Don’t look now, DNR and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, but the tip of your wildlife management iceberg is showing.
The new plan for managing the country’s Canada
goose flock makes about as much sense as the proverbial barrel of monkeys,
and shows even less knowledge of what civilized societies the world around
call “reverence for life.”
As you probably know by now (however joyful it
may be), the Fish and Wildlife Service is in cahoots with the Indiana Department
of Natural Resources to actually encourage those who are troubled by the
mess geese make--and the many who aren’t--to wreck the eggs of Canada geese
when they are being naturally incubated.
No permit is necessary to so do, as in the past,
which (incidentally) was about as successful as growing grass in dense
shade. If you don’t like a goose--or fuzzy, little yellowish goslings--abort
their eggs before they hatch. We’ll get those rascals, won’t we.
The new, half-baked management plan of the two
erudite wildlife management organizations seems to say: “Look, guys and
gals--our old management plan (that required a permit to wreck the eggs
and nest--usually four to 10 eggs) was a bust. We’re gonna give every mother’s
son (daughters, too) carte blanche authority to assume the roles of judge
and jury of Canada geese and nests thereof. As an afterthought, why don’t
you just do our job, but we get credit for any success that might come
of it (our plan).”
When I think of such a slipshod operation, an
old Burma Shave message jumps into my mind: “He was right, dead right .
. . As he sped along . . . But he’s just as dead . . . As if
he’d been wrong.”
I also recall that the late Albert Schweitzer,
African missionary and a man of vision, in his book, Out Of My Life
And Thought (don’t ask me what page), said, in effect, that a farmer
is justified in mowing down wildflowers all day, as he makes hay. But if
he lowers his sickle bar to lop off the head of a daisy on the way home,
he lacks reverence for life.
Point 1--The Canada goose did not ask to be brought
here as adults, have their wings “pinned” so they couldn’t fly freely,
and to establish the “resident flocks” that management hates with a passion.
The first Canada goose eggs were brought here by employees of the (then)
Division of Fish and Game. Then the Indiana Wildlife Federation, to further
the program, took, over with its “goose for you, too” program that prospered.
We (everybody) thought it was great. Biologists of the DFW say we may have
as many as 200,000 resident geese now.
Point 2--Destroying the nests of geese--or any
other bird or animal--is nothing more than a stroke against the reproductive
characteristics of the bird we wanted so much as a quarry for hunters.
Did we bring the Canada goose here because we were concerned about the
welfare of the species? Did we want to give these poor critters a place
to live. Did we believe the species needed a place to live? Not on your
tintype. We wanted them here to hunt.
The Solution: Manage wildlife. Don’t sit behind
a desk and ponder what is best for man. We have geese now. We want fewer
of them. The way to make the species less prolific is to kill the goose--and
use it--before it lays eggs. If hunting pressure is not controlling the
species, put on more pressure for people who will use the birds as food.
If hunting pressure does not do the job, legalize market hunting until
the problem is solved. Market hunting has proven with several species in
the court of trial and error that it will do the dirty work. Take, for
examples, the cases of the passenger pigeon, here in Indiana. There are
others. At, say a buck per pound, goose meat could be a hot commodity,
it would seem
The difference in killing more geese and eating
what you kill, and your week-kneed egg destruction fiasco is that my plan
offers food; the opportunity to consume the critter killed; your plan offers
“wanton waste” at its level best which you abhor so violently.