The other night we got Dairy Queen and drove through Spearfish Canyon eating our Blizzards. While driving back towards Spearfish, Heather spotted a mother mountain goat and its “kid” perched high up on a rocky cliff that shadows the highway. Of course, I left my camera at home. Well, tonight we got Dairy Queen again…Hey having a Blizzard two nights in a row is not a sin…! Anyway, tonight Heather spotted another mother mountain goat and its kid by Bridal Veil Falls. Not sure if it was the same mother and kid we saw the other night, but this time I had my camera and took a photo of them munching on some grass high above the falls.
A little bit about the Black Hills Mountain Goat
Mountain goats are a unique species found only in northwestern North America. They are not native to South Dakota, but a small isolated population of Rocky Mountain Goats has existed within the Black Hills since the 1920s.
The primary range where mountain goats are found is from Highway 385 at Crazy Horse east to Mount Rushmore and from Highway 244 near Harney Peak south to the Needles area in the Black Hills.
Mountain goats have also expanded into the Battle Creek drainage east of Keystone. The primary range extends over 32,000 acres. Mountain goats typically occupy granite outcroppings habitat ranging in elevation from 4,000 – 7,242 ft.
The mountain goat hunting season occurs from September – December and was reopened in 2015 after this population has rebounded to allow for hunting once again. The mountain goat season is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for South Dakota residents.