If a photographer gets gored by a mountain goat on the border of a National Park and State Park, what agency has jurisdiction to slap an “idiot” sticker on his forehead?

I was driving back to camp from what was supposed to be sunrise photo at Norbeck Overlook in the Black Hills National Forest. In reality, it turned into a fog photo – you can read about that here – when I caught a glimpse of a little white ball curled up in the tall grass by the side of the road. I couldn’t tell for sure what it was so I pulled over to take a closer look. In my defense, I sorta thought it might be a sick or wounded dog.

Mountain goat sequence one photographed in the Black Hills of South Dakota photographed by Sioux Falls SD based landscape photographer Paul Heckel
Mountain goat sequence number 2 one photographed in the Black Hills of South Dakota photographed by Sioux Falls SD based landscape photographer Paul Heckel
I’m glad I can run fast backwards.

I made my way around the back of my vehicle when the fur ball’s Mom appeared. And, let me tell you, she did not look real impressed that I was on her mountain. The momma mountain goats‘ horns looked sharp and not knowing how fast a mountain goat can run on level ground, I backed up real quick – proof is in the blurred images on the sequence of photos I shot with my iPhone.

What a neat experience, but next time I will definitely use a more caution when approaching wild animals. No matter how timid or cuddly they appear.


For more information about the mountain goats that reside in the Black Hills in western South Dakota, click here.