Chance to "hunt" goats in Olympic Park

neffa3

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I've only heard about this hunt and the goat management in the park in passing. This page helped me to understand what's going on quite a bit- https://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/mountain-goat-capture-and-translocation.htm

Maybe someone here knows, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around WHY they're going this direction, rather than straight to aerial gunning. They explicitly say that hunting is not allowed in the park, and you can tell that they're make sure to never call this a hunt anywhere. It doesn't feel to me like this is a token gift sportsman to give them an opportunity. Is it a cost thing? Helicopter time isn't cheap. Is it a visibility issue, with wanting to remove these goats in off-visitor season?

I'm not against it, I'm just curious to know what pushed them in this direction, compared to what happened in the Tetons. No doubt they'll eventually have to go to aerial gunning. Even in the Tendoys they weren't able to remove all the sheep by using hunters, and this is MUCH more extreme terrain for hunters to get around in.

I do appreciate that they've been taking so many goats across the sound to the Cascades. That's a huge population to kill off. Would have been really cool to have some of them brought over to Northern Idaho and NW Montana where native populations are circling the drain.
I believe that it actually is about opportunity. I've heard that there was a big push by several groups to allow sportsmen some opportunity.

They're getting to the point where it's getting pretty hard to capture them, they've gone into the steep stuff were you just can't net them safely. Aerial gunning will definitely be used to cleanup the stragglers.
 

SnowyMountaineer

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I know likr three people that would be qualified, but only one hunts and his #2 little one is due around that time, I think the others would prefer to be in the Cascades or Rockies during that time (where it's not shitty weather and the aspens are golden). However, I know about 30 people who will be applying for this hunt. Some of those people I would question if they could do a single 15 mile day let alone with 50lbs or more on their back, let alone off trail, let alone in some incredibly steep nasty brushy terrain, let alone for 7 days straight. That is what the NPS is up against. I would assume Tieton NP will be looking at how this goes to decide what they do it in the future with their aerial gunning goat removal was stopped due to the outcry (I think, I could have missed something with that one).
Could be, but if Cascade Canyon et al. in the Tetons is about a Grade II effort in the mountaineering sense, this is more like a relative Grade V. The "commitedness" of the effort is WAY higher on the Olympic removal to my eye. You could get in a pinch in the Tetons, but it's just not as remote, and there'd likely be little if any substantial glacier travel required. In terms of policy and procedure though, I bet they are taking note. At least by appearances the aerial gunning in the Tetons was stopped due to state government outcry more than the general public. Again, that's how it was presented. Maybe Buzz has some insight there.
 

dgc1963

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Thanks for the Info def not in my wheel house to do something like this never been in the park didnt know it was more mountain climbing than back country hunting
 

furness

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This is not about giving hunters a chance for an exciting hunt and putting meat in the freezer. Not in any way, at all. This is about moving the heat they would take for aerial gunning these goats and putting that heat on hunters as a group. The Washington State government, including the WDFW, is strongly anti-hunting, and getting more anti-fishing. This is a way for them to land an intense amount of hate on hunters and further erode the hunting opportunity in this state through the ballot.
 

neffa3

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This is not about giving hunters a chance for an exciting hunt and putting meat in the freezer. Not in any way, at all. This is about moving the heat they would take for aerial gunning these goats and putting that heat on hunters as a group. The Washington State government, including the WDFW, is strongly anti-hunting, and getting more anti-fishing. This is a way for them to land an intense amount of hate on hunters and further erode the hunting opportunity in this state through the ballot.
That's not true.
 

marshman

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Trying not to high jack the thread, but the WDFW is NOT a friend of the sportsman, that is for sure. 50 years of watching them operate - it is ugly.
This goat removal is just a piece that fits this particular agenda at this time. This department does not really care about hunter opportunity.
 

dirtytough

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That will be no joke. My buddy had a tag for the surrounding area. I believe he is the only hunter in 2 years to fill his tag. It’s just steep, nasty, wet, nasty, slick, nasty country.
I’ve got a solid resume and so do my buddies. But I’m not a fan of going to Wyoming and just whacking pronghorn. So I’m leaning away from applying for this shoot.
I do know multiple people that are applying and have never even backpacked.
 

neffa3

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kwyeewyk

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Update. The first hunts start soon.
Did you end up getting on the list?
 

neffa3

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Minor update. News has been pretty sparse on the results of this hunt/cull. Sounds like 31 goats were killed, of approximately 350 that were available. There were 20 teams of "highly qualified" mountaineers that were selected, groups ranged from 3-5 in size. So to put that in perspective. 60-100 reasonably hardcore hunters only managed 30-50% success over a month long "season". They did get hammered by shitty weather pretty much the entire time. I would say it went about the way I was thinking, though I am pleased to be wrong about anyone getting hurt, or the animal rights people shutting it down.
 

neffa3

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Meateater provides an update:
In 2020 the park implemented a new phase of the plan. Most of the easily accessible animals were already gone, so they decided to shoot the rest. The park recruited 99 hunters from thousands of applicants, who volunteered 9,000 hours to cull 31 animals. In 2021 the park broke out the choppers again, this time armed with rifles instead of tranquilizer guns. Flight crews shot 113 goats between July and September 2021, leaving an estimated 200 animals at large from the former population of 725. The park staff hope to have these mountains wiped clean of mountain goats by the end of 2022.

 

KB_

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why not capture them and put them in mountain ranges that are void of goats but can easily accommodate them.
 

neffa3

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why not capture them and put them in mountain ranges that are void of goats but can easily accommodate them.
Did you not read the links in the thread?
1. They did for the majority of the goats, then it became cost prohibitive to continue so they switched to lethal removal.
2. It's not about putting then in suitable habitat, hell the Olympics are perfectly suitable habitat, it's about keeping them in their historically native range.
 

KB_

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Did you not read the links in the thread?
1. They did for the majority of the goats, then it became cost prohibitive to continue so they switched to lethal removal.
2. It's not about putting then in suitable habitat, hell the Olympics are perfectly suitable habitat, it's about keeping them in their historically native range.
I did read it, Becoming cost prohibitive is a crap excuse IMO. Maybe they should consider shopping around to other private parties to do this at a cheaper costs. Make people bid on the operation. I don't dislike giving hunting opportunity, that's fine. But I don't feel like the effort to relocate was reasonable.

These are the things that happen when your officials are simply armchair quarterbacks. Not willing to throw some boots on and see what's going on themselves.
 

neffa3

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are simply armchair quarterbacks.
you don't say. What exactly are you doing then?

Did you know that it wasn't a competitive bid but that it was primarily done with non-profit volunteers to reduce costs? Did you volunteer?
 
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kwyeewyk

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All aerial flights done by WDFW are through contract, they don't own or operate aircraft, so they did allow people to bid on it, can't make people bid. Not aware of any outfits that contract full service wildlife translocations, but guessing if it did exist they wouldn't be cheaper than WDFW staff for this project.
 
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