After finding out that Rocky Mountain Goats have killed one person and have been known to harass hikers, how would you protect yourself from an aggressive goat? In most cases I would guess that simply staying a good distance away would be enough, but what if the goat decides to try and gore you?

  • the 4-foot tall, 300-pound ram that's a mighty big ram... (that's 1m20 for 135kg)
    – njzk2
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 20:47
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    One goat attack. You took more risk just driving to the hike. Carry a side arm. If the goat wants you then you are not going to outrun it.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 8:46
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    @Paparazzi - Given that there has only ever been one recorded death by mountain goat, and that there are around 750 unintentional gun deaths in the US each year, I would suspect that your side-arm would be the greater risk to you and those around you by orders of magnitude. Plus your chances of dropping a 300 pound animal in such a stressful situation would surely be close to zero. Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 23:03
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    @Tullochgorum Speak for yourself. My chances are 100%. As for stress the goat is not shooting at me.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 1:17
  • @paprazzo maybe you're a skilled shooter, but without more knowledge about Charlie and other future readers, Tullochgorum's advice is statistically sound. Commented May 14, 2019 at 14:07

1 Answer 1


The article you linked to seems to indicate that this is not something you need to worry about very much.

Rare and tragic events...

...potentially the first fatal attack by a mountain goat ever recorded.

...officials had known about this aggressive goat from previous reports...

...tissue sample testing might reveal disease or another reason why this goat was so uncharacteristically aggressive.

Mountain goats are not typically aggressive towards humans...

So this seems to have been a one-time tragic event involving an individual animal known to have caused problems before. To inform yourself, talk to the rangers in the area where you are going, and find out if they know of any aggressive individual animals.

Finally, they tell you one way to reduce the risk to yourself:

...they’re warning visitors to keep at least 100 feet away from all mountain goats.

If a goat still decides to be aggressive, then try:

...distracting it with an emergency blanket and tossing rocks at it.

Finally, if you do encounter an animal that seems aggressive towards humans, report it to the authorities (park rangers or others) where you are.

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