Kevin Slider says he hikes Mount Timpanogos 15 times in the summer.
But this past weekend, something happened to him for the first time. He faced off with a mountain goat in a field of snow.
Slider told the Deseret News in a phone interview that he was walking on a trail when he noticed a mountain goat from far away. He pulled out his phone to snap photos. But when the goat got within 2 feet of him, he decided to film the encounter in case he was attacked.
He published the video to YouTube over the weekend.
The goat, which was acting friendly when Slider, who was kneeling when he first encountered it, turned aggressive once Slider stood up.
“I think when I stood up it was kind of more of a threat, maybe. Like I wanted to fight, maybe. I don’t know,” he said.
He added later, “It almost looked like he was stalking, just kind of the way he mosied up to me. I never experienced that.”
Slider said the goat ran took off down the slope. Suddenly it turned around again and started to chase Slider again.
“I hit the trail and never looked back,” he said.
Slider said he hikes Mount Timpanogos “all the time” in the summers, and often sees mountain goats. He said he’s heard that the goats in the area are friendly to humans, with some people actually feeding them.
“They’re pretty aware of humans up there,” he said. “Maybe he was mad because I didn’t have any food.”
Slider said it’s important for people to understand what to do during wildlife approaches them in the woods.
He said he plans to return to the same trail in a couple of weeks.
“I’m not scared of going back up there.”
The Wild Aware Utah program suggests hikers stay alert from dawn until dusk when wildlife is most active. It’s always important to walk, hike or jog with a companion, too.
The program also recommends hiking without headphones so you can be aware of any approaching wildlife.