View Full Version : New Rules for CO Sheep and Goats

02-04-2013, 08:49 PM
Earlier today, Herb brought to my attention that the CO DOW has added a new rule to in the 2013 Sheep and Goat Hunting Brochure. (Page 3)

"Leave your pack goats at home when hunting sheep

Please leave your pack goats at home during your bighorn hunt. Diseases can be transmitted from goats to bighorns, even if your animals appear healthy. Some diseases can cause large-scale dieoffs of wild bighorns. To prevent disease transmission, keep domestic goats out of areas occupied by bighorn sheep. For more information, go to the CPW website or the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies:

The problem here is the boundaries where pack goats are allowed are not clearly defined, "areas occupied by bighorn sheep" is pretty much all of the Rocky Mountains. I'm not sure how the CO DOW is going to enforce this or if they will simply make it illegal to have goats in the back-country. Either way...there will probably be more burro and horse/mule packers.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CDMQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwildlife.state.co.us%2FSiteCollec tionDocuments%2FDOW%2FRulesRegs%2FBrochure%2FSheep andGoat.pdf&ei=KX4QUYThI6SxyQHI3YCYDA&usg=AFQjCNEf3CP-hK--YpsyhpRruqviyqiVtg&bvm=bv.41867550,d.aWc

02-04-2013, 08:57 PM
DOW can only recommend such practices, it will be up to BLM and Forest Service land managers to adopt policy for their areas.

02-17-2013, 06:53 AM
I just had a thought and please feel free to critique what I say. I know little to nothing about wild sheep and mountain goats but I wonder if a pack goat could be seen as a live decoy thus the issue may be more of hedging your odds in a hunt with a pack goat vs. the issue of disease?

02-17-2013, 10:49 PM
Its about Domestic goats and the Influenza Virus they carry. Wild goat, ie Big horn and Mtn. Goats have no resistance to the virus. Much like the native Americans when the Europeans showed up. The Mortality rate once wild sheep get it is about 98%, In Montana once the Sheep start to cough Fish and game managers shoot them, to try and stop the spread. It has hammered our sheep population. Some of our best herds of Big Horns are now down to just a handful. This is a very big problem, to the likes of which Whirling Disease was to trout.

mark s
02-18-2013, 06:57 AM
What about areas where they run domestic sheep? Thinking about San Juans near Lake City? Wouldn't this be a much greater risk?

02-18-2013, 02:03 PM
Up here they are looking at all lands that the both occupy, and trying to figure out a solution to keep them apart. We've got one population up here that is about 2.5 miles apart, and the Big horns still got it. Nice Big Trophy animals in their prime dead on the highway. States and sportsman's groups should be ahead of the curve on this one, or your gonna be waiting like us up here for our populations to come back. Seems to me like our biggest problem here was we use goats and other critters to help control our knap-weed problem thus putting them into contact with wild ones. IIRC there was a article in one of the local papers about F,W&P sharp shooters going out and killing a handful of Big horns a day to try and stop it from spreading.