Pack goats... any info?

HellsCanyon

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So I've been hearing and reading about pack goats for a few years and am really getting more n more curious about them.

Anybody here use them?

I've heard that you can't leave them in camp alone or they'll 'baah' constantly?? I've read that some of the full grown ones can haul 65 lbs or so which would be awesome. Cheap to feed, survive on very little water and crappy feed, go dang near anywhere you can, doesn't sound like too many negatives...

Mike
 

dotman

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I hear they will follow you like a faithful dog also, no need to lead. I would think though that they would be a predator attractant but could be wrong.
 

RosinBag

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Mike, Kirk on here, I think his member name is Arrowslinger and Jody Cyr have used them with success. Hopefully they will chime in or sesame them through member list. I have ran into guys using them in the back country and the had high praise for their use. They were not leading them, but goats just followed along behind. They are self sufficient generally, but you have to slow your pace down as they have a shorter gait, unless your really short.
 

Becca

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Thrilled someone asked about this, it's always been a potential plan for backpacking once we have little ones at home :) Heck, if goats can carry 65lbs they might make a better hunting partner than I do!

I have heard pack goats can be hesitant about water crossings, and also that they will eat anything including high end gear... Would love to hear from those with first hand experience...
 
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HellsCanyon

HellsCanyon

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I would think though that they would be a predator attractant but could be wrong.

I'm 100% OK with this... since they are a domestic livestock you should have the OK to shoot any predator in the act of attacking them. Or if in the appropriate state I'd likely have a wolf, cougar, and bear tag in my pocket! ;)

I've also heard that water crossings can be trouble for them, but some breeds are better than others??

65 lbs is I believe a typical max load for a 185-200 lb goat but heck that is PLENTY of weight... They would ROCK for high country muleys provided you can highline them or leave them in camp. Though I know whenever we've had horses that they've never spooked game, it would probably be the same with goats. Though archery hunting there is NO way I would trust them to NOT bust out a mature muley buck. Could be wrong, but I just don't see it happening.

Mike
 
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HellsCanyon

HellsCanyon

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I also know that if I was stranded... I'd be much more likely to eat my goats rather than my horse! :)

Mike
 

Rocky

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I know a guy who has had goats and mules and preferred / recommended going with goats for the reasons you listed I your original post.
 

dotman

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Thrilled someone asked about this, it's always been a potential plan for backpacking once we have little ones at home :) Heck, if goats can carry 65lbs they might make a better hunting partner than I do!

I have heard pack goats can be hesitant about water crossings, and also that they will eat anything including high end gear... Would love to hear from those with first hand experience...

Maybe a Kifaru kid carrier goat pack? :)
 

dotman

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I was thinking more along the lines of packing the kid myself and having a goat to schlep all of our gear, but I am open to other possibilities :D

Haha, I can just see the look on my wife's face now :). "You put our daughter on a goat!"

Just wait, my daughter pulls on my ears to steer her ride.
 

Elk_Addict23

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I ran into a couple guys in the back country this year while I was on my wilderness hunt who had 10 of them things about 5 miles in. He and his buddy packed in a 16 man tipi, stove, the whole nine! One night on my way back down the mountain I stopped and shared a cocktail with them as they were celebrating the kill of a nice bull. One of the guys raised them and told me they go for about $600 each but they were "trail" trained! It blew me away how much gear these two guys had in there, their camp looked like the Hilton! The next day he passed our camp, each goat had packs on carrying out his bull. Looked pretty neat at the time but not sure I'd like them around the other 51 weeks of the year.
 

garrenj

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I have been packing with goats for about 5 years now. They are awesome and easy to keep in the off season.

Generally take between 2 and 4 depending on where we are going and whether it's elk or deer. Pack a 12 man Kifaru tipi with a medium stove. My goats will pack between 30 and 45 pounds depending on the goat and how in shape they are. Here are a couple of pics packing out a deer a few years back.
 

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garrenj

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Oh and I don't have any issues leaving them high-lined in camp while hunting. They generally are very quiet. My favorite part is that they don't drink very much water at all. For example on an 8 day mule deer hunt this year with temps in the low 80's each day they only drank every three days or so. Generally when it's cold and vegetation is wet they will only drink about once a week.
 

dotman

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How big of an area is needed to keep them in the off season, I have 2 acres for example?
 
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HellsCanyon

HellsCanyon

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If anybody has any questions feel free to post them...

How much do they eat, what breed do you have, and how much did you spend on the goats and gear??!!

Mike
 

MattB

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Please remember, don't take pack goats anywhere they may encounter wild sheep due to disease transmission concerns.
 
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HellsCanyon

HellsCanyon

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Please remember, don't take pack goats anywhere they may encounter wild sheep due to disease transmission concerns.

That is a good point, and one we dealt with a lot in range management. I will say that the most recent studies I've read (2011) have shown that it takes physical contact from one domestic sheep/goat to a wild sheep to transmit the disease. However with that said, I still would not take any domestic goats into areas where sheep are located. As unlikely as it is they would come into contact with a wild sheep (nose to nose contact), it COULD happen and could be the downfall of a LOT of wild sheep...

Mike
 

Shrek

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A poster on another site says the goats calmed game. He claimed to be able to walk very close to elk and deer without spooking them when he had his goats with him. Using goats to pack AND stalk game !? The guy in the goat suit may have it all figured out. Lol!
 

fillthefreezer

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alpine gus on hunt wa does high country hunts with a goat string. he had a successful bear hunt write up with them last year i think, was pretty bad ass
 
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