JUNEAU - The registration hunt for mountain goats on Baranof Island in Game Management Unit 4 will open Sunday, Aug. 1 with changes to the harvest guideline.
The point total will be set at 56 points for the 2010 season (1 point allocated for each billy [male] harvested and 2 points for each nanny [female] harvested). In addition, the harvest will be capped at a maximum of 18 nannies. If 18 nannies are harvested, the season will close by emergency order regardless of the point total at that time.
This strategy is necessary to reverse a continuing decline in the goat population. Aerial surveys conducted in 2006 showed a significant decrease in the percentage of kid goats per 100 adult goats. In addition, there has been an increasing and sustained high percentage of nanny harvest. Last year's nanny harvest equaled 61 percent of the total goats taken. This percentage is double that of either the 2007 or 2008 seasons.
Harsh winter weather in 2006-07, with deep snow and a late persistent snowpack into spring, contributed to the decline in the goat population on Baranof Island. The decline has reversed the trend of population range expansion observed in 2004. Total harvest numbers have declined since 2006. The department anticipates conducting survey and capture/radio collaring work in late July through September.
Hunters are reminded to familiarize themselves with the identification guides available from the department to aid in determining the sex of goats. For additional information contact the Sitka Area office at 907-747-5449.