03 July 2006
2006 Wild Goose Chase
I just finished our Annual "Goose Roundup" with the Dept. of Natural Resources folks.
Another safe roundup completed, thank goodness, and a great time was had by all but the geese, who weren't troubled for very long.
It was cooler than normal this year........in the low 80's most days. That's better for the birds, who we sometimes have to drive for long distances. Of course the cooler, thicker air is also better for helicopter performance.
A couple quick comments:
Canada Geese are monogamous. I asked one of the biologists what happens when a bird's mate is killed. His answer made me feel better........they pair up with a new mate in the Spring.
This year we tried using Jon boats and a little, (2' long), remote control boat in conjunction with the helicopter to move the birds in difficult situations. Surprisingly, the remote control boat had more affect on the geese than did the Jon boats. The Jon boats frighten them initially, but when they get close to shore the birds simply won't be turned by them anymore. They were spooked by the little remote control boat, so we used it as a block to help keep the birds moving the direction I wanted them to go. BUT........when it comes time to force them out of the water and onto the shore, the only thing that scares them enough to get that job done is the helicopter! But the little remote control boat gave me an idea: I have a former student, (who also reads Pitchpull), that is an excellent remote control helicopter pilot. How big does a helicopter have to be to get the bird's complete attention? I made the suggestion that we might try to use my former student and his R/C helicopter next year to help guide the birds. The DNR folks seemed amenable to that idea, so I asked my former student and he agreed to try it next year.
Something to look forward to next June!