Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘canoes’


My painting of Canada Geese

The Canada goose also named Branta Canadensis is one of my favorite types of waterfowl hunting. For those of us who live in the northern hemisphere and witness those large “V” formations in the spring flying over head along with the sound of their calls, makes for a very powerful experience and my sense of pride for the North-American wilderness is enriched.

In the province of Quebec, Canada geese may be hunted during their respective hunting season which is always during the fall months, with the exception of Snow Geese that can be hunted during a special spring hunt.

In Quebec, a hunter needs to have in his or her possession, the waterfowl permit plus the stamp (included) and also have their provincial small game permit for that year both for fall and the spring hunts. Waterfowl hunting is managed by Environment Canada; and all the information needed may be found on their site.

During the summer months, when I am not out hunting rock dove or groundhog, I like to take canoe trips to nearby lakes not only to enjoy the lush wilderness around me but also study the Canada geese that flock by the thousands and setup their nests by the shores.

It is now the middle of the month of June for the year of 2012 and the goslings that I had seen weeks before now have grown in size but still stay close to their parents in the water and shores. Being out in nature, studying the waterfowl is one of the best ways to learn about their habits, habitat but also their language and behavior. This knowledge is essential not only for conservation but also as a hunter.

During my last outing, I turned my canoe bow toward the northern edge of the lake and started to slowly paddle along the shore in order to get as close as I could to two groups of Canada geese. There were four adults which included two males that can weigh up to thirteen pounds and about twelve goslings that were already starting to lose the yellow plumage and turn grey. They were scattered, two adults in one group to the east and the other two adults to my left or north-west of the lake and the goslings were also scattered with three on the shoreline and the rest in the water.

The birds never sounded off an alert call as I closed the gap between them and me and this I found surprising. At the start of the waterfowl hunting season when it is open in farming areas first, quite often a few geese standing guard in the farming fields will sound off loud danger calls and soon the flock will fly away hastily in the face of danger.

Now just four meters away the male nearest to me, started to shake his head and upper part of his neck what seemed like a rhythmic dance, then the adult female soon followed and did the same, within a couple of seconds the three goslings on shore came into the safety of the water, then the entire flock came together in one tight group and starting swimming away to my left or west very quickly. I was being watched very closely, the other two adult geese to my right or east, started the head dance as well, first the male then the female both shaking their heads in this rhythmic dance and then they swam off towards the shore then caught up with the other geese.

It was clear to me that the rhythmic head shake was a clear message that danger was near but that it was not considered life threatening and that all geese and goslings should come together in a tight group and move away fast without making a single sound.

This would indeed be a perfect defense against a fox or coyote that is raiding the shorelines of the lakes and waterways. If the predator was spotted but the flock did not want to give away their position, they could send a silent alert signal to the rest of the flock to get into the safety of the water and stay close together thus giving the impression of strength in numbers. A veteran hunter once told me that the males can really pinch with their bite if you get too close, and their flapping wings can be intimidating.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: