We're waiting for the geese to come

The waterfowl season is here and has been for awhile.  Duck hunting here in the central zone of Illinois ends tomorrow.  What we have is Canada goose hunting until the end of January.

But it's been warm.  Today, Monday the 19th of December the air temps reached 52 degrees.  We have no frozen water here in Northern Illinois and there's nothing to encourage geese to come down from up north.

I've cancelled some hunt dates already but may still get out this week to try and get one shot off before Christmas.

To make all things look better I'm posting a bunch of photos from last year.  This will be encouraging and will keep things positive.  It will bring geese for us to hunt soon.

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  • It is suggested that rather than climate change, the migratory geese have not shown up in Chicago yet because either you and your buddies shot them all last year or they wised up and are avoiding Chicago like the plague (as I certainly will do after witnessing these sickening photos).
    Hate to say this, but the geese look better dead then the "live" humans holding them. Perhaps death is a matter of interpretation.

  • Thanks for ruining my Christmas with these ghastly photos. "Peace on Earth" indeed.

    Sad that a family newspaper saw fit to waste so much valuable space making readers ill with grotesque photos.

    I pray that the star of wonder and star of night guides the migrating geese a million miles from Chicago this year.......

  • In reply to PattyA:

    Hunting is a sport that we are able to enjoy here in Illinois much like our fathers, grandfathers and other ancestors.

    In the 2006 survey by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, it was learned that here in Illinois we had 316,000 hunters who enjoy hunting for a total of 4,660,000 days that year. This survey is conducted once every 5 years and the results for 2011 will come out some time early in 2012. I’ll be glad to share it with you as well when it comes out.

    As for the economics of hunting, Illinois hunters had $381,937,000 in expenditures for the year.

    I think it is easily shown that hunting is big in Illinois, enjoyed by many, and definitely has a positive economic impact on our state.

    Showing photos of hunters with the game they’ve harvested is nothing more than an expression of them being proud of their accomplishment and wanting to share part of their experience in the outdoors with all. If a hunter does his homework, goes at the right time and to the right place, does all the right things and takes good aim, he is rewarded with bagging his quarry.

    Thinking that hunting is taking advantage of poor and defenseless animals is like saying that the cows in the slaughter house had a choice. Do you eat eggs…the unborn taken from their mothers? And is it your argument that fruits and vegetables are not living things?

    I laugh at your stab at hunters by saying that a dead goose looks better than a live hunter. Sticks and stones…
    And thinking that “Perhaps death is a matter of interpretation.” Well, maybe it is. When I hunt and take geese, ducks, pheasant, quail, or deer, part of it all, yes, is death. Part of the hunt is killing the prey, but ultimately for me, enjoying the harvest as table fare is part of it as well. It needs to be that way.
    I was going to say that I was hopeful that you understand and accept hunting and it’s just the photos that don’t sit well with you. But after seeing your second comment, I guess there was no need for any of this discussion.
    Just as you have a right to not like hunting and hunting photos, I too have the right to hunt and post the photos.
    Thank you for visiting my blog. Have a Very Merry Christmas… oh and don’t watch that movie, Scrooge. A dead goose is given to the family at the end of the story.

  • In reply to Don Dziedzina:

    @ Don: Thank you for replying back.

    We can argue all day about how wildlife in this country is manipulated for the benefit of hunters -- including the lowly and much vilified Canada geese.

    In the last century, these majestic birds almost went extinct due to destruction of habitat AND overhunting.

    But, wildlife biologists were able to live capture some of the birds, captively breed them and release the descendents throughout the North East.

    What they did not figure on however, was that geese hatched in this country had no "instinct" to migrate to countries north. Moreover, they apparently did not figure on the intelligence and adaptability of Canada geese to avoid predations and hunters by taking up "residence" in parks, golf courses and other urban, non-hunting areas.

    Now the complaint is we have "too many geese" and they need to be endlessly hunted or culled.

    So much for wildlife mismanagement for the sole benefit of hunters to have something constantly to shoot at.

    Yes, I understand your "right to hunt."

    But, you should have respect for the millions of non-hunters and nature lovers in this country who do not enjoy seeing photos of grown men gloating and seemingly laughing over animals they have just killed.

    You mention the cows killed in slaughterhouses. Are the killers laughing and gloating over these slaughters?

    Moreover, since we already slaughter millions of animals in this country everyday for "meat" why is it necessary to kill even more?

    Just for the "fun" of killing?

    I came to this site because the title led me to believe others were anticipating the arrival of migratory geese and perhaps wondering why these beautiful, mysterious birds haven't been seen yet.

    I did not expect to encounter a barage of grotesque photos celebrating the deaths of the geese.

  • In reply to PattyA:

    Patty,
    If a few photos have ruined your Christmas then you certainly need to rethink your entire approach to the holidays. You are obviously fragile and were not held as a child. Oh and just to make things even better, there is no Santa.

    What you don't seem to understand that hunters and fisherman are some of the most conservation minded individuals in the country. If it wasn't for the work of the hunter or fisherman there would be many species of animals or fish that we would never see. They would be gone from their natural habitats. If there is anyone to be mad at it would be the local developers that have put houses in the habitat of the animals, thus ruining the areas for future populations of deer, geese, rabbits etc.
    I can promise you that over the past year I have probably given more money and effort for the conservation of wildlife than you have in your lifetime. The money I spend on gear and licenses alone has been a huge benefactor to these animals and fish.
    Without sportsman the population of deer in Illinois would be non-existent. Without organizations like Ducks Unlimited, Whitetails forever, and Salmon Unlimited many species would be in dire straits. Note: these organizations are comprised of hunters and fisherman fighting to help the outdoors and conservation efforts. Google it once and you will soon see the facts.
    You must not pass judgment without the facts and if you don't like the pictures, then nobody was making you look at them.
    As Don said, Merry Christmas.

  • In reply to Cory Yarmuth:

    @ Cory: LOL. Thanks for the dime-store psycho babble. When I want to discuss my childhood trauma of feeling a pigeon die in my hands after a fatal car accident, I will look you up.

    I understand the efforts of Ducks Unlimited and other conservation groups to protect the habitats of wildlife so that hunters will always be guaranteed ducks, deer and geese to shoot at. (I am actually a member of DU because I believe in habitat protection.)

    And yes, I understand that the greatest destroyer of wildlife and nature is development and destruction of natural wetlands and habitat.

    But, since we agree on those matters, my question to you is, why is it necessary after contributing to help "save" animals to then go out and shoot them?

    Speaking of psychology, doesn't that seem just a bit schizod?

    I like to "shoot" geese and ducks, too. -- With a camera, that is.

    In fact, the photo being sent out on Christmas cards this year is a close-up, head shot of a live Canada goose. The greeting inside the card is, "Wishing you all things beautiful this year."

    The geese are so much more beautiful alive, free and annimated than slung dead over the arms of laughing humans dressed in camouflage.

    The latter makes me ashamed of my own species.

    Even lions don't celebrate the deaths of their victims.

  • Cory, well said and I agree with you and your statements 100%. Happy Holidays to you and the family.

  • Hey Patty, look on the bright side, there are a million more geese that did not get harvested. Maybe they will come in land on your lawn on Christmas Day and you can enjoy their presence for the holiday season.
    Merry Christmas!

  • In reply to Dan Stefanich:

    Hey, Dan, I am looking on the bright side!

    A bunch of beautiful and gregarious (live!) migratory geese just flew into my local park in the past few days!

    They marched proud and comically yesterday on the green grass like toy soldiers.

    "Santa" has arrived in NYC in the forms of the forever beautiful and regal Canada geese.

    Joy to the World!

    And Merry Christmas to all who can appreciate for its own sake, God and nature's glorious creations.

  • PattyA, all I can say is WOW. Where do I start?

    You appear to be a well educated person and have studied the life of a goose. This is good. But you said, "Even lions don't celebrate the deaths of their victims." I wish I could recommend some reading where you can learn that lions are animals too and therefore cannot dance, smile, take photos, offer high-fives, gloat, or celebrate in any form the death of their prey. I can suggest that you do not read The Lion King. It's not for real. Thank you so much for the chuckle I got over this.

    Can I make one final suggestion? There's a great group called "Women in the Outdoors". It's part of the National Wild Turkey Federation. Here is their website... http://www.womenintheoutdoors.org/wito/?SUBSITE=wito

    Take a look at it. Consider joining and learning. I'm not trying to change your views but I get the impression that when you have such a passion for something, you like to learn more.

    Now, for the hunters out there...

    I've received several reports that ice is covering many lakes to the north of us in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. This will push birds south. Right now with open water and clear fields, the majority of geese have no need to move until they've eaten all the corn and beans from the harvested fields in northern Illinois.

    Migration reports that I'm getting from Avery Outdoors indicate that the birds are moving, very slowly but... still moving. The duck season ended yesterday (Dec 20) in the central zone so if you're out there hoping for a local goose to pass by, remember to not take a shot any of the ducks that are still around.

    We have cool weather in the forecast and my prediction is that within a week or so we'll be seeing more geese in the central zone, then the south and south central zones.

    I have some dates booked to hunt out of Grundy's Honkers hunt club. This will be the premier hot spot when the ice comes as the property is about 3/4 mile west of Braidwood Lake which has open water all winter (power plant lake).

    Jim DaRosa of the Fishing and Outdoor Radio Show and I will most likely go out there tomorrow to scope things out and see when any birds may be in the air. We've received reports from GHs that most activity has been within the last half hour to hour of light, just before sundown.

    Maybe we'll be lucky and have some goose for the Christmas table.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  • In reply to Don Dziedzina:

    You're right, Don. I have studied the life of Canada geese, up close and personal for a number of years.

    And they are wondrous and extraordinary animals.

    For one matter, the sheer devotion, steadfastness and protection of their mates and offspring is something to behold and revere.

    You will not find a 50% divorce rate among Canada geese. When they mate, it is for life.

    Pity the gander or goose who has lost his/her mate.

    Yes, you can spot them easily on a lake or pond: They are the solitary ones; adjoined with, but separate from the rest of the gaggle. Wandering back and forth on the water, constantly calling out and searching.....

    If there is an injured or hurt goose in a gaggle, two others will remain protectively with the crippled member, in hopes presumably, s/he will recover.

    Do we dare to question why animals of this devotion, organization and loyalty survive despite all our attempts to persecute and destroy them?

    Humans could learn a few things from Canada geese.

    But, not when the birds are draped dead over their arms.

    The only thing gleaned from such images is the wanton cruelty and ruthlessness of humans.

  • Dear God,

    Please watch over, protect and guide our beautiful geese - Your creations -- away from hunter's guns and Chicago this Christmas.

    They shall march freely in the grass and on the fields to celebrate Your glory and the birth of Your only Son who preached mercy, forgiveness and tenderness.

    Lessons we have somehow forgotten.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to PattyA:

    Hello PattyA,

    I've learned to accept the fact that you, like many others, wish for every living creature to remain just that – living. I've also learned to accept the fact that people like you refuse to see things from a perspective other than your own. But the bottom line is I've learned to accept that no matter what you say, or do, I will still rack that next shotgun shell, knock that next arrow and bait that next hook simply to uphold a family tradition and put food on my table. My advice to you – learn to accept it.

  • In reply to Kanon Kulpa:

    Hey, Kanon, I have learned to accept that nothing lives forever -- including mortal humans.

    As proof of that statement, I offer you this recent newspaper clip:

    http://www.wctrib.com/event/article/id/87852/group/homepage/

    Be sure to invite Richard Cheney along your next "goose hunt."

  • Don, Patti, Cory and Dan....as they say there is always two sides of evey coin.
    The opinions shared by Don, Cory and Dan and those of Patti both have merit and are worthy of debate.
    The side of the coin that I favor is that of conservation management, selective harvest of game and preservation of natural habitat.
    I strongly agree without the efforts of DU, and many worthy conservation organizations and the money raised from the sale of fishing/hunting licences and gear, I doubt if we would be having this conversation about goose hunting.
    Hunting is a tradition that every human has benifited. It has put food on the table since the earliest of human times.
    On a personal note I just returned from a 5 day duck hunt that I shared with my 2 brothers and our sons. Hunting has brought us together for over 3 decades, a tradition that our fathers and grandfathers participated. Breaking bread with the bounty of our harvest strenghtens this tradition and our bound with nature.

    Merry Christmas to all.

  • In reply to basserjim:

    Basserjim, Thanks for your perspective. But, I have some questions:

    1-- You say that hunting "puts food on the table."

    But, we are no longer living in the days of the cave man who perhaps had no choice, but to hunt what could be eaten.

    On the contrary, we throw out millions of pounds of food everyday in this country. Millions of animals are slaughtered for "meat" and not all of this ends up on dinner tables. Much is discarded.

    My question in view of modern times is, How is hunting still relevant in a nation that wastes and throws away millions of pounds of food each day?

    2-- You say that hunting is a long "tradition" that brings fathers, sons and brothers together. Tradition is lovely of course. But, not all traditions are worth keeping. What purpose, for example, does the long "tradition" of bullfighting serve, other than to celebrate death in the afternoon? One would like to think that as we "evolve" as humans, the more barbaric, cruel and senseless "traditions" would be abandoned in favor of those more respectable to both human and animal life. These days, many families have started new traditions -- like hiking, biking and running together. Then there are the challenges of nature photography. All of these activities get one outdoors with loved ones. But, in ways that are more harmonious with nature, as opposed to combativeness with it.

    3-- You say, "Breaking bread with the bounty of our harvest strenghtens this tradition and our bound with nature." (I assume you menat "bond" with nature rather than "bound?" -- Don't think you want to be "bound" where the unfortunate geese were bound. -- Or was that some kind of Freudian slip?) Anyway, we are not talking "breaking bread" but rather, blowing away geese in the sky and presumably cooking some of what's left of them. My understanding from USDA documents is that geese actually yield very little "edible meat." -- Less than one pound, per ten pound bird. That seems like a lot of trouble to go to (dressing up in camouflage, setting up decoys, hiding in blinds, etc, etc, etc, for what really is very little "good eating."

    Moreover, from numerous reports from those who have actually attempted to eat wild goose, it is "gamey, greesy" and needs to be smothered in all kinds of sauces and condiments to try and disguise it.

    All of this seems to suggest that it would be far easier and cheaper (and ceratainly better "eating") to call up the local Chinese restaurant and order in.

    One can still say grace over the table.

  • In reply to PattyA:

    Not sure where you call home Patti, but I know lots of people who are suplementing their food bill with what they catch and what they harvest in the wild....and this is happening now. I agree there is lots of food wasted by this nation...but every week I hear about the local food pantries plea for more donations and how they welcome donations.

    As far as tradition goes...do you celebrate Thanksgiving and eat turkey? Thanksgiving is an American tradition that begun with the harvest of wild turkeys and is still celebrated today.
    Our family tradition started w my grandparents who lived thru the depression who relied on wild game and that tridition has been proudly handed down to my family. An yes I ment bond with nature....have you ever?

  • In reply to basserjim:

    With all due respect, basserjim, you failed to answer any of my questions.

    I therefore do not feel compelled to answer any of yours.

    It doesn't matter where I live or what I ate for Thanksgiving. However, it should probably be shared that I haven't eaten any meat or fowl for thirty years.

    While most people my age have had surgeries, are on all sorts of "medications" and are often struggling with weight problems, I am the same 110 lbs I was 30 years ago and have never had a surgery or need to take medicines. I walk two miles a day with my dogs and have spent hundreds of hours observing and being connected to nature -- especially the beautiful and infinately fascinating, Canada geese.

    Again, you talk of "traditions." But, do you support bullfights? Bearbaiting? Cock or dog fighting?

    They are "tradition" to some people.

    It is of course sad to hear about the food pantries constantly begging for food.

    But, quite frankly obesity and poor diet are huge problems in this country.

    Its not really a question of quantity of food, but more importantly quality of food.

  • Sorry to get you so worked up over a few good hunting photos.

    From the personal commentary coming to me on your stance has shown so far that you're a Lone Ranger. Haven't received any emails saying that they agree with you. It's okay, we are all entitled to our opinions.

    But have to say thank you for all of your commentary. The stats on this post are going through the roof.

  • Thanks for the Comment Jim.

    Oh and PattyA....
    Re: your prayer, you forgot to ask for an end of the "dime-store psycho babble"

    I love that line. Hope you don't mind if I use that some time.

  • In reply to Don Dziedzina:

    LOL, Don. I really don't care about an end to the dime store psycho babble and certainly would not pray about it.

    What would we ever do without Dr. Phil and Oprah?

    At least when called, "crazy" we can always blame our parents, the neighbor who looked at us cross-eyed or the teacher who failed to give us an award for showing up in class.

  • Yes, the Canada Goose was almost extinct earlier last century. But thanks to the efforts of state and federal governments, the birds are now at a healthy population. Too healthy in places, including our city parks and the farmlands that people depend on for food and their income. Which is they the federal government has allowed limited hunting of the species from September to LAte January, depending on where you are in the US.

    http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/RegulationsPolicies/regs08-09/RCG%20Final.pdf

    Unfortunately, what not at a healthy population are the natural predators of these geese, which man kind has not allowed to prosper in these same places. And as geese become used to mankind and the natural protection these artificial habitats afford, they in turn become unafraid of the few predators that will be allowed in a human park. I have seen geese turn on a coyote who was only trying to do what nature decrees- the predator to eat the prey. Feel those pointy teeth we have near the front of our mouths? Those are called canines for a reason.

    In regards to the geese mating for life, thats true socially. But recent research has found that many "monogamous" species of birds are actually quite adulterous, and only pair off socially for protection and egg raising.

    http://dangerousintersection.org/2010/05/16/on-the-monogamy-of-birds/
    https://notes.utk.edu/Bio/greenberg.nsf/2745ad5462fa608e85256c70005adb08/3fd65e603bd0114185256dc4003b002a?OpenDocument

    Also, Canada Geese will remate after losing a mate. They are together for the "lifetime" of that mate. They will not spend the rest of their lives alone. So the appeal of not shooting a prey animal to feed a predator (namely, humans), to prevent them from being lonely the rest of their lives is not a convincing one Top of page 2: http://m.extension.illinois.edu/wildlife/files/IL_WS_Canada_Goose.pdf

    And if you want to get biblical about it, how about this one: "God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth." http://bible.cc/genesis/1-28.htm

    I'm not a hunter, BTW. I'm too soft hearted. But I have no problem with hunting as long as the meat is eaten and its done within legal limits, which it appears these gentlemen do on both counts.

    Final point-you don't want to see pictures of hunted animals, don't visit a hunting blog.

    Happy Holidays.

  • In reply to Rose:

    Rose, I replied to your post yesterday, but for some reason it was either deleted or dissappeared. (??)

    But, to try again:

    Have you considered that one of the reasons Canada geese flee to public parks and golf courses is that they seek safety away from hunter's guns?

    Don't we as humans seek the security and safety of either country living or gated communities as opposed to living in gun-ridden city ghettos?

    Well, the geese seek safety and security for their mates and offspring, as well. And the "gated (no hunting) communities" of parks and golf courses offer them that -- at least until they are either "harassed" or "culled" from those areas.

    Perhaps if we restored the geese's natural wetlands as well as put down the guns and arrows in the country fields, the geese would be happy to stay in these loctions and make peace with their human friends.

    Finally, with regard to your bible quote:

    "Dominion" and rulership should not be interpreted to mean the freedom to abuse power, plunder and kill. (Rather it should mean stewardship, respect, responsibility and care.)

    We tend to topple dictators and governments who "rule" humans with brutality, violence and murder.

    Jesus, whose birthday millions of people celebrate this week came to this earth with the message of mercy, forgiveness and kindness.

    How exactly is that message resonating today?

  • I have them set up so that you can post your thoughts without approval, however I do have the authority to delete inappropriate comments or non-relative comments... and I will. Rose your post for some reason required approval. I approved it and it's seen above. Maybe it's all the URLs listed .

    Thanks for the comment.

  • In reply to Don Dziedzina:

    Rose, I was attracted to this site because of the title, as I too, have been "waiting for the geese to come" but obviously for different reasons than the writer.

    Please don't apply "research" done on other species of birds to Canada geese.

    I have followed a mated pair of Canada geese for several years. And no, the gander does not mess around with other female geese and on the contrary, is extremely protective of and staunchly devoted to his mate. The "romance" between these two geese is something to behold despite them being at least 6 or 7 years together. The grooming and preening. The diving under the water together. Indeed, when the pair raised 6 goslings together, I don't believe the gander ever slept from having to keep constant vigil and watch over his family.

    While it might be true that a goose who has lost his/her mate will eventually take up with another goose, I have personally witnessed the distressed calls, longing and searching of those geese having lost partners. It can go on for many weeks or even months. It is always one of the saddest things to see in nature.

    With regard to your bible quote in which God gave man "dominion" over the earth and its animals, its hard to imagine that God would be pleased with the fact that we kill animals to excess, kill them for "sport" and kill then for "fun."

    In the human world we tend to lead revolutions against those dictators and "rulers" who murder their own charges and people and thus abuse their power.

    "Abuse of power" is exactly what we have done in our relationship with animals. Perhaps some animals should try to lead a revolution against us?

    Jesus attempted to bring mercy and kindness to the masses.

    But, then we even crucified Him.

  • Apparently not. Cool.

    Canada Geese were indeed endangered at the beginning of the last century. Which is why state and federal agencies took it upon themselves to propagate the species with relocation and panning programs throughout the nation. What they didn't expect was for the geese to become so numerous they would go from being an almost extinct species to one in need of reduction. Which is why those same governments now have hunting season for these geese, which extend from September into January.

    Geese are prey animals. When a prey animal takes up residence in an area, such as a golf course or city park, which does not have an appropriate number of predators, the population becomes dangerously out of control. This can lead to disease amongst the animals, poor diet, and negative interaction with humans. And if there are some predators in these parks, often the geese have become so brazen they are unafraid of them. I have personally seen geese turn on a family of coyotes in only trying to do what they do-eat prey animals.

    As for geese mating for life. Yes, they so socially. But new studies have shown that biologically, birds can be just as adulterous as humans.

    https://notes.utk.edu/Bio/greenberg.nsf/2745ad5462fa608e85256c70005adb08/3fd65e603bd0114185256dc4003b002a?OpenDocument

    And in fact, Canada geese will remate after a mate dies. So the argument not to kill a game bird because it will be along the rest of its life doesn't hold up here. Page 2:

    http://m.extension.illinois.edu/wildlife/files/IL_WS_Canada_Goose.pdf

    And if you are going to bring God into this: "God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." http://bible.cc/genesis/1-28.htm

    And Lastly, feel those pointy teeth towards the front of your mouth? They are called canines for a reason. Humans are omnivores. We are meant to eat meat. Since we have messed up the predator-prey balance here, we must step in to fill it.

    Oh, and I've never hunted, never killed an animal. I'm too soft hearted. But I respect hunting when it done for a clean kill, for meat, and for conservation.

  • Below is a great, unfortunate article (Link) and the top reason I hunt. It's been said in earlier comments, "Why hunt when there is food available in a grocery store?" I have not had to purchase meat from a grocery store for a number of years and I have never had a recall on my own harvest:
    http://www.parents.com/blogs/parents-news-now/2011/12/20/safety/tyson-recalls-more-than-40000-pounds-of-ground-beef/

    Numerous times I have seen recalls on meat available for purchase in a grocery store. I hunt partially because I want to know where my food comes from, how it was handled during the entire process from field to table, wild game is much healthier than farm raised and mass marketed meat. And when the %*&$ hits the fan, I'll be providing for my family while those that don't hunt will be waiting for FEMA...or knocking on my door looking for a tasty morsel.

  • In reply to OChunter:

    @ OChunter: Well, I am not going to be one to defend the practices of modern factory farming and agribusiness.

    However, there is a growing market today for organic farming practices that support, both the humane raising of animals, small farmers and healthier foods.

    As mentioned, I personally haven't eaten meat or fowl for 30 years and have discovered that to be far better for both the conscience and personal health and vitality.

    But, there is no reason today why anyone needs to choose between McDonalds or blowing away pheasants or geese in the skies.

    I will neither be waiting for FEMA or knocking on your door seeking "tasty morsels" of my friends.

  • Thanks for the comment OChunter. I understand completely where you're coming from.

    This post had made a few twists and turns getting a bit off the track of what the post was originally about.

    I am a big believer in "Say it loud and say it proud".

    If you happy with your harvest, show it in a photo. Dads often are so proud of the photo of their son or daughter with their first deer taken with a shotgun or a bow. Photos help preserve the memory.

    I lost my hunting partner, a great german shorthaired pointer due to her old age. I've hung up my shotgun for many years, but did get back into it. That first shot, knocking down a pheasant after about 10 years created a memory. I have that shotgun shell haning on the wall in my office. I also have photos.

    I have no mounted animals or fish. It's not that I don't believe in mounting game or going after trophies. It is nothing more than my choice. Photos, I have thousands and I'm happy to share them with the visitors of my blog.

  • Don, I have thousands of photos, too.

    Here is one of them: http://www.flickr.com/photos/50648758@N07/6483576829/

    There are many other photos of live Canada geese on this site.

    And you know what?

    Its actually a great deal harder and far more challenging to get good photos of live and moving animals than dead ones.

  • Reading your post a second time, Don, I have a question:

    Should those who accidently run over animals on streets or highways, hold up their victims and snap "loud and proud" photos?

    What after all, is the difference between roadkill and skykill?

    A dead animal is a dead animal. Period.

  • Don,

    I agree. I too do not have trophies hanging on my walls. I do have a photo of me with my grandfather at the hunting shack. It was my first hunt and his last. This photo sits at work next to my desk.

    There are always a few bad apples, but by and large hunters are respectful and caring for wildlife. I've been on many hunting trips where the ruffled feathers of a bird were combed down and handled with care. Hunting is a privilege and being respectful to the harvest is one of the top priorities for most hunters. It is for me.

    Not everyone has to agree so long as everyone respects the others choices.

  • In reply to OChunter:

    A "few bad apples," eh, OChunter?

    Videos like this are all over youtube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCVKWX6yWOQ&feature=related

    You guys think you are special with the "loud and proud" photos?

    But, you obviously are not.

    Its easy to find goons and sickos all over the internet.

  • I agree OChunter. We don’t have to agree with what others do but respect the fact that we have choices here in the USA.
    I've viewed many of PattyA's photos on flickr by going to the link above in her post. Sure lots of nice photos of geese, rabbits, pigeons, etc. Glad she's happy with them. Guess she's expressing her right to Say it Loud and Say it Proud.

    PattyA may not believe that I've worked with the Illinois Natural History Survey on a goose roundup in the corporate corridor along I-88 west of Chicago. Hundreds of geese were captured during their molting period… yes, when they were helpless, caged …. like criminals, and shipped off to another state in trade for fish.

    Hard to believe that a guy who hunts geese and takes their photos also works on a conservation project like this? Removal of nuisance geese for fish for us to catch with hook and line and hold up with or forefinger and thumb for a photo? YIKES!!!

    And snapping a photo with road kill? PattyA you’re starting to grasp at straws here to win your case or prove a point. It’s not working. But will it make you feel better to know that road kill has been brought to taxidermists for mounting? This you may find real nutty…. In Illinois the person who hits a deer has first rights to keep it. If that person refuses to take the dead animal, anyone can. Rules? You have to notify the DNR. It’s the law. And people eat road kill.

    Now PattyA, I’ll save you the trouble… I do not take photos of, keep or eat road kill. Sorry.

    Drove by the Chicagoland Speedway today in Joliet. Thousands of geese seen in the grass and many more as I got closer to Wilmington on Rt. 53. Geese are moving. Huntin's comin'.

  • In reply to Don Dziedzina:

    Don, I am very interested to know what you mean when saying the captured geese were "shipped off to another state in trade for fish." Please elaborate.

    In most cases when geese are rounded up during their molting (flightless) period, they are either sent to slaughter or gassed.

    It really does appear that the hapless Canada geese cannot catch a break, can they?

    They are hunted down in field and sky. They are rounded up, slaughtered and gassed.

    And even when they attempt to find safety in the crown jewel of NYC parks (Central Park), they are endlessly harassed and in the spring, their eggs are oiled. (As occurred to the Turtle Pond mated goose pair this year.)

    I asked Rose a question earlier, but perhaps I will ask the same of you:

    Has anyone considered that were the geese not constantly shot at in rural areas of country (and thus fleeing to urban areas for safety and security) that they would be more likely to stay in natural, country settings?

    I am not sure if you are aware or not, but migratory populations of Canada geese are actually down.

    As in the last century, these birds suffer from destruction of habitat and pressures of overhunting.

    The geese I am seeing in Central Park these days are still the resident geese who get chased from one area of the park to the other.

    But, migratory populations of geese are, in fact, yet to be seen in any appreciable number. And we are already into winter.

    You and your buddies may laugh when I express a great concern for the ultimate survival of the geese.

    True, they are extremely smart, adaptable, resilient, wary and protective.

    But, they are being attacked and killed in every corner of the globe, in addition to being victims of harassment and egg destruction.

    At one time there were hundreds of millions of passenger pigeons.

    The last one went extinct in the early part of the last century.

    Most of the geese you and your buddies are shooting at are the migratory geese. -- The ones whose numbers are already in decline.

    Last month, the black rhino in African went extinct despite efforts to save the species.

    They ultimately fell victim to endless poaching, that once in motion, was impossible to stop.

    Canada geese almost went extinct in the last century. And one of the prime reasons was overhunting.

    Is history repeating itself for the sake of "loud and proud" photographs?

  • In reply to Don Dziedzina:

    In an earlier post, you called me a "lone ranger."

    Well, perhaps I am in the sense of being one of the few people to post numerous photos of live geese, peacefully trying to live out their lives in a city park.

    Geese are endlessly fascinating creatures and to my thinking, extraordinarily proud, regal, mysterious and beautiful when alive and free.

    But, you know, Don, photos and videos of goose massacres are all over the Internet as I just posted in a comment to OChunter.

    Gooney guys, dressed up in army fatigues, hiding out in blinds and trenches with their decoys, their guns and their dogs.

    And like the U2 song, "Bullet the Blue Sky" their hails of bullets blacken the blue skies bringing suffering and deaths in their wakes. And all the while the excuses for human beings laugh and celebrate as the struggling and dying geese fall.

    You know what, Don?

    Better to be a "lone ranger" any day than to be part of a motley mess like this that dares to call itself "human."

  • First, my statement about birds being shipped to another state in a trade for fish. Let me explain.... I give you a bird, you give me a fish. It was a trade.

    You said "In most cases when geese are rounded up during their molting (flightless) period, they are either sent to slaughter or gassed." WOW, the birds I worked with were still alive.

    I recommend to all to check out PattyA's photos on the link she gives above. There are photos of geese being captured, penned in cages and held in wrestling holds. Why? I'm guessing to be "sent to slaughter or (be) gassed." I assume that since you say based on your vast experience that that is the furture of these captured geese. Did you help them capture, pen, slaughter or gas these birds for no apparent reason?

    Hunter go after geese only for about 60 days in the winter. During the molting season when they cannot escape, we don't corral them and shoot them.

    And I wonder about this. Since you allude to the fact that the birds are slaughtered and gassed are you not saying it loud and proud by photographing the event and posting them on flickr for all of us to see? Most true sportsmen consume their game. I wouldn't eat a bird that was gassed.

    Ironic.... you're all for taking care of the birds but you have all of those photos of them being captured and awaiting to be slaughtered.

    Again, see one of my first comments re: "in Illinois we had 316,000 hunters who enjoy hunting for a total of 4,660,000 days"

    Look at the replies from people other than you here. You are alone. Sorry.

  • In reply to Don Dziedzina:

    Of course, I did not personally take the photos of the penned and crated geese. If you read the descriptions under those particular shots, I give the photo credit to the actual photographers.

    I presume most of the photos you are referring to were taken by a gentleman named Jim Pfeil of Delafiled, Wisconsin. He shared them with me (and others) to be posted on YouTube and Flickr to enlighten people to the horrors of USDA roundups.

    These were families of geese (and their babies) living on a huge lake front property whom Mr. Pfeil held very dear. (about 80 geese in all.)

    But, some boat owner "complained" about the geese and before one could say, "Jack Robinson" the mayor of the town contracted with the USDA for goose "removal."

    Mr. Pfeil awoke one morning to find USDA workers in boats on the lake corralling the geese, penning them and stuffing them 5 to 6 in turkey crates to be shipped to a slaughterhouse.

    He was horrified and rushed to the scene with his camera.

    I spoke with Jim over the phone a couple of days later.

    He told me in broken voice that he was unable to sleep and could not even look at his own photos.

    He had personally known the geese, had names for several of them and had even rescued one goose several years before and taken to vet after the goose had been shot and was left to die.

    This was a grown man, extremely distraught over what he had witnessed and even weeping over the phone.

    But, whether it is USDA with their hideous and barbaric "roundups" or a bunch of trigger-happy shooters with their beer, decoys, guns, dogs and military get-ups, the result is the same:

    Wantonly brutalizing nature and killing what to many people are their friends.

    Sure, you have a legal right to "hunt."

    But, we also have right to defend what to us are the dearly beloved glories of nature and our friends.

    What a pity that the ones with blazing guns in their hands don't take the time to actually KNOW the "targets" in their cross hairs.

    Not only are geese the loyal and devoted protectors of their own mates and families, but they are also gregarious, interactive and personable with people. They recognize their human friends and will even come to you with warm greeting and follow when you depart.

    I have names for some of my goose friends and I would not be surprised if they have name for me.

    It is my greatest fear that when chased from the park or leaving on their own, they may wind up in the target sites of some goon's gun.

    But, at least so far, my prayers for their protection have been answered and my geese friends live to see another day.

    I deeply appreciate every day they are alive -- as I do, my own beautiful and devoted senior dogs.

  • In reply to Don Dziedzina:

    You say, "WOW, the birds I worked with were still alive."

    The geese in the USDA crates and pens were "still alive" when photographed by Mr. Pfeil and Mr. Gradagna, too. (Although, according to Jim Pfeil, the geese "were barely alive and appeared to be dying in truck" due to the heat, crowding and stress.) (See other posts regarding the questioned photos.)

    Do you actually know what the plan was for the geese you helped to round up?

    Government officials don't usually kill the geese at the roundup sites.

  • By the way, Don, if you are referring to these photos http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.219736024712949, they were taken by Robert Guadagna who was witness to a USDA roundup at Randall's Island, NY on June 17, 2009.

    As said, the geese cannot catch a break anywhere.

    We, who care about our beautiful partners in nature have to fear for them everywhere and any day of the year -- even Christmas, apparently.

  • Don, you say I am "the only one" who cares about the geese.

    Tell that to the children who so love and appreciate these gentle, peaceful birds:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/50648758@N07/4782351506/in/photostream

  • Quick question for all the shooters on this site:

    What's with the military glad rags, when hiding out in the trenches to blow away the geese?

    Is this some unannounced "war?"

    Are you afraid the geese will actually fight back?

    They have no teeth, claws, guns or roadside bombs with which to defend themselves.

    Sometimes when looking at the "goose hunting" photos and videos, one cannot help but be struck on just how pathetic they really are.

    I am not just talking about the pitiful geese who are the hapless victims of man's frustrations or inability to connect to wildlife, but rather the humans themselves compelled to dress up like soldiers to blast away totally defenseless and non-threatening birds just trying to make it through the challenges of migration.

    A sad reflection on the human condition.

  • Wow so much drama.

    I will add a photo for you a the bottom of the ones above. It's a band taken from a goose I shot a couple years ago in Illinois. It was one from Wisconsin. Maybe it was one that was captured and photograped. FYI the government sent me a certificate for reporting the harvest and info about it.

  • Do you know what it means, Don when a goose has these bands on both legs?

    There is a goose I sometimes see at CP with two bands.

    At Prospect Park in Brooklyn the people are awaiting the winter return of two geese with brightly colored neck collars -- one orange (H7P2) and one yellow (NA03) who have been returning every winter to PP for some years.

    So far, no sign of the two migratory geese.

    I am still concerned about the low number of migratory geese seen so far at Central Park, New York. Their numbers have declined substantially from what was observed just a few years ago.

    It is Chistman Eve so I don't want to engage in a whole lot of "drama" as you put it.

    The geese are something I obviously feel very passionate about as I have watched and interacted with these glorious creatures of God for some years and fear everyday for them.

    It wounds greatly that some people see them only as "targets" or "pests."

    It is traditional on this day to wish others "Happy Holidays" or "Merry Christmas."

    Is you seek to feel merry on this day, I suggest renting the DVDs of "Fly Away Home" and "Winged Migration." Fly Away Home aired on cable TV last night and I smiled for two hours straight! What a totally "up" movie in more ways than one!

    Question for you, Don: You said at some point that you hung up your gun for some years and picked it up again last year.

    Do you mind my asking what were the reasons for both hanging it up and retrieving it again?

    I am reminded of a poem that a hunter wrote years ago:

    A HUNTER'S POEM

    Lem Ward Crisfield

    A hunter shot at a flock of geese

    That flew within his reach,

    Two were stopped in their rapid flight

    And fell on the sandy beach.

    The male bird lay at the water's edge

    And just before he died,

    He faintly called to his wounded mate

    And she dragged herself to his side.

    She bent her head and crooned to him

    In a way distressed and wild,

    Caressing her one and only mate

    As a mother would a child.

    Then covering him with her broken wing

    And gasping with failing breath,

    She laid her head against his breast

    A feeble honk ...then death!"

    This story is true though crudely told,

    I was the man in this case,

    I stood knee deep in snow and cold

    And the hot tears burned my face.

    I buried the birds in the sand where they lay,

    Wrapped in my hunting coat,

    And I threw my gun and belt in the bay

    When I crossed in the open boat.

    Hunters will call me a right poor sport

    And scoff at the thing I did,

    But that day something broke in my heart ...

    And shoot again??? God forbid!!!"

    ---------

    Wishing for everyone here, the spitual blessings of the season.

  • I hung up my gun because I lost my hunting partner to old age. Gypsy, a German Shorthaired Pointer was the best hunting partner I ever had. She out hunted any dog I've ever seen, even today.

    When in the field a hunter with a good pointing dog can read its body language. You can tell when there is a bird nearby, if it will hold tight for you to flush or if it's one that will run.

    With Gypsy I have grown to trust her instinct. If her body language told me a bird was near, I'd follow her for a mile. She never let me down. No matter what the weather was like or what she had to deal with, she just wanted to hunt.

    One time she got caught in a fox trap. It hurt her, I know, but after a few moments she shook it off after she was released.

    FYI, I do not trap, have no desire to, and don’t like it when situations like this (where my dog gets hurt) happen. However I DO respect the rights of trappers and DO NOT try to justify my feelings to them nor challenge their rights to trap, sell pelts, take photos or anything else they want to do.

    Gyspy was a true hunter. I even got to the point that I didn't care if I shot a bird or not. Just watching her enjoy her time in the field was my satisfaction of the hunt. But if a bird busted and I either didn't take the shot or missed the bird. I got "THE LOOK". Yes dogs can tell you that you disappointed them.

    Gypsy is now on a bookshelf in an urn in my family room. On top of the urn is a small statue of a GSP with angel wings. She was and is an Angel.

    I hunted several times after she passed away. It was not the same. No shots were taken on any of those trips, for years.

    But one day my friends convinced me to join them at a hunt club. One friend had his Wirehaired Pointer out there. We walked and followed the dog that had the same passion to find birds for us. On the first point, I told the guys that I would flush the bird and one of them could take the shot.

    I walked ahead, stood next to the dog steady on point but shaking from the intensity of the situation. I turned to my friends to see if they were ready for the flush. They were all standing there with their guns on the ground and arms folded. The owner of the dog said, "It's your bird." They all knew how I felt about loosing Gypsy.

    I turned back to the dog still on point and saw that it glanced at me while I stood there. It was waiting for me to flush the bird. With a slight kick the grass, a big pheasant busted. I raised my shotgun from the hip and took one shot. The bird came down and the wirehair retrieved it.

    This is what hunting is all about.

    Here's a link to one of my columns in the Trib Local, a section of the Chicago Tribune. It's titled... Why do we hunt?

    http://triblocal.com/new-lenox/community/stories/2011/12/why-do-we-hunt/

    I don't expect this to change your views or beliefs. And to be honest, I really don't care to hear your comments on it. You will not change my desire to hunt or anyone else’s.

    Have a Merry Christmas.

  • In reply to Don Dziedzina:

    Don, it seems you didn't post the actual link to your column entitled, "Why do we hunt?"

    But, to be frank, I have probably read every rationalization and euphemism in the book at this point for shooting animals out of the skies or forests.

    To quote a popular political line: "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig." (That said, I personally like pigs and don't believe they require cosmetic enhancement.)

    Likewise, terms and phrases like "harvesting," "tradition," "food on the table" or "just having a good time with the dogs or guys" are euphemisms seemingly attempting to sugarcoat and rationalize something that is offensive to many people and obviously lethal to millions of animals.

    Yes, it is your legal right to shoot birds (the birds after all, cannot fight back, vote, march on Washington or occupy Wall Street.)

    But, is it the right thing to do?

    That is the center of the debate here.

    I am the first one to admit doing things in life that I am not proud of. I do not stand on any "moral highgrounds."

    But, I can at least admit mistakes and acknowledge hurts or damage done to others, in almost all cases, unintentional.

    You don't sound like a hopelessly cruel or ignorant person.

    Obviously, you are able to care deeply for an animal as the love of your former dog suggests.

    I love my dogs too and consider myself very fortunate to have them for so many years.

    But, my respect for animals does not end with personal and "owned" pets.

    There is beauty and wonder to be found in all of nature and all of God's cretures. -- including Canada geese.

    It was, strangely enough, one of my dogs who inspired and motivated my fascination and appreciation of ducks and geese.

    "Tina" would have made an excellent "tracking" or retrieving dog as she can sense a duck, goose, raccoon or squirrel a mile away.

    But, over the years, she has learned respect and restraint around waterfowl as I require nothing less.

    When I say the geese and ducks "come to greet me," it is not just me -- but both of my dogs.

    Our dogs, regardless of their breeds or instincts are in the end, reflections and manisfitations of ourselves.

    I realize nothing I say or share will change yours or others mindsets on the controversy of shooting animals.

    But, I am hoping the discussion and debate here will give others some things to ponder and consider.

    Life is ultimately about learning, sharing and communicating.

    Thanks for allowing me this platform to air the other side of the issue and to attempt to defend the geese.

    The geese and ducks were there for me during 9-11 and other times of sorrow and loss.

    It is the least I owe to them.

    The spirit of the holiday to you, yours and others.

  • Merry Christmas...Peace on earth, Goodwill to men.

  • In reply to basserjim:

    Just men? What about women and animals.? ;)

  • Merry Christmas everyone. It's a Holiday for everyone. My daughter Lisa and I will take our GSP Wager hunting for an hour this morning before we visit family. Tomorrow I'm off to the Northwoods of Boulder Junction to walk on hard water and catch some fish. I'll be taping a TV show or two and I'll have a lot of photos to share when I get back.

    Jim I hope the geese are flying. Go get em bud... keep me posted.

  • In reply to Don Dziedzina:

    Just got back from our annual Christmas goose hunt, got our two Christmas geese for dinner. Geese when cooked right can be very delicious table fare. The family always looks foward to celebrating Christmas with food provided by HIS bounty.

  • 11:45 AM. Got back with an hour and a half to spare before Christmas Party #2.

    Wager did a great job. Found and pointed on four birds, 3 hens and 1 rooster. I took the rooster Jim, so I should be able to make a little Pheasant Chili for the Pit for next Monday.

    The bird fell in some heavy cover but Wager got em out with a nice retrieve.

    Lisa and I had a blast. She now sees and understands why I often went hunting on Christmas and Thanksgiving monrings when she was young.

    Since we got back Wager won't leave Lisa's side becasue she didn't change out of her hunting pants yet. He's ready to go again. This dog lives to hunt.

    Gotta go, need to clean up the rooster, and get cleaned up myself.

    This has been a good Christmas.

  • "Christmas Eve" -- The coming together of the geese and ducks on this special night.

    Greetings from Central Park, NYC. The spirit of Christmas reigns!

    From my blog today: http://talesamptailsofnewyork.blogspot.com/

  • Patty this is the whole problem with you psychotic screwballs called PETA did he come to your tree hugging site no you came to his get over it and get a life by the way shot 2 geese and a snow goose just for you today ha put that in your pipe tonight when your sitting in your lowly existence

  • In reply to f**k PETA:

    LOL! I sure didn't expect to find so many closet, dime store shrinks on a hunting site! Dr. Phil, watch out!

    You know, Dr. Phil wannabe, plenty of hunters come on to pro geese FB pages and leave their little "pearls of wisdom" and psycho babble.

    And while I think that "engagement with the oppositon" is actually a cool and fun thing, my buddies don't.

    They say that engagement with this mentality is a total waste of time.

    Pehaps they are right and it is me who is the fool.

    Nevertheless, "what's good for the goose is good for the gander."

    It seems you guys can dish it out, but you can't take it.

    Guess that explains the reason for all the military garb, camouflage and hiding in trenches to blow a few defenseless birds out of the sky.

    God forbid you were in a real war and actually had to fight other humans.

    You'd turn tail and run as far as your fat butts would let you!.

    BOO HOO!!!! HONK, HONK!!!

    There, there.

    You can run home to Mama, now. ;)

  • Patti,
    How dare you challenge our patriotism in this discussion. I am a vetran who served proudly during the Vietnam Conflict. I know what war is and its not a goose hunt!

  • In reply to basserjim:

    Ah, don't be so sensitive, Basserjim!

    My last comment wasn't directed at you personally.

    But, come on....

    Big guys, dressed up to the nines in camouflage, big guns, hiding in ditches -- all to blow away a few geese just trying to migrate?

    Jeeze, its almost worthy of a Saturday Night Live skit!

    "There they are guys! LET'S GIT 'EM!"

    BOOM!

    "Whoops. - Thought your butt was a gander coming in for a landing."

    Look, my dad graduated from West Point and fought in WW2. Two uncles served in the Air Force and the Navy.

    But, none of them ever blew away a bird.

    They found more dignified and productive ways to make use of their time.

  • Man, such cry babies here!

    Who would ever expect to find cry babies, whiners and Dr. Phil wannabes on a hunting site? LOL! TOO funny!

    So sorry, big guys for any "offenses."

    You can waddle home to Mama now. She's got some goose soup waitin'. (yuk!)

    I shall leave you with this little gift:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/50648758@N07/6579343423/in/photostream/

    I believe it is the geese's way of "giving the feathers." ;)

  • Gentlemen, she is a troll. Patty's real name is Patty Adjamine, she runs a blog dedicated to to the geese and ducks of New York, and she gets involved in other city's business, such as the proposed Park Reduction Plan in North Little Rock. "The Coaltion to Save the Geese of Burns Park" was formed, Patty Joined, and now she is one of the most frequent posters. Oh, and the group deletes comments from those they dont agree with a lot of the time.

    She doesn't believe in hunting, relocation, habitat change, not feeding the geese, or really anything that would prevent the birds from "not getting their way". The even quotes that she gets a certain satisfaction when a young hunter loses his life. From her December 19th blog post:

    "Even has I write this, lethal assaults are occurring on migrating geese throughout the country in the form of hunting.

    A article just published today from Danube, Minnesota describes the death of a 19-year-old young man who was "goose hunting" with his buddies. (Apparently, one of the guns went off accidentally): http://www.wctrib.com/event/article/id/87852/group/homepage/

    One should morally feel sad over the death of any human, particularly one so young.

    But, personally I don't feel much worse over the death of a human hunter, than I do the millions of animals killed everyday for whatever label we want to stick on it.

    Sometimes, whether a bullfighter getting gored by a bull or a hunter accidentally shot by another hunter, we get back some of what we are dishing out in life.

    Perhaps there really is a kind of universal justice? (Albeit a sometimes harsh mistress.)"

    This is the same woman who throws Christmas and peace around like it is her own personal weapon against the barbarians who dare to shoot and consume prey animals.

    Don, you have a great blog here, very informative and well reasoned. I'm sorry a troll has stumbled across it.

  • Well, Rose you should enjoy this news out of Burns Park, AR today:

    http://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2011/12/27/north-little-rock-scraps-goose-hunt-in-burns-park

    I have already written a check to support the non-lethal goose measures in Burns Park.

    You are wrong in saying hunter's comments on the Burns Park FB page have been deleted. I am not administrator to that page, but there were and are plenty of snipes from hunters if you bother to scroll through the posts.

    (More than a thousand people signed on to the Save the Burns Park Geese page in the two weeks since it was created. Amost all were supporters for the geese, but some hunters also signed on.)

    Personally, I find the hunters amusing and enjoy responding to them.

    What's good for the goose is good for the gander. ;)

    Have a nice day, Rose.

  • Say it, loud and proud!

    Burns Park, Arkansas:

    Geesies win!

    "Hunters" lose.

    http://arkansasmatters.com/fulltext/?nxd_id=494077&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    But, the only real victory for the geese would be to restore their natural wetlands and habitat.

    Then, they would not have to escape hunters guns and habitat destruction by fleeing to urban parks and golf courses.

    Better a coyote any day than an "army" of two-legged, trigger-happy buffoons hiding out in trenches.

  • FYI -- An Illinois outdoors hunting column from this past spring which describes the "decline" in resident Canada geese to hunt:

    http://commercial-news.com/sports/x1812412545/Resident-geese-numbers-declining

    The writer attributes the decline to egg addling, but what about all the geese who are shot?

  • No, I didn't enjoy the news, only because it shows once again politicians cannot stand behind a decision if enough of a minority raises a fuss and makes threats.

    And yes, comments have been deleted and blocked, especially in the beginning. I believe the coalition realized it made them look like spoil sports to not allow any differing opinion, and have recently stopped doing it. So don't assume I haven't "taken the time" to scroll through the comments.

    And where should we get all the money needed to restore the habitat? You know what helps to pay for wetland restoration? Duck stamps.

    I still think you are heartless for admitting you dont feel any sadness over the death of that young man. His family lost him right before Christmas, the holiday you love to throw around as a reason to not shoot the geese.

    Incredible. I'm done poking the crazy.

  • In reply to Rose:

    "Minority," Rose?

    The fact is that most people in this country do NOT hunt and are not fans of it.

    On the contrary, we like to think of ourselves as "civilized and humane."

    That is why, in America, we have laws against cruelty to animals, don't have bullfights and don't eat our pet dogs and cats.

    Unfortunately, hunters have been getting away with cruelty to animals for centuries by putting labels like "sport," "recreation," "outdoors" or "harvesting" on it.

    But, it is still cruelty to animals.

    As for your accusation of "heartlessness" regarding the hunter shot by another hunter:

    Did you weep buckets over the cock fighter who died some months back after one of his fighting roosters gored him in the heart with a spur? Did you feel sympathy at all?

    Do you cry when a bullfighter gets gored by a bull?

    Indeed, there are great human tragedies that occur every day.

    Murders, war, rape, disease, fires, floods, tsuamis, earthquakes.

    This Christmas, a family of three children and their grandparents died in a horrible fire in Ct.

    Those are real tragedies that sear the heart and yes, I always feel great sorrow when hearing and reading about them.

    But, it is difficult to feel the same degree of sadness over those who engage in high risk behavior that although meant to harm or destroy others, ultimately destroys the perpetrator.

    I do feel some level of regret over the 19-year-old hunter killed by another hunter.

    I regret that he went out with a gun that day.

    Had he not done so, he would still be alive and his family most likely would have enjoyed a happy Christmas.

    As said, sometimes universial justice is harsh.

  • In reply to Rose:

    Hey, Rose, I ain't the only one associating the sights of migrating geese and their haunting calls with Christmas carols.

    Some outdoors writers do: ;)

    http://www.modbee.com/2011/12/27/2002801/a-tornado-of-geese-rises-nearby.html

  • Greetings from the gorgeous geesies of Central Park!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlXxZO_nChs

    Ain't it cute the way they waddle? Just like little people in tuxedos.

    So beautiful, vibrant and alive.

    They are happily singing, "You can't touch this!" ;)

  • Well I just returned from a great (but short) trip to the Northwoods of Wisconsin for some Ice Fishing. Stayed at the Wildcat Lodge in Boulder Junction. This was a good trip and now I'm exited for the snowmobilers because the snow is falling up there. Drove about 2 hrs through a snow storm coming home.

    While I was gone I see that more comments have come in on the goose matter. I guess that's okay.

    Rose, thanks for your commentary. I enjoy reading it. Sounds to me like you have your head on straight.

    I know one commenter likes to sling mud, challenge the integrity of outdoorsmen and women, not to mention our rights to hunt and take photos of our harvests. That’s okay too of it makes them feel good.

    I don't think anything will change PattyAs mind or point of view and I'm not trying to. I'm sure she'll give up and then invade some other blogger's post on some other site with the same gibberish.

    Yes, this is an outdoors blog. It’s about fishing and hunting. Will it stop because one person has her nose out of joint about shooting geese and having photos taken with them?

    Sorry… it will not.

    More posts will be coming. They’ll be about goose hunting as well as other forms of hunting and fishing. Pictures, as they say, are worth a thousand words. I like photos. One lonely photo tells a story by itself. A series of photos brings on chapters and chapters.

    I recently ran a blog titled Please Stop the Killing Now. Here’s the link.

    http://www.chicagonow.com/illinois-outdoors/2011/12/please-stop-the-killing-now/

    It is now the leading post that I have running.

    This blog… has lost its punch. I think people are just tired of hearing the gibberish of one commenter who thinks that hunting, hunting photos, shooting geese, etc is all wrong.

    I go back to one of my first comments. I’ll just copy and past the first 3 paragraphs then quit.

    • “Hunting is a sport that we are able to enjoy here in Illinois much like our fathers, grandfathers and other ancestors.
    In the 2006 survey by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, it was learned that here in Illinois we had 316,000 hunters who enjoy hunting for a total of 4,660,000 days that year. This survey is conducted once every 5 years and the results for 2011 will come out some time early in 2012. I’ll be glad to share it with you as well when it comes out.

    As for the economics of hunting, Illinois hunters had $381,937,000 in expenditures for the year.

    I think it is easily shown that hunting is big in Illinois, enjoyed by many, and definitely has a positive economic impact on our state.”

    Goose hunting is here to stay. The Illinois central zone where I hunt is having a lot of geese show up. Hunting will be good boys and girls. Load up the shotguns and don your best camo outfit. Don't forget the cameras. We have a whole month ahead of us. I'll get my geese and post more photos... in a new blog here at www.IllinoisOutdoors.com.

    Remember, Great Hunting is not that far away. tm

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