This story continues from our last episode, where the wannabe writer/ overly costumed bike rider encounterd aggressive avian species.
Before (damn close to) drowning to death on the Grand Canyon, Tim Cahill claims that he was once Pecked to Death by Ducks.
You mean those cute little, beautifully colored birds that peacefully ply your neighborhood park pond?
Hmmm. And I thought him the rugged adventurer of the wild outdoors.
I wonder if he has ever been face-to-face with a really pissed off goose…you know, those massive Canadian Honkers with a wingspan that reaches over six feet across.
I have, and it was a horrifying experience, as we stood there in shotgun-to-slightly-bloodied-body combat, which may explain why the big bird was extremely agitated at me.
Before you excoriate me with extreme prejudice, I admit that I eat meat.
In my earlier years, I attempted to obtain at least some of my animal-based protein myself, legally, with great care and respect, and sans post-hunt wall mountings. Truth-be-told, if I depended on my hunting prowess, I would have starved to death.
My “successes” included a few game birds that my hunting buddies gave me because: a) I couldn’t hit shit, b) they felt sorry for me, and c) I brought the beer (for after, when the guns were put away, of course).
Oh yeah, and I did once bring home an unlucky buck that I am pretty sure died of either a heart attack from my near misses zinging by, or quite possibly, of laughing to death at how many times I did miss. See item “a)” above.
While I have not become a vegetarian, I have long since given up all forms of hunting, except catch-and-release fly-fishing, which, if you have ever seen me attempt, is pretty much the same as not doing it.
Back to my goose face off, this occurred many years ago, along the shores of Honey Lake in Lassen County, up in northeast California.
After that bird had the misfortune to fly into a pellet or two, that may, or may not, have come from my general direction, the hapless, innocent animal landed in the cropped straw-colored field nearby.
My buddies, who were in their hunting blinds, yelled over that I needed to do the humane thing and go over and “dispatch” the wounded creature, as well as get the bird for the meat that was supposedly the purpose of the process.
So, I walked over, with shotgun in hand, to do…what? I had not really thought that through.
When I got within a couple of feet of the mostly stunned creature, it dawned on me that I certainly could not shoot it at that range, as it would obliterate any meat that I was planning on taking home to create some gourmet dinner entrée that you see gracing the cover of food magazines.
Unfortunately, mine more often resembled—and tasted—like one of the deflate-gate footballs.
In other words, my cooking acumen of wild game was at the same level of expertise as my obtaining of said menu ingredients.
I couldn’t hit shit, and, I couldn’t cook shit either, which, if you think about it, kind of complemented each other.
I guess I could have charged the very large, very much still alive, very much unhappy wounded animal with my hunting knife held in my teeth, and tackled it, but this thing was really big up close and was really, really giving me very dirty looks and rude hissing noises.
So, I grabbed the barrel of my shotgun and decided to club the poor beast to put it out of its misery…and maybe mine.
Imagine the scene as I chased this bird around the open field, wildly swinging my long-gun towards its head, as my buddies were hysterically cackling—well, like geese—at the spectacle.
Yes, you did read that I was holding the business end of the barrel, clearly in my attempt to gain admission to the Darwin Awards finalists (with emphasis on finalists).
This went on for some time until both the goose and the hunter became completely exhausted. All I can say is that it did not end up well for either one of us.
No, luckily I did not gut shoot myself, as some PETA members might have preferred to see.
I had to go home and pluck about “one million” feathers, as they wafted up into my nostrils and mouth, and over most of my body, then butcher the bird, which details I will spare you, except to say, I’m still trying to get various goose bits out from under my fingernails.
Let’s just say, the next time you eat that Thanksgiving turkey, which I suspect you got in the neatly bagged, bare skin stage, you might include that fact in your thanks for the day.
And, I give thanks every day that the only stalking I have to do to get my next meat-based meal is at the supermarket, while avoiding crashing my shopping cart into any wild kids running down the aisles.
Nowadays, that’s wild enough for me.