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Pack Goats

 
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  #120  
Old 10-31-2011, 09:36 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Wa. State
Posts: 75
Re: Pack Goats

You are really set up !

I bought a 12'L by 6' W flatbed twin axle and built a stock rack on it, 5' H inside, Ply roof and sides and front end. With 2 by 4 uprights and roof cross pieces. There is a divider for the front 4' and an 8' rear section. Just in case I want to haul different ages /sexes or whatever, 5 adults fit in the back nicely. And pack saddles etc can go in the front section along with any other gear I want to take with me. I pull it with a Chevy van. I usually bed it well with straw and carry them loose but I can tie if there are others, my guys get on well with one another, there is a hay rack on the left rear wall that I keep full for them.Its all stained outside a heavy dark walnut stain, 4 coats and the last is an oil and sealer mix, gives it a semi gloss . The roof has aluminized sealer, and the seams caulked. I made it to last. All of my pack gear is in the trailer, along with their packed paniers. My goats wear collars only, and I have a couple lead ropes over my shoulder in case I need one for whatever reason.

I have done a LOT of backpacking but my goats make it a lot more fun then ever before and I am looking forward next year to our first hunting trip. They all know what gun fire is now, one doesnt even look up anymore. I am expecting to add another young one in the spring to start training. As far as he is concerned he is just going out with his herd.

Works for me.
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  #121  
Old 11-01-2011, 12:03 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Rigby Idaho
Posts: 39
Re: Pack Goats

Yea, I find that my goats are pretty unshakeable, even the new ones dont mind gunfire that much. Sure, they might run off 50 yards or so the first time they hear a rifle crack, but then they just come back. Even around predators, they dont go crazy... My friend took a black bear this past weekend, and the goats were content to mingle not 5 feet from where we were skinning out the bear. One even came up to give it a sniff. Later, I let 3 of the goats have their turn hauling out the panniers with the bear skin and meat inside. Neither the goats carrying the meat or the other goats in the string had any problem with it (and if you know bears, you know they stink to high heavin). Interestingly enough, the day after he shot the bear (he had a tag by the way) we found its tracks not 20 yards from our camp, and probably only a few hours before he had shot it.
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  #122  
Old 11-01-2011, 07:32 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Wa. State
Posts: 75
Re: Pack Goats

This is pretty much what I have experienced and what others on the PackGoat.com forum have experienced. Once they are secure with us as herd ldrs they are very relaxed and cue on us for their reactions. They take a surprising amount of things in stride.

Packing out meat is old hat to them the first time,its the weight that matters to them, not what it is.

BTW, prices mentioned earlier for goats, good trained ones are often for sale, its the nature of life nowadays, you can spend $500 on one but they come up for less, a guy in Selah, Wa has 2 for sale, 5 yr olds, trained packers, he has a new job, will take $500 for the pair, with saddles and Pannier. He has an ad on the packgoatforum,com flea market section, name is Rod Mutch. There are regular for sale and wanted ads there, plus on the site are links to equipment sellers and breeders.

Its one of those sites like this one, a LOT of information. Good folks too.
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" a well- armed citizenry is the first defense against tryany". Thomas Jefferson
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  #123  
Old 11-01-2011, 11:22 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Rigby Idaho
Posts: 39
Re: Pack Goats

I brought up the bear meat and skin example because there has been some question here on the forum in the past as to how the goats would react to being that close to the odor of a known predator. For my goats this was not their first 'rodeo' in packing meat, and do it multiple times a year, but I wanted to show the contrast between the goats capabilities and some other types of pack animals that may have had more of an issue with hauling out a stinky bear.

BTW, the packgoatforum, yahoo group, John Myozinski's book, and a number of other resources have been cited earlier in this thread for anyone that is interested, but im sure anyone interested in getting more information welcomes the reminder. But this forum is more dedicated to the useage of packgoats for the purpose of hunting, and while there are only a few threads on the Packgoatforum from time to time referencing hunting with goats, I also find that this particular thread has more detail and description of hunting ideas and tactics with goats than any of the ones on the packgoatforum. There arent many threads on the packgoatforum about hunting, and most of them are pretty short. The packgoatforum does a great job talking about goat health issues, techniques of how to use certain types of gear, etc, but most are in reference to average backpacking type trips not for hunting. In fact, I think that there is a fairly small minority of folks (within the entire packgoat community) that heavily use their pack goats for hunting, especially how I do it with the goats in tow the whole way (instead of leaving them in camp all the time) But since this thread started, I have encountered more and more interest in using goats for hunting, which is a great use for the goats in my opinion.
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  #124  
Old 11-01-2011, 11:26 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,117
Re: Pack Goats

I'm thinkin' of intruding on packgoatguy's life to gain some experience with the critters then determine which way I'm gonna go.

Next summer is gonna be a busy one. I want to be ready for next season. I've missed the last two and don't have that many more in front if me. Gotta get a lot of miles out of this last quarter tank of gas....

I have no 'real' feel for how much a goat can carry thus do I need a couple of 200 pounders or a couple of smaller ones. My comparison of horse, burro, pony, lama and goat says the convenience of the goat by far outweighs any features of the others.

Plus I have to learn to think conservative regarding weight and size. I'm not about to buy an F-350 to just haul an animal around.

Hikes to my ambush spots may be long at times but definitely not hard walks. And my longest stay away from a base camp, or home, would be maybe 4 days including to and from.
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  #125  
Old 11-01-2011, 12:14 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Rigby Idaho
Posts: 39
Re: Pack Goats

Ill be honest, when I first got into pack goats, I read all the hype and was taken by the idea that 'bigger was better' when it came to the goats; ie a 250 pound goat is better than a 200 pound goat, and a 200 pound goat is better than a 150 pound goat. But, after gaining some personal experience, I have found that is not nessecerily true. The rule of thumb for pack weights on goats is up to a third of their body weight, but most packers insist on not packing more than 50-60 pounds regardless. Do the math, that means that 150 pound goat will do the same job as a heavier goat in theory. Thats not to say that in a pinch a larger goat couldnt haul more than a smaller goat, but on average they will do a fairly similar job. Plus, some of the typically smaller breeds like lamanchas and oberhasilis have proven to be some of my favorites to work with. Im not the biggest guy on the block either, so at only 5 ft 8, I appreciate a smaller goat to work with, but thats just my opinion of course. One of my lamanchas is about a 150-160 pound goat, and he will outpack any of my 200 plus pounders. So when it comes to finding the right pack goats, bigger isnt always better. What makes a goat capable of packing the heavier loads isnt just a factor of his size, its a matter of how much conditioning he has. I know guys my size that could out benchpress guys twice their weight. Its not a whole lot different for us humans you see, if we hit the gym in the off season, our stamina and strength during the hunting season can increase immensely, vs if we sit around and eat potato chips, we may increase our total weight, but not increase our ability to hike and hunt. Same thing goes for goats.
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  #126  
Old 11-01-2011, 08:03 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Wa. State
Posts: 75
Re: Pack Goats

Size and conformation are extremely important but one other ingrediant trumps all others and that is work ethic and endurance, many of the mid size goats are hard core energizer bunny goats, I even knew a Nigerian Dwarf that would pack, not much but he'd go all day. Like all atheletes condition is what separates all goats. That said, two goats in excellent condition, one at 150 lbs and one 200 lbs the larger is going to handle more weight longer.

Re the Packgoatforum.com there is an active hunting thread going on right now with some excellent pictures.
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" a well- armed citizenry is the first defense against tryany". Thomas Jefferson
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