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May 19 14 11:19 AM

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I was going through some photos from last fall and stumbled upon this one which I think has a pretty good story behind it.

We were in North Dakota last year in mid-October chasing ducks and geese for three days.  We had a base camp set up on a nice hill overlooking two different potholes and soybean fields.  After the morning hunt we would leave camp in different vehicles for some afternoon pothole jumping and scouting.  One day Eric (pictured) came back with the goose shown below.

Showing me the head, he asked, "What do you think about that shot?"

"Looks like the perfect lead to me, you didn't waste any meat with that one."

"What do you think about this shot?" he says showing me a mangled foot.

"Um...what?"

"Time for a story," he says. 

He and his dad (Dacle) headed out to scout a field south of us when Dacle said he wanted to show Eric this goose carcass hanging in a tree over the road.  Dacle figured an eagle had picked it up and then dropped it and it got stuck in the tree.  So they drove up to the tree and sure enough there was this goose carcass hanging from the tree about 20 feet off the ground.  It was hanging upside down with its foot caught in the crook of a tree branch.  They looked at it for a while when Eric goes, "Dad, that goose isn't dead.  Its eye just blinked."  "What?  No, way that is alive." "Seriously, look at it.  That's not the wind making its head move.  Its alive.  I'm gonna grab my shotgun."

After quickly putting the goose out of its misery, he began to think about how to get it down.  Looking at the branch holding its foot, Eric decided he could probably shoot off the small branch forming the fork.  Two shots later the branch broke about an inch too high and fell leaving the goose hanging in the tree.  That was when he decided that he would have to shoot the foot off of it.  Three shots later the goose finally fell to the ground.

While unique, that part of the story isn't what is most memorable.  It was the discussions that came afterward such as; why waste 5 shells and not just climb the tree? How did it get stuck in the only tree next to the road?  Is it even possible for a goose to land in a tree? The jury is still out on the last one as none of us had ever seen a goose in a tree before. 

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