Picking out a trophy billy is one of the most notorious difficulties of mountain goat hunting. Males and females look much alike, and the difference in horn length between the average and a world record is less than two inches. While our outfitters are experts at picking out the best goat in a crowd, it’s good to know the difference for yourself so you can speed up the process and avoid shooting a nanny on accident. Here are a few things to look for when identifying your record-breaking billy:
1. Horn Shape
One of the primary differences between billies and nannies is the shape of the horns. The horns of males curve over their entire length, while the horns of females are mostly straight, curving suddenly about one-third of the way down from the tip. This is a great identification method when looking at a goat from the side; be sure to pack high-quality binoculars so you can take a careful look.
2. Horn Width
This is a great way to identify a goat that’s looking directly at you (hopefully without seeing you!). Compare the width of their eyes to the width of the base of their horns: if the horns are wider, it’s a male. If the eyes are as wide as or wider than the horns, it’s a female. Be sure to ask your mountain goat outfitters for confirmation if you use this method.
3. Answering Nature’s Call
A dead giveaway of a male is that he’ll stay standing during urination, stretching out with his hind legs back. A female, on the other hand, will squat.
4. Rump Patch
Males often have a yellow stain on their upper hind legs. This is a near-certain giveaway that you’re looking at a billy.
5. Horn Length
While the other tips are for telling a male from a female, this is how you can identify a real prize billy. An excellent trophy will be any male with horns that are at least nine inches long; those that are over ten inches are likely to win awards and may break records.
But how can you tell if the horns are long enough at 300 yards? Your best bet is to look at the ears—the majority of these goats have six-inch ears. Compare the length of the ears to the length of the horns. If the horns are at least one and a half times as large as the ears, you’ve got a trophy in your sights. If they’re even longer, you might have one for the record book on hand! Be sure to ask your mountain goat outfitters if they agree, and be patient—close the distance until you’re sure you can manage a clean kill, and make sure your target won’t fall off a ledge when he goes down.
Call today or fill out the form on the right and let us know what type of mountain goat hunting experience you are looking for. We’ll send you information on opportunities that match your goals. Our experienced outfitters are second to none and we’re happy to share personal experiences with you. © Global Sporting Safaris – Protected by Copyscape.