Goat Country


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This isn't hunting, this is pest control. The New Zealand feral goat. Out on the backblocks that border the Wanganui National Park, the feral goat problem is a perpetual pain in the arse. They compete directly for grass with highly productive sheep, and right now its lambing season and there's not much feed.

I haven't got photos of dead goats this time round, no time for stopping to take snaps. But I did try and get some representative snaps of the country. It suddenly started raining and we copped a soaking, the kind that gives you cold, wet underwear. We ran around the insanely steep hill country block on a Honda TRX 500 towing a small trailer, two shooters, one with a fast swinging Sako .223 carbine for the close stuff, and a heavy field rifle for the longer stuff.

Mobs of goats can reach twenty plus individuals. When you start shooting them, the mob takes off, pausing for stragglers no and then, which is the shooter's opportunity to pick them off. Ranges for the 6.5 Creedmoor are ~250-700m, the .223 out to around 300m. Bullets are the 143gr ELD-X and 65gr GameKing.

A typical haul for a quick ride around the farm is 20-30 goats. Off those, maybe 6-7 are recovered, for dog food, pig food and pig bait, occasionally for us. Those that are recovered have to be slightly above the track or on it.

Being so far out on this farm, its right at the very end of the road, makes mustering these goats next to impossible. The fencing into the bush cannot hold goats, they just bust through, and the capital works on the fencing is too expensive. Mustering revenues would never cover the fencing costs. And it's fast cash, replacing goats with sheep, as the sheep will soon more than double in numbers as their lambs wean on the hill.

Why don't we collect all the goats for meat, you were wondering. It's crazy steep and lethal country, especially when it's wet. Recovery simply isn't an option. And no one wants the meat. You can't collect up goats shot from distance and expect to adhere to food safety standards. Where are you going to refrigerate the carcasses? Who is going to buy it? So it rots. Such is the way of things (at the moment).

The shooting team comprises the ranging bloke, and the shooter bloke. The one selects an animal and calls the range. The other consults the laminated drop table and selects the correct dial-up, sets up the scope, then shoots the goat. Repeat.

Various other information is noted by the ranging bloke... wind, rain, what the mob is doing, and how much of a useless knob the shooter bloke is. We'll burn through the ammo, I'll take a 100 round box on a trip round the farm, and expect to come back with two thirds to a half left on a good day, and very little left on an exceptional day.

This time we counted roughly 25 goats down, about par for this course. Not bad considering the weather. One more shoot before we lock up the paddocks for lambing, goat numbers are well down on a year ago and you can really see it in the pasture and the number of sheep.



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Thanks for that it’s good to understand what’s needed in other parts of the world. The added bonus of the job you have to do is the scenery! What a place looks incredible.

Good luck on future goat culls



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You'd want to be a good distance especially if there billies the stink is enough to blind you reminds me of a bloke I used to stalk with all ways pi$$ down his left leg poor chap. :rofl: Nice write up thanks for posting SS
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Watch out for Greta and the loony left woke blokes and bloke-esses, they'll not be best pleased with you, and are likely to set sail in order to protest and save the goats, I'd expect trouble just around or before 2030, assuming they don't stick the boat on the Seychelles, which of course will be just under the surface around the time they're passing; still, you'll know when they're coming - for a few weeks beforehand you'll get the distinctive smell of something like goat coming onshore with the prevailing wind :oops:


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That country is simply breathtaking dodgyknees. Just beautiful.

It is always a pleasure to learn of other techniques and practices also, along with the well thought out explanations and justifications for those practices.

Well done sir. You have me longing for a bit of it now!


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I would love to do it! Thanks for showing us. Great country it’s on my bucket list....
Wales on steroids I’ve been told :tiphat:


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Enjoyed the read. I also understand the pest control aspect. We have feral hogs and beaver that both fit that description.


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Great write up and stunning pictures mate, when i was out there we went onto a farm to look for a fallow, got a nice buck and then managed to cull 8 goats with the 7mm08 before running out of ammo!

Got back, told the farmer, his response?
"****s, well thanks.... but bring more ammo next time" certainly made me giggle but its a serious issue over there!