SANDPOINT, Idaho – The Idaho Panhandle National Forest Service is advising people to help keep a popular trail open by discouraging goat encounters.
Every summer, the forest service receives multiple reports of people getting too close to mountain goats on the Scotchman Peak Trail in Sandpoint, officials said. These encounters can be dangerous because mountain goats can behave aggressively when they try to get human food or salt.
Wildlife experts recommend people stay at least 100 feet away from the goats. If goats approach, you should yell, wave clothing and make efforts to scare them.
Officials said it is irresponsible and dangerous to feed mountain goats or allow them to lick salt off your hands.
In June 2015, a goat bit a hiker and the hiker needed multiple stitches. There have also been numerous reports of goats attempting to head butt or charge hikers on the trail, which could easily lead to serious injury or death. These incidences led to a yearlong closure of the trail in 2015.
For more information on keeping the mountain goats wild, visit the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness website.