A Visit with the Palisades Creek Mountain Goat Herd

On Sunday, Jan. 5, Glenn DeVoe and Evan Tibbott drove to Alpine, Wyoming to look for a group of mountain goats that had been reported in the area. An estimated 35 animals were observed browsing on the south-facing slope within a half mile of town in small Bands and one large group of approximately 20. With good thermal cover, they were grazing mostly on bitterbrush, occasionally pawing the ground for other edibles. Despite numerous sightseers, they seemed unperturbed by the attention. Two of them came down to the road while we were parked less than thirty feet away taking pictures.

Glenn found out that these goats (known as the Palisades Creek herd) originated from an IDF&G transplant in 1969 of 3 animals from the Snow Peak WMA (Shoshone County in the Panhandle) and 2 animals from the Mallard-Larkins Pioneer Area in the Clearwater Mountains. An aerial survey of this herd in 2013 counted 250 goats in Idaho. In 2012, a Wyoming Game and Fish aerial survey found 106 goats on the Wyoming side.

An Idaho controlled hunt in 2013 allowed 5 goats (either sex, but no nannies with kids) to be taken from that area(Unit 67, south and east of Palisades Creek to the Wyoming line). Wyoming has allowed 6 to 8 goats annually since 1999 to be taken from the Palisades herd.

Evan

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