Today I went fishing. Big shock, I know. The lake I fish most often is in the middle of two neighborhoods. It has back yards and docks around the entire perimeter except the levee. It is a wonderful lake. Very few people ever fish it. It is pretty, though not particularly quiet. And even though it is in the middle of a large city you can see beautiful glimpses of creation there.
There are quite a lot of geese that live on the lake. There are a lot of domestic geese (the white ones) which I don’t like. They are very loud and messy. There are also quite a lot of Canadian geese, which seemingly live there around the year. Many of the Canadian geese were sitting on nests today.
At one end of the lake I heard an odd sound. It repeated several times, and I told Jack, “It sounds like somebody is shooting at us with a BB gun.” About that time, a Canadian goose flew out of the yard where we heard the shooting, and Jack said, “Yeah, or shooting at the geese.” That goose flew across the lake and honked what I thought was a sad sounding honk. It was weak and whiny. The shooting didn’t stop, and since geese mate for life, I thought it was honking towards its mate. The other goose was hiding under a tree at the corner of a dock. As we turned in the boat, we saw the goose, floating, dead.
I have no problem with goose hunting. I have no problems with any kind of hunting. I have been hunting many times. I have shot rabbits, squirrels, birds and frogs. I built a website for a hunting lodge. But I have a problem with killing just to kill something. A few years back, I shot a woodpecker for no real reason, and I felt guilty for three days. It bothers me terribly to think that that goose is now turtle food, for no reason. (We tried to give the goose to some other fishermen hoping they would eat it, so it wouldn't die in vain.) Earlier in the day, we saw a wounded goose that we thought was tied or caught in a chain around a tree. I got out of the boat intending to help it out. It turns out he just had a bad leg, and couldn’t get up. I wonder if that goose was a victim of the BB gun as well. BB guns are much better suited for goose wounding than goose hunting. Most goose hunters use a 3 ½” magnum 12 gauge.
I just felt like getting that story off my chest.