Save Us From Green Glop: Shoot The Geese

Mention “nullification” or “states’ rights,” and most of us think about slavery or the Civil War.

I think about goose poop.

The federal government has a law that says we cannot shoot Canada geese. The basic premise of this law is that geese are migratory birds. They supposedly fly over several states. So a federal law is needed to ensure that they are not shot to extinction.


Or, rather, poopwash.

Truly migratory geese visit our area in spring and fall.

Geese that are here now, in late August, are not migratory geese.

They are hobos. Vagrants. Miscreants. Ruiners of yards, lawns, ponds and swimming holes.

Where do we suppose that the e coli bacteria cited as reasons for closing swimming pools comes from?

From goose poop, that’s where.

Geese are the most foul-butted creatures in this chain of spreading gooey, icky, shoe-sticky, doormat-ruining glop.

They should be shot.

Some bird lovers disagree.

Most of them do not own ponds.

We own a pond.

We walk around our pond. We then walk into our home.

Ick. Goose doo-doo becomes don’t-don’t.

Shoot the geese.

As for that federal law – nullify it. Pennsylvania should refuse to allow state or county courts or jails to be used to enforce the federal law. We should instruct our game and fisheries people to ignore it.

Our federal representatives, our members of the Senate and House, ought to work to repeal the no-shooting law or, at a minimum, replace it with imposition of the current rules only during the spring and fall migrations.

During the rest of the year, geese ought to be treated like mute swans. Mute swans, with orange bills, are non-native and therefore are not protected.

Canada geese? Hey, look at the name: “Canada.” When last I looked, Canada was not part of Pennsylvania. Canada is not part of the United States.

So let’s protect our farm ponds, and our farmers’ feet, by encouraging Canada geese to go back to Canada.

During this past spring, Canada geese touched down on our farm pond.

Well, OK – for a visit.

But if they stayed overnight, I caused loud noises to be made in the vicinity of the pond. Making loud noises near the pond that we own is legal, as long as neighbors are not disturbed.

Disturbed? Some of them cheered. Either they also have ponds, or they have crops: Corn, wheat, soybeans, etc.

They do not want the Canada geese in their ponds or crops, either.

But unhappily, when the loud noises caused the Canada geese to take flight, they went to neighbors’ ponds or fields.

Now, we all need to earn our livings. We cannot stand near our ponds or fields all the day long, causing loud noises to be made.

Dogs, I am told, will chase away Canada geese.


We have two dogs. Their first names are “Ralph” and “Buddy.” Their lineage is, respectively, Lab/Aussie and – this is an odd one – collie/beagle.

Their last names are “Waddlebutt.” That surname ought to offer a clue as to their effectiveness at chasing away geese.

At first, encouraged by my shouts (and the fact that I carry doggie biscuits), they would run down to the pond with me, and bark at the geese.

Running and barking, they soon discovered, is work.

Within a week, I would shout, “Let us hurtle toward the pond and evict the miscreant geese!”

They would remain lying on the ground.

Oh, they would turn their heads toward the pond.

“Bark!” they would say, or, if they felt like being really helpful, “Bark! Bark!”

Then they would look at me, panting/smiling agreeably, conveying their message: “Give biscuits. We barked. Give biscuits now.”

Ask the City of DuBois elected leaders what they think of the Canada geese near the Tannery Dam/Juniata Lake or near the Anderson Creek drinking water reservoir.

“Hmm,” they will say, “that is a problem.”

Then promise those same people that they will not be quoted by name, preventing bird lovers from haranguing them.

The language immediately becomes more blunt, more colorful.

Cleansed for use in this family-friendly publication, their comments come down to a paraphrase of the 17th paragraph, above: Shoot the geese.

Now, I have never eaten goose meat. I choose to not sit shivering in goose blinds during goose hunting seasons. Besides, having shot dozens of boxes of shells at grouse without ever hitting even one during a half-century of hunting, I am unlikely to make one of those storied “wing shots” extolled by the bird hunting magazines.

I am, however, quite likely to make a sitting-on-my-pond shot. If legally permitted, I will gladly clean and pluck or skin the animal, and eat it. It will not go to waste. Its colleagues, properly alerted to “Here be danger!” will to back to Canada, where they belong by name.

And God-fearing, tax-paying, patriotic Americans will once again be able to walk around our ponds without being forbidden from re-entering our houses upon pain of spreading green doo-doo where it is a don’t-don’t.

Donald Trump, where are you? Take up this clarion cry. Close our borders to illegal immigrant Canada geese!

Denny Bonavita is a former editor at newspapers in DuBois and Warren. He lives near Brookville. Email: