On the Edge of Common Sense 11-8-10
Goose season is on us again. When the great majestic Canadian honkers course through the pale winter skies like waves of bombers rolling toward Germany in World War II.
The goose population is on the rise. Even to the point that some city dwellers are coming of goose ditritus and effluvia (sounds like names for mythical Greek hillbillies) despoiling city parks, jogging paths and sidewalks.
To wheat farmers on the flyway, the problem is less one of sanitation and more one of production. They eat the newly sprouted wheat.
Keith farms in north central Oklahoma. Geese have been regular squatters in his wheat fields for years but the goose population explosion is taking its toll on his crop and his patience.
Last season some of his city friends asked to hunt pheasant on his place. They were welcome, of course. Keith took them to the backside of his farm where he’d left some cover and dropped them off. When he picked them up later in the afternoon he drove by his wheat fields. New growth was peekin’ up and adding unnatural green patches to the brown winter landscape. He also noted 500 geese had flown in and set up camp. They were busily plucking the sprouts.
“Boys,” he said to his three Boone and Crockett buddies, “climb in the back and I’ll take you for a goose run.”
They did. Keith got on the inside of the hot wire, put it in 4-wheel drive and started down the edge of the field. The hunters were crowded in the bed of the pickup. Keith was doin’ 35 mph when he got broadside of the geese. He wheeled too hard to port, stomped the gas and closed the distance in a matter of seconds.
He was doing 50 miles an hour when he flew through the flurry of geese! The sky was black with them. The raucous honking was deafening. Mud was banging in the wheel wells but he heard nary a shot.
In the blink of an eye he was clear of the geese, although it was impossible to see out the windshield. Apparently, in an effort to lighten their load, they had performed a cloacal evacuation as they sailed over the cab.
A glance at his intrepid hunters soon led him to realize why their guns were silent. They looked like they had been in an oatmeal storm. Maybe a Cream of Wheat drive-by creaming, or had stepped on a butterscotch mine.
Goose droppings splattered their Eddie Bauers, smeared their Land’s End, coated their Cabela’s, lambasted their L.L. Beans, splattered, smeared, blinded, bluffed and buffeted them as the blizzard of geese had flown over at ground zero.
Their spokesman removed his Smith and Wesson sunglasses, revealing the only bare skin on his face. He looked like a pallid raccoon.
“They shot first,” he said. “We didn’t have a chance!”
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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has reintroduced the Defense of Environment and Property Act and all of us in the agriculture industry need to get behind this legislation. We also need to urge our representatives in…