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Judging Mt. Goat Size

 Identifying Goat Gender

Unlike most other game animals, goats are very hard to distinguish between gender. The below guide is only a general rule, we saw many billies and nannies which had various characteristics of the other sex. Only visual identification of the Vulva or Scrotum was absolutely accurate. But there are some general guidelines to help you identify the sexes:

Goat ID 1

Basically, male goats (billies) have thicker horns with large bases, they taper gradually to a point and generally sweep back in a more uniformed arc. If you see a goat where the bases seem to touch, this is typically a billy. Nannies have more slender horns however they are oftentimes very long - sometimes much longer then billy horns. They tend to flare out when looking straight on and from the profile they seem to hook near the end.

Goat Id 2

Nannies urinate in a squatting position while an adult billy urinates by stretching. However, we were fooled once by a nice billy goat which squatted to defecate. From a distance it looked like he was urinating. Many people look for a stained rump which often indicates a billy. While this may be the rule in some places, all the goats here were filthy from dust baths and we found this trait unreliable when tying to identify gender.

Goat Id 3

Generally, a billy goat is much larger than a female. Also, billies tend to be loners and are rarely seen with kids. If you spot what you think is a billy, and there is a kid tagging close by, it is best not to shoot as it is probably a nanny. Also, billies tend to grow hair sooner than nannies and they have a more pronounced hump.

Pictures courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

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