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Author Topic: Pack animals for dummies  (Read 1436 times)

Offline YellowDog

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Re: Pack animals for dummies
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2019, 03:14:54 PM »
I have taken the pack goat plunge. Started with 4 weathered kids this spring and added 4 doelings which will be the foundation of a small breeding program starting next fall with kids born spring of 2021. They are a ton of fun, great pets, but like any other animal take time and money tyyo do things right.

Check out Mark Warnke www.packgoats.com in Boise, he is one of the goat packers doing big things with pack goats.

Offline skagitsteel

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Re: Pack animals for dummies
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2019, 02:49:27 PM »
I just noticed this thread.  Been packing with goats for 2 years now, for my style of hunting they have worked great. I will be honest I was skeptical of them at first, I was told they can be slow, some lazy, and not always able to handle the loads that might make them worth it.  I was also unsure of how they would handle some of the places I go, I didn't think it would be possible for a pack animal to scramble over some of the obstacles and extremely steep slopes to get into some of my spots  I also heard a few success stories about the extreme things they could do.  I was blown away by what they are capable of.  A big mature alpine packer can haul as much as 70 ibs (40-60 if you are going really far or a lot of uphill), I've had my goats go as much as 21 miles with 5,000 elevation gain in a single day.  They have gone through some terrain that no mule horse or llama could make it in, I push the backcountry to the extreme and the goats have handled just about everything I have thrown at them.  That sounds 'all good' however there is a lot of work that goes into getting the right goats and getting your goats trained and in good enough shape to perform well.  If you are in areas where you don't have extreme terrain or your sticking to trails, a goat cannot do weight wise or endurance wise what a horse or mule will do on a trail.  They are basically the Super Cub of pack animals, they will go to spots no other pack animal can get to, but they can't carry as much weight.

Advantages:
-don't need to pack food even in the snow 
-go 4-5 days without water if the feed is decent
-no leash follow you everywhere
-puts game animals at ease (have had deer walk right up to me with goats around)
-not afraid of dead animals/ blood, no problem even packing out bears
-load up in the back of the truck
-not too hard to train
-very intelligent
-they have unmatched agility compared to other pack animals
-very low maintenance on the trail and while hunting.


Disadvantages:
-cant pack full loads until they are 4
-short pack life (6 yrs hard packing)
-can't carry as much weight per animal
-don't have the natural endurance of a horse or mule
-have to be really consistent with exercise/ hikes to keep them in shape (this is one of biggest make or break it parts of why goats work for some and not others)
-they will get into everything, endless curiosity (can be trained out of them with a lot of persistence, or keep them tied around camp)
-can't leave them alone tied in camp when you hunt (predators)
-very co-dependent
-They can have a brutal pecking order amongst themselves


Offline 2MANY

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Re: Pack animals for dummies
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2019, 09:30:35 AM »
Nice pictures and glad you are experiencing success with them.

The one thing I know is if you run into Llamas on the trail........You better loosen your grip on your pack string. :)

Most mules don't like em and a rodeo may be soon in your future.

Offline skagitsteel

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Re: Pack animals for dummies
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2019, 09:50:15 AM »
Nice pictures and glad you are experiencing success with them.

The one thing I know is if you run into Llamas on the trail........You better loosen your grip on your pack string. :)

Most mules don't like em and a rodeo may be soon in your future.

Thanks for the tip.  The areas I go I have never run into a horse or mule.  The nice thing about the goats is they will do whatever I do, they get especially close behind me if we encounter an animal they are unsure of.  If we encounter a horse or mule we would get off the trail on the downhill side and let it pass.  The biggest threat to pack goats is dogs on the trail, fortunately the two goats at the front of my string will hold their ground and force a dog to walk around them.  Havent met a dog who was willing to challenge the horns yet. 

Offline 2MANY

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Re: Pack animals for dummies
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2019, 10:05:25 AM »
LOL

Offline nwwanderer

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Re: Pack animals for dummies
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2019, 07:54:55 AM »
Might want to stay out of wolf country, would not want to see all of that gear scattered with a hair and blood spot at the end

Offline huntnnw

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Re: Pack animals for dummies
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2019, 08:00:33 AM »
Been 0 reported issues in wolf country. I know several guys who spend tons of time year round in ID with their goats in heavily wolf infested areas. Ours have been in wolf country . You do not leave goats at camp while hunting .

Offline skagitsteel

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Re: Pack animals for dummies
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2019, 10:56:45 AM »
Been 0 reported issues in wolf country. I know several guys who spend tons of time year round in ID with their goats in heavily wolf infested areas. Ours have been in wolf country . You do not leave goats at camp while hunting .

that is the truth! can't leave them!   I was told when I got into goats that a black bear was the most likely candidate to mess with the goats, I didn't believe it and I was wrong.  This past July I got stalked and charged by a mature boar out hiking with the goats in the high country.  I could not deter the bear with a warning shot and yelling and ended up emptying half the clip on my .40 xdm before he dropped at about 8 yards and rolled down the hill. 

I have hiked them through some Wa wolf country and spent probably north of 50 hours now hiking with goats at night in dense lion country with no issues.  I do think the bells on the goats while its dark are a deterrent for the cats, When I'm hiking by myself with 6 goats behind me in the dark I feel like I'm 'trolling for cats' always ready but nothing yet.  Also, no issues with them tied down next to the tent at night.   

 


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