Mention the phrase “hunting accident,” and the first thing that comes to mind is a mishap involving a firearm or, perhaps, falling from a tree stand.
But I’ve never heard of a hunter being injured by a falling goose — or geese — until now.
This morning’s weekly report from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Enforcement includes an incident Mike Lee, a regional training officer for the DNR’s northeast region, encountered over the weekend while in the field.
According to the report, Lee assisted with a goose hunter who had been struck by two geese that had been shot and were falling to the ground.
Here’s how the incident is described in Lee’s report:
The first goose struck the man in the head area knocking him unconscious for four to five minutes. The second goose struck the man in the shoulder and neck area. The man’s shoulder was penetrated by what appeared to have been a broken wing bone from the second goose.
The other hunters stated that after they got no verbal response from the victim they went to see what was wrong and found him laying partially out of the blind with one goose laying across his head and the other goose laying on the other side of the blind.
At that point, one of the hunters pulled the one goose off of the victim’s head, and observed that the victim was starting to come to.
The hunters were very experienced hunters and have been hunting for many years and this was the first time they have ever heard of something like this happening. Officer Lee seconded this to the hunters.
Such an encounter might be unusual, but there’s no question that getting hit by a falling goose easily could result in injury. Geese are big birds, after all, and giant Canada geese, the subspecies that is the target of the early season, can weigh nearly 15 pounds.