For most species, field judging both gender and maturity is reasonably straightforward. Bucks and does, cows and bulls and ewes and rams are seldom confused, even by the newest of hunters. When it comes to maturity, the field judging game certainly gets tougher but unless you’re explicitly hunting for points or a certain point threshold, a good mature animal will typically stand out from the rest with minimal deliberation.
But with Rocky Mountain goats, it’s a whole other ball game. If you’re not used to staring through the spotter at a shaggy white cragmaster perched on a seemingly unapproachable throne, it can be downright challenging to determine whether you’re glassing a billy or nanny let alone a mature age class representative.
As with most things in life, it takes practice and repetitions to get comfortable evaluating North America’s king of the crags. And unless you’re lucky enough to live in a region where mountain goats are a common sight, it can be tough to accumulate the time and practice required to effectively gender identify and field judge these truly special animals.
So, it is with great pleasure that in this month’s Pro Insight column, we share a much needed and incredibly well produced video our friends at the Rocky Mountain Goat Alliance recently released that is without a doubt the foundational field judging resource the prospective goat hunter has been waiting for. This film project has been in the works for years and is a must watch for anyone hoping or planning to head afield in pursuit of these beasts the colour of winter. Whether you’re looking to punch a tag on your first goat or have been holding out for a true beast of a billy, this is a video you will want to set aside the time for. Please enjoy!