The sighting of a man or woman who has fashioned a goat costume and taken to the mountain to be among the wild goats of northern Utah has prompted the awe and adoration of at least one wildlife activist known to readers of The Wildlife News.

‘Goat man’ seen among wild goats in northern Utah – Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — A man spotted dressed in a goat suit among a herd of wild goats in the mountains of northern Utah has wildlife officials worried he could be in danger as hunting season approaches.

“I don’t know what he’s doing out there,” said Kenneth Cole, longtime contributor to The Wildlife News, “Maybe it’s a hunter who decided to put on a mountain goat suit to see whether it worked to scout the next hunt.  Maybe his wife left him and he’s just had enough, he wants to be as the mountain goats are, wild and free.  We just don’t know.”

Commenting on how the mountain goats may react to a wanna-be goat in their midst:

“They may get agitated. They’re territorial. They are, after all, wild animals,” [Douglass] said. “This person puts on a goat suit, he changes the game.”

Game-changer indeed.  No one knows the motives of the Goat Man as of yet, but I suspect that this may be an attempt to foster awareness of the fundamentally unsustainable course charted by western civilization.  This person has, in effect, engaged in a deep ecological critique actively rejecting  hyper-consumptive culture and may very well be on his/her way to actualizing a spiritual awakening the likes of which the rest of us could only peripherally comprehend.


 
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Brian Ertz

Brian Ertz serves as President of WildLands Defense, Chair of the Sierra Club's National Grazing Team, and as Conservation Chair of the Sawtooth Group, Idaho Chapter Sierra Club. All Posts by Brian Ertz | Facebook | Email

30 Responses to “Goat Man” Prompts Speculation, Awe

  1. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    It’s too bad Mountain Goats rut and breed in late October-November. I’d like to see (and discretely film ) the results of our friend ” Pan” doing his costumed sneak about then…

    Goats can be aggressive in any season.

  2. avatar skyrim says:

    I think “awe” is a bit if a stretch here…….

  3. avatar skyrim says:

    “of” a stretch…..

  4. avatar Salle says:

    “There’s a saying we have among biologists — You don’t go far enough, you don’t get the data. You go too far, you don’t go home. The same is true with some wildlife enthusiasts.”

    Could be just another whack-job out in the wild.

    And then again, perhaps it’s just one person’s novel approach to collecting data. Made me wonder just how close one can actually get to wild goats without a disguise. Wonder if they have a scent disguise as well…?

    The closest I’ve managed to get to a goat is about 700-1000ft… and the goat knew I was there and got closer, probably because it knew I couldn’t cross the river that separated us. It chose to come down from a rather high perch and descended to the river bank to take a drink knowing I was right there on the opposite bank.

    Interestingly odd take on following goats with this person, if nothing else.

    • avatar rork says:

      I’ve had 2 goats 20 meters away in Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness (just north of Yellowstone), late July. Two days from the road and way up high, they may not get molested much. They were ingesting rocks where I had urinated.

  5. Goat man? Yeah it is probably a Yeti trying to fool humans not goats.

  6. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    The goat man gives us a glimpse into our own cynicism – perhaps he is crazy … maybe, but our immediate jump to that conclusion given the lack of what is known at this point says more about our own shuttered dreams.

    I’d like to believe that there exists an altruistic motive, a higher aspiration.

    be the goat …

    • avatar Salle says:

      Indeed.

    • avatar DLB says:

      ‘Goat man’ in Utah mountains identified as hunter

      http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2018759128_goatman25.html

      I guess conservations don’t make great cynics for no reason….

      • avatar Nancy says:

        “I’m satisfied that this was a person preparing for a hunt and did it with knowledge and experience,” Douglass told The Standard. “Hunters do some amazingly creative things to be successful.”

        And of course this “amazingly creative” approach would certainly fall under the catagory of “fair chase” right?

        “Okay Billy my boy, we’ve been traveling partners for a week or so now and I’m hungering after your head for a wall mount, so be a good goat and lean just alittle more to the left so I can get a good, clean shot” (from a few yards away)

        • avatar Tim says:

          Of course it would. The guy is creative and using the ONLY thing we humans have going for us, our brains. We have poor eyesight compared to most animals. we can’t swim fast. We can’t run fast or long distances compared to our animal friends. We can’t hear very well and we have piss poor smelling abilities. Oh and we are also weak compared to most animals our size. So what do we have to level the playing field. we have our brains, our ability to reason and plan a strategy. You must think the only fair chase way would be to chase them down in bare feet and strangle them with our bare hands.

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          …”so I can get a good, clean shot” (from a few yards away)”

          So you’d rather he took a risky shot from many yards away? To make it your version of “fair chase”?

          • avatar Nancy says:

            I’D rather he didn’t take a shot at all Ma” if all he’s “aiming” for is a wall mount. And who would be that “amazingly creative” if that were NOT the case….

            • avatar ma'iingan says:

              “I’D rather he didn’t take a shot at all Ma” if all he’s “aiming” for is a wall mount. And who would be that “amazingly creative” if that were NOT the case….”

              Your post was a value judgement of his tactics violating your sense of “fair chase”.

            • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

              Nancy,

              A lot of people who are not generally in favor of hunting say it would be fine with them if the hunters used the same tactics as Native Americans did.

              This would seem to be a likely case of this kind of “more ethical” hunting.

            • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

              I’ve taken white tyvek painting suits along on a couple of trips where we did some Dall sheep hunting. I never used it to successfully get a sheep — had one occasion when a group of rams were bedded where they absolutely were unapproachable and I tried going around above but got cliff-bound, and decided the only real chance without spending a whole day going around behind via other drainages would be to crawl up a creek bed in full view from 700 yards in my painting suit. By then it was 11 p.m., and a bit chilly so I gave up and went back to camp (and was pleased with my decision the following day as the river below was running very high in the canyon and the last thing we needed aboard in that section was more weight). We did have some fun on a few occasions with ewes, lambs and young rams. Done right you could crawl up very close, but they were not fooled when you tried slipping the suit on after being spotted — that really got their eyes bugging! Ptarmigan, pursued heavily by aerial and terrestrial predators up there, would let you walk right by feet away in a white suit.

            • avatar JB says:

              “I’D rather he didn’t take a shot at all…”

              Then why not simply say it. If you’re anti-hunting, why create a subterfuge? By the way, ASSUMING the guy was planning to hunt, he may have merely been scouting. He may also have been trying to get pictures. Would you consider this a fair practice if he was aiming for a different kind of trophy for his wall (i.e., a nice portrait)?

          • avatar WM says:

            History has many instances of a human predator dressing/smelling like its prey, or another animal that the intended prey does not find threatening.

            I am reminded of a mid-19th Century painting (actually several by different painters), in which Indians dressed in wolf skins approach bison for a close shot with much cruder weapons against a larger prey.

            Here is one:

            http://www.smithsoniansource.org/display/primarysource/viewdetails.aspx?PrimarySourceId=1092

            And, of course a rider walking on the opposite side of a horse can sometimes approach elk or deer. Neither is capable of ascertaining how many legs the horse has, and concludes it is yet another elk if it cannot smell it. On the other hand, a horse with rider atop is a “different” profile, that might say “danger,” but sometimes not.

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              Think of how many hunters look like a tree/bush/brush etc and smell/sound like a doe/buck/cow/bull and are not only presented as non-threatening to their prey, but also attracting unintended critters like last years wolf killing granny, and if memory serves me correctly ma’iingan has a story or two of Wisconsin deer hunters retreating to the safety of a tree when they unexpectedly drew in a wolf.

  7. The goat man is a California bow hunter who wants to kill a goat. He was practicing on the Utah goats because they were easier to find and approach.

    • avatar rork says:

      A higher aspiration only in terms of altitude then. Bummer.
      I’m a bow hunter, but am too fond of our goats to ever want to harm them. Don’t worry, it’s platonic.

  8. avatar Nancy says:

    “This person has, in effect, engaged in a deep ecological critique actively rejecting hyper-consumptive culture and may very well be on his/her way to actualizing a spiritual awakening the likes of which the rest of us could only peripherally comprehend”

    Guess I found Brian’s thoughts on the Goat Man’s motives more intreguing…from a non-hunter’s point of view that is 🙂

    • avatar WM says:

      …and if the guy gets gored and bleeds to death, or bumped and falls a thousand feet to his death, how will he be remembered (incidentally he has been layed out in a white goat suit for open casket viewing)?

      At the graveside memorial, a friend of goat man, turns to another friend, and while shaking his head slowly from side to side and quietly says, “What a shame.” Their eyes meet, and the first guy says, slowly, “Sort of a Tim Treadwell moment, don’t ya think?” The second says, “Yep.”

      The first guy laconically says, “Darwin award nomination?” The second friend, looking down and contemplating for a moment while lightly grinding the toe of his shoe in the grass, looks up and tentatively says, “Yep.”

      • avatar Nancy says:

        Very cute WM 🙂

        Sure the comments would be different though if it were hunting buddies standing around commiserating his loss:

        “He stalked that big one for days, what a damn shame”

        “But he died doing what he loved best”

        “I betcha, dollars to donuts, he makes the cover of Field & Stream”

        “Come on guys, cheer up, lets go hit the bars and celebrate Goat Man’s incredible life”

  9. avatar Nancy says:

    “I’D rather he didn’t take a shot at all…”

    Then why not simply say it. If you’re anti-hunting, why create a subterfuge?”

    Could I of made it any plainer JB, by saying “I’d rather he didn’t take a shot at all”

    “By the way, ASSUMING the guy was planning to hunt, he may have merely been scouting. He may also have been trying to get pictures. Would you consider this a fair practice if he was aiming for a different kind of trophy for his wall (i.e., a nice portrait)?”

    I don’t think anyone is ASSUMING any longer (according to all the updated articles) as to what his real motives were – travel a few hundred miles to Utah to test out goat costume (where the goats are easlier to snuggle up to) and then on to Canada, (what,a thousand miles away?) to take a shot at one of those “harder to snuggle up to” goats. With that kind of money and time to waste – thinking wall mount here 🙂

    • avatar ma'iingan says:

      “Could I of made it any plainer JB, by saying “I’d rather he didn’t take a shot at all”

      Oh, please. Your first post on the topic was all about “fair chase”.

    • avatar topher says:

      In Idaho goats are once in a lifetime harvest.For many hunters a Canadian hunt would almost be considered once in a lifetime when you take into account the cost of the hunt.I would try just about anything, short of wearing a goat suit on public land during goat season, to increase my odds.I hope there aren’t other hunters in the area when this guy tries to hunt from his goat blind.There should be a law against this.Common sense is not as common as it should be sometimes.

  10. avatar Ralph Maughan says:

    After speculation, here is the word about the “goat man.”

    Official: ‘Goat man’ in Utah mountains is hunter The Associated Press.

    He is an experienced hunter from Southern California practicing for a goat hunt in Canada. The hunt begins in September.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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