Annual Goat Hunt called off

Much to the consternation of the Skopelos Hunting Association and its counterpart in Alonissos, the traditional wild goat hunt on the island of Gioura (Jura, Γιούρα) has been called off for the second consecutive year. For years the hunt has taken place in early Autumn to cull the wild goats of the island which, because of their naturally expanding population, risk starvation from lack of vegetation.

In past years the hunters have paid a special licensing fee to participate in the event and while on the island repair damaged parts of the abandoned monastery Evangelistria. The hunters butcher their fresh kill and load the meat onto their boats before returning from the island.

The Forestry Department of Skopelos has cancelled the program citing the lack of funds needed to oversee the event.


5 thoughts on “Annual Goat Hunt called off

  1. It creates an interesting dilemma. It must be great sport for the hunters as the island is not small so they have to work at it. They also get to camp out at least overnight ( I believe). Some goats will die anyway so is it better to help them along or let some starve?

    Another (totally neutral) question is who makes the decision that the goats need culling? Does an animal expert visit the island and make an assessment (visual or otherwise) as to population and the appearance of the animals?

  2. This, like other things in the Sporades, would appear to be a long held tradition. Michael Carroll gives a highly amusing account of his participation in chapter 10 of his Gates of the Wind (ISBN 9602260890), a book I purchased and devoured on my first visit in 1990. Love your blog Tom, so interesting and informative. Jackie

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