Snow Geese Then No Geese

Posted: May 12, 2014 in Everyday Life, Humor

Now that winter is over and I’ve watched the large flocks of geese returning, I am brought back to an earlier time, not necessarily a simpler time but an earlier time many years ago. I was traveling through southern Iowa with my friend JD. We were traveling in a brand new Customized Ford Club  van that JD had just purchased. I can still remember that new car smell.

It was the common practice at the time, for a few of us that traveled through the back roads of the country, to carry a shotgun. Not for protection, goodness sakes no, but for hunting. We never knew when an opportunity might arise to shoot a pheasant or couple of quail that we flushed from the side of the road….Or what ever else was in season. During the summer months the shotgun would be replaced with a fishing rod and tackle.

All of this was well and good but if you “hunted” in this fashion you had to be sure of a couple of things. One, the game never stayed in the road right of way and always flew, ran or dragged itself across the right of way onto private property. If you didn’t know the property owner you had to be sure that the land was not posted with “No Hunting ” or “No Trespassing” signs. You could get in trouble if you disregarded this. If caught, the trouble could range from a stern warning from the property owner, all the way to a shotgun blast through the rear window of your car or vehicle. The worst that could happen and maybe the most desirable was a fine from the county sheriff or game warden. The other thing was that you had to know if the game was in season and you had the proper license to hunt it. Two very important things to remember.

Normally I am very conscientious and so is my friend JD. But it seems that when we are together we put aside all logic and conscientiousness and are bad influences on each other. A few examples are the stolen turkey incident of 1978 or the moose antlers in the car fiasco of 1980 or the pulling down the tent hooked to the car bumper catastrophe a couple of years earlier. Trouble seems to follow us when we are together. And believe it or not none of these are alcohol related. But these are not the stories today. Today I’m telling you about the snow geese debacle.

On this day JD and I were returning from a large electronics sale. Looking up the road ahead of us we both noticed the unmistakable sight of a small flock of snow geese disassembling and landing onto a large farm pond. I’m not going to say whether it was goose season or whether either of us had duck or geese stamps, I assumed JD did and JD assumed I did, I’m sure. But we both agreed it would be nice to have a big goose for Christmas dinner. JD followed the frontage road that was probably five hundred yards away from the pond while I retrieved JD’s shotgun from behind the seat. Without talking we both knew what we, or should I say JD, was going to do. You see that was our trouble neither of us ever took on the accountability of our actions. I always assumed it was his fault and he always assumed it was mine.

As I was opening the access gate to the property I remember the No Hunting sign hanging there but neither of us mentioned it. JD drove the van onto the snow-covered two-track path that led to the pond. On our slow creep down the hill, through what became foot deep snow, we heard a “Kachunk!” and realized JD had hit a snow drift covered bale of hay. We continued not wanting to scare the geese, knowing we had to get close to guarantee a clean kill of these large birds. We kept going slowly and got within range for his 12 gauge short-barreled shotgun. JD stops, steps out of the van and Pow! Ka Pow! shoots two of the last straggling landing geese. They both dropped within 50 yards of us. I quickly trudged out and retrieved them by the neck. As I turned to return to the van I could see the dreaded site of a pickup following our van’s snow tracks down the pasture toward us. It was the landowner.

He stopped behind us. I remained standing by the van with a goose hanging from each hand. JD unloaded the shotgun and restowed it quickly behind the driver’s seat. Landowner got out of his pickup, all six and half or seven foot of him, and with a smile on his face approached us. He says ” those are great lookin geese! I heard your shots, not bad, two shots and two geese!” We only nodded and returned his smile. Now with his hand outstretched he says “Goose will be good for Christmas dinner!”. Handing the left hand goose to him, I said “there ya go enjoy it! Merry Christmas!” Upon which he extended his other hand. Picking up on his signals perfectly, I surrendered the other goose to him, saying nothing. He returned to his pickup. As he was placing the old truck in gear he lowers the window “I noticed you ran over a bale of hay on you way down here, hay’s sellin’ for three dollars a bale these days”.  JD promptly took out his wallet and extracted a five dollar bill and handed it to him. Then he said “If you don’t mind, I’ll keep the change. Now! Get your goddamn bale of hay off my property!”

Under the close eye of Mr Landowner from the road, we stopped at the torn up hay bale on our exit out. Opened the sliding side door to the new smelling Customized Club Van and loaded the unwrapping, snow-covered, wet bale of hay onto the plush custom carpeting. JD all the while imitating Bing Crosby singing “I’m Dreaming of A White Christmas”. I’ll admit, I had a big smile on my face.

I think we had ham for Christmas dinner that year.

Such is the life of John

  1. Ha! I love this story!!! 😀 I can’t stop laughing! 😀
    You’re lucky you didn’t spend Christmas in jail having green bologna sandwiches and water! 😉 😀

    Now I want to hear the other stories about fiasci (ha! “fiasci” is plural of fiascoes”) that you and JD had together! 😀

    HUGS!!! 🙂
    PS…snow geese are good poopers, so I imagine they are good to eat! 😉


    • Ha! Fiasci! There were many, so fiasci would be correct. But I’d rather refer to them as debacles. Debacles at least have a slim chance of turning out OK. 😀
      I’ve already told about our plumbing / snow blower diboco and now the snow geese. Let me think….

      I may write one day about the great Waynoka, OK rattlesnake round up of 1982 that JD, my wife & I attended. But be patient, the events of that day and the days that followed will be very hard to put into mere words. I’m not sure that I want to relive them. But I admit that time does have the most subject matter. :/
      But looking back we all can learn to laugh.

      Your PS – I’ve never thought about it but you are right, good poopers are usually very delicious. 😀 Many Hugs and gooses back at ya! HAhahaha!


      • Yes, we must learn to laugh. Find the funny. 🙂

        Ew…I’m not sure if I want to hear about the rattlesnake roundup. 😮

        Whatever you write, I will read. You are a good writer! and I like your take on things! and I enjoy your stories! 🙂

        HUGS and gooses! I like that! Snort! 😀


        • Thank you Carolyn! 🙂 I do enjoy writing about the fun I’ve had. I’ve been lucky to have known the people that have enriched my life with so much that I can write about. 🙂

          Yes, I think it is time for the rattlesnake story. Sadly, these events all happened before digital cameras but I think there was one picture taken of this. Now I have to sort through some old pictures. :/


  2. This was a fun read — thanks !!!! 🙂


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