The cull did not go according to plan

We had planned to cull all our geese this Saturday. We arranged a big “de-goosing” shindig, with the former-professional-chef neighbour, foodie friends, and anyone else who wanted one of the ~19 geese.

We did a small de-goosing about 18 months ago. It was easy, we chased the waddling geese down to the yards, grabbed the ones we wanted, and released the rest.

Problem. The geese had “leveled up”. They could fly. I had seen them fly a bit, clumsily and downhill. No, now they could fly- like hundreds of meters, uphill, across the valley. Ever heard the phrase “wild goose chase”? We lived it for a few hours.

Thankfully they would try “going to ground” and hiding, and all up we managed to catch 5 that way. So those were processed. Late in the day Richard and Selwyn spotted 3 more, and got them with their .22’s. Selwyn discovered that head-shots do not stop geese, an important safety tip in case of a goose zombie apocalypse. By this point most everyone had left, and there were only a half dozen of us left to pluck and gut those last 3 geese. (And our chef neighbour got the dates wrong, and missed the whole thing.) We are hoping in a few weeks do have another de-goosing, and get the rest of them. I will try to win their trust with food in the mean time, to make them easier to catch (oh, the betrayal!).

And in the midst of all this, there was dog drama. There had been an attack down the valley overnight, 2 black dogs killed some sheep on John’s place, but he managed to shoot one. Zane spotted the black dogs chasing sheep across the valley at about 1PM, so 4 of us (3 with guns) leapt in a car and headed over while Tam started calling neighbors. The dogs got away, chased into the forestry block by some cattle (on a hill so steep it makes out back hill seem gentle). One was on 3 legs. On Sunday we heard via the Tawa grape-vine (via Yvonne) that someone had their dogs come home- and one was shot. A pair of pig dogs that had run off 2 days previous. Dogs put down, problem solved.

A very full day! We had 24 people over at peak, if my count was right. Including a red-headed mycologist (whose name I didn’t catch) who brought in all sorts of paddock mushrooms, gave a little identification class, then cooked up the edible ones for lunch! Yum!

At the very end of the day, when burying the leftover “bits”, it was commented that the goose wings look very much like most rendition of angel wings. This lead to the idea of a short story contest for a story starting with the line “the angel cull did not go according to plan.” He. We were a bit tired at punch-drunk at that point, admittedly.

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