On the drive to Barns and Nobles yesterday I noticed something strange was happening on field about a hundred yards off the main road. The field is really a snow covered corn field half way between the Windsor bike trail and the Cozy Cow dairy. There were a few guys dressed in camouflaged hunting cloths setting out what must have been 30 or 40 goose (geese?) decoys. They were actually unloading them from a trailer that they parked in the field. We looked around while driving to B&N and did not see one single bird. There wasn’t a goose, duck, or pigeon within eye sight. It’s about twelve degrees outside, and I guess all the sane birds are in Mexico. On the way back (An hour later) we saw one man lying in the snow watching for geese to fly in and join his posse of plastic friends. If I could see him lying in the snow with his shotgun at his side, I am sure as hell that geese could see him. I figure that they are in the frozen pond in the up-scale neighbor hood just down the street, simultaneously laughing and freezing their asses off. I was right. Less than a quarter of a mile away at the bottom of the hill was about a hundred geese taking turns pointing and laughing.
This whole thing reminded me of a time a few years back when I worked for Hewlett Packard. Part of my responsibilities was to escort people on the HP campus that was not related to actually buying a HP product. Not really PR work, more like a tour guide. This time it was to escort a representative of the Colorado Division of Wildlife. She was looking for permission to tranquilize geese and take them for a study on birth control. Goose birth control. I am not making this up. Anyway, while showing her around the park like recreation area, I asked how she would go about catching the geese. She said that she, and some volunteers, would feed the geese drugged bread crumbs and then when they fell asleep they would pick them up and put then in her truck. I had to ask a stupid question. “What do you do if a goose falls asleep in a pond?” “That’s what the volunteers are for, they have a boat” she said. Did I mention that the lady from the Colorado Division of Wild life was 8 months pregnant? Anyway she and her crew of volenteers came back on Saturday and proceeded to drug and capture over fifty geese to study goose birth control. While this was going on I noticed something about the geese she was collecting. About one in five of the geese already had a plastic collar around its neck with a number written on it. I found out that these have already taken part in another study.
So this made me wonder. Being that I am not a goose hunter, geese hunter? What does a hunter do if he shoots a goose and finds that it has a collar? For that matter what does she do with those geese? If I was doing a study on migratory birds and one of them got off track due to a birth control study I would be pissed. Too bad I didn’t think to ask the lady collecting sleeping geese. Also, I wondered, why do you need camouflaged cloths, plastic geese, and a shotgun to hunt geese? From what I could tell all you need is some breadcrumbs and a stick. There were times where you could just step on the gooses head and take em home for supper with out wasting a shell. I can see hunting elk, dear, or some other tasty animal that can fill your fridge. They are timid animals that you actually have to go into their environment to even find. Goose hunting seems to be almost like hunting chickens.