Ken
 

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I would have liked to take more pictures but I was afraid I was going to ruin the camera as hard as that wet snow was coming down. The goats need a dedicated photographer that does not carry a 40lb pack herself. I'm glad you enjoy the pictures.
 

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Just revisiting this thread and again thoroughly enjoyed it...again loved the photos Nancy, you are my inspiration in more ways than one. The Ober boys look great. I noticed you are using two different packs???

BTW, I have been using a starter pistol around my goats on occasion. It is the one I used to train my English Springer Spaniel that shoots 209 shotgun primers. My Lamancha gets a bit spooked but gathers around me...my Alpine couldn't care or less. My Springer gets super excited and starts looking for birds. ;-)
 

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We've taken the Ober boys pheasant hunting. I actually had a goat go on point behind my dog much to my husbands displeasure. When the dog froze on a bird as pointer dogs do, the goat froze and stretched his neck forward to see what the dog was looking at. It was the funniest thing. My goats will often point out unusual activity or movement in the wilderness. You watch their posture and you will see it. One of the boys gets a little clingy when a gun goes off. The other 2 don't mind much. We are primarily archery hunters so gun fire is not a problem.
 
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