Big city reporters are morons. There is no other word for it. Salt Lake City television station KTSU was this week making a big deal out of a "goat man'' spotted in the Utah mountains.
Anchorage reporters best get ready for the follow-up on the "sheep men'' soon to be spotted here.
KTSU Fox 13's Todd Tanner reported somewhat breathlessly from Ogden, Utah, that "we don't know what (goat-man) is doing.''
Well bummer, because country-boys know what goat man was doing. It's the same thing sheep-man will soon be doing in Alaska. Goat-man was trying to get close to some mountain goats, either to shoot them with a camera or a gun. Sort of like some sheep-man will dress up in "whites,'' as they say, in an effort to get close to Dall sheep coming the Aug. 15 opening of the mountain sheep hunting season in Alaska.
Dressing up in whites is an old tactic for trying to get close to goats and Dall sheep. Animals aren't that smart. You can fool them with simple deceptions. A lot of hunters and a growing number of photographers know this.
You can read members of the former group discussing the topic here in a thread about "sheep-hunting whites": As the first reader posting on that link notes, " Yes, they work for goats as well.''
Well, they work sometimes. Like most stalking techniques, wearing "white" isn't foolproof, even if it works well enough to fool big-city reporter morons. As the website for Salt Lake's KTSU reports, there are "pictures of what appears to be a man dressed as mountain goat on Ben Lomond peak.''
"Appears to be?" "Appears to be?"
There are only two things the photographs can be -- a man dressed in whites or a real goat-man. Now, if you believe in the legendary and dangerous Utah "goat-man" as big-city reporter Tanner apparently must.....
Tanner then reported, with a straight face, that during hiker Coty Creighton's encounter with goat man, he "took a little bit of comfort in knowing that he had his pocket knife with him, though he was really happy he didn't need to use it.'' Is this because the goat-man is famous for attacking and goring hikers? Enquiring minds want to know!
Meanwhile, is it worth noting that Creighton did an on-air interview in front of a shelf on which sat a toy monkey. Was the hiker trying to use symbolism to say something? Enquiring minds want to know!
Contact Craig Medred at craig(at)alaskadispatch.com