The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is considering a new identification mandate. Furthermore, they are seeking public input on whether or not gender identification should be implemented for mountain goats.
Hunters and wildlife professionals often say that a mountain goat is one of the hardest species to correctly identify. Billies and nannies look extremely similar. Especially at a distance through a spotting scope. Their differences are subtle and even an experienced hunter could struggle.
As a result, the Idaho Fish and Game is seeking to curb the harvesting of nannies.
“Increased nanny harvest can lead to population declines and fewer tags available to hunters in the future.”
In the lower 48, mountain goats are often a once-in-a-lifetime species. Meaning in most states you can only draw a single time. When fewer tags are being awarded to hunters, your chances of drawing the tag decrease.
As it now stands the harvesting of a nanny is legal, just not ideal. The IDFG website states,
“In addition to the educational efforts the Department currently does, we are evaluating the use of mandatory gender identification training. Hunters who draw a mountain goat tag would be required to complete the training before they could pick up their tag and hunt.”
Similarly, Utah has a program where hunters wishing to hunt black bears must take an online training course. This training includes how to identify the sex of the bear. Training programs like this can help reduce the number of females harvested.
If you would like to give your input on this proposal you need to do it by April 30. You can find more info about this on the IDFG website.
Have you ever been lucky enough to draw a mountain goat tag? Have you ever seen one up close? Let us know in the comments!