confused Mountain Goat on Dog Mountain!

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Chip Down
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confused Mountain Goat on Dog Mountain!

Post by Chip Down » October 4th, 2017, 10:29 pm

What the heck is a Mountain Goat doing on Dog Mountain? Saw this today and was absolutely stunned. This is the first goat I've seen in the gorge, and it left my head spinning. Okay, I have to admit I'm a bit of a goat geek, but I hope you agree this is exciting!

Here's my story: I was scrambling up Dog Tooth, which is a little peak on Dog Spine, which is a steep jumbled ridge on Dog Mountain, just east of the popular flip-flop trail. I happened to glance down and noticed a big dog sunning itself. I was surprised. It's a remote area, and a weekday. Way off-trail. But still, plausible somebody came up here with their dog and took an easier ramp into the Dog Tooth area. It was a big white dog, perhaps a Samoyed. Its color was off though, not the bright white you'd normally expect. It stood up and started walking, and I realized it wasn't a dog. Its shape/proportion wasn't canine, and neither was its gait. It looked like a goat, but how can that be? There aren't Mountain Goats on Dog Mountain! It casually strolled over a ridge, and I lost sight of it until it got a little higher, but it was behind brush, and then it was gone. I was kinda thinking about going up there anyway, so when I finished my Dog Tooth fun, I headed over that way. Well, didn't see anything, and put it out of my mind. But a little later I saw it again, close enough that I knew it absolutely was a goat, without doubt. As I ascended, so did the goat; it was either lonely, or was taunting me. Around Lost Piton Ledge, I got close enough to count its eyes and horns (obviously I already knew it had two of each; my point is I was close enough to make out little details).

Looked for other reports/photos online, and found almost nothing. A couple years ago, a WTA report mentioned an encounter with a hiker who reported seeing a goat. And there's a youtube video of a white smudge which the poster says is a goat. But that's about it. Also found a newspaper story about a proposal to introduce goats, but I don't know if that ever happened, or if my goat was a rogue who wandered down from alpine habitat. [edit: The YT video I mentioned above wasn't shot on our Dog Mountain. I suppose there are probably several Dog Mountains around the world.]

Comments/stories eagerly solicited.
Attachments
DogGoat1.jpg
DogGoat2.jpg
DogGoat3.jpg
DogGoat4.jpg
goat at upper left, dog tooth lower right
Last edited by Chip Down on October 4th, 2017, 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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adamschneider
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Re: confused Mountain Goat on Dog Mountain!

Post by adamschneider » October 4th, 2017, 10:38 pm

That's amazing!

They never did do that Goats-in-the-Gorge release they were talking about... and I think that was gonna be on the Oregon side anyway.

The random goat on Silver Star Mountain (also well outside it's stated "range") has been well-documented by now, but this is the first I've heard of one on Dog. But I guess, if you look at a map, it wouldn't really be that hard to get to the Gorge from Indian Heaven via Big Lava Bed.

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Re: confused Mountain Goat on Dog Mountain!

Post by Peder » October 5th, 2017, 5:52 am

Image
Amazing! It must have escaped from somewhere...
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drm
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Re: confused Mountain Goat on Dog Mountain!

Post by drm » October 5th, 2017, 6:15 am

Yeah, who ever heard of an individual being different and going away from the crowds? :lol:

I was once surprised to see a goat at Soda Peaks Lake late in the season. On the one hand that is much higher than where saw it, but where you did the terrain is more normal for them. But I think my point is that some animals act as individuals, doing things differently than normally expected, choosing their own path. It ain't just the occasional human that does that.

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Re: confused Mountain Goat on Dog Mountain!

Post by adamschneider » October 5th, 2017, 12:01 pm

WDFW has a "Report a Mountain Goat Encounter" link: http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/mountain_goats.html — someone there might be interested in your sighting.
Last edited by adamschneider on February 17th, 2018, 12:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Bosterson
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Re: confused Mountain Goat on Dog Mountain!

Post by Bosterson » October 5th, 2017, 12:22 pm

That's bizarre. I've definitely never seen a goat in the Gorge, not even when I did the Dog Spine a few years ago... The real question is did you climb Dog Tooth Rock, and if so, where is the TR? :)
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Re: confused Mountain Goat on Dog Mountain!

Post by Guy » October 5th, 2017, 1:42 pm

Wow, great siting Chip, maybe he or she is off to join the one loan goat that lives on Yocum Ridge ;)
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Re: confused Mountain Goat on Dog Mountain!

Post by beag » October 6th, 2017, 3:24 pm

I saw a goat on North end of North Augs last year. No too far from your sighting. Also a goat was seen on Silver Star. Possibly same goat. Hope there are a few others.

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Chip Down
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Re: confused Mountain Goat on Dog Mountain!

Post by Chip Down » October 8th, 2017, 8:45 pm

Oh, yeah, I'd forgotten about the Augspurger sighting.

Wasn't even aware of the Yocum goat (Google helped me find the discussion here).

I was back on Dog Spine today, and the goat was still there, right where I saw it the most on Friday.
I spent a lot of time around Lost Piton Ledge, resting and enjoying the nice weather. When I stood up and looked around to assess my options, I discovered I had company! It was a bit more shy today. Maybe I was a wee bit closer than last time. Couldn't get a good pic before it scampered off.
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DogGoatAgain.jpg

cja
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Re: confused Mountain Goat on Dog Mountain!

Post by cja » February 16th, 2018, 11:50 pm

I saw this guy back in June when hiking the Dog Spine. Yes, 2 of 3 of us got on top of the Dog Pile (Tooth/ Rock). Personally I think the goat is much more interesting.

The goat is visible in the photo below and right of the tree. There's also an eagle (I thought) visible in the shot.

I did the east ridge of Dog Mtn yesterday with a friend, and thought it was awesome, more casual and easier to navigate than the spine but really just as beautiful. Conditions were about as good as they could be.

I was pretty excited about the goat too, back in the summer. Like you I searched quite a bit but found nothing. Thanks for posting about it.
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