Snowstorm ends goat shoot in Grand Teton Park 2 weeks early
Published at | Updated at
JACKSON, Wyoming – An effort to kill off goats in Grand Teton National Park came to an end two weeks earlier than anticipated due to snow.
The Associated Press reports park and other wildlife officials killed about 43 goats over a six week period to help cull the population. About 36 goats were killed early on in an aerial hunt, but it was quickly called off. The goal was to kill 100 but hunter safety became a concern after an early snowstorm in the area.
“Park officials want to eradicate the 100 or so goats because they compete with a population of about 100 bighorn sheep for habitat and can spread diseases, including pneumonia, to the native sheep,” the AP reports.
Wildlife officials called off a helicopter hunt this year after reports that aerial shooting was causing goat meat to go to waste. They switched to a ground hunt instead.
Between the ground and helicopter hunt, a total of 79 goats have been killed this year, which officials estimate is over half the population. But they aren’t sure how many goats were born this year, which could impact that number.
Fish and Game Commissioner Mike Schmid was a participant in the hunt who was against an aerial hunt initially, but he says he is in favor of an airstrike in the future to help kill them off quickly.