One Saturday morning back in 1942 Dad came running into the shop, on High Street, almost out of breath. He tells me to lock up and go with him. We have to drive home and pick up his shotgun. He had just come back from a service call over at Blue Diamond and on his way back he saw this big Canadian goose land in a cornfield along the river. He says we have to get back there right away and find this monster. So we pack up the 12 gauge Browning automatic, a box of shells and I grab my .22 Stevens automatic rifle. Now, I was only 11 years old and not an avid goose hunter but I figured if I'm going out in the country around the river I will get a chance to fire a few rounds at targets.
It was a cool December day but it was clear and calm. We were about ten miles up the road when Dad slammed on the brakes of the old "Model A." He looks all around for a second and decides this is the place. He loads up the Browning and walks off Route 15 down the hill into a large cornfield full of stalks in a bottom next to the river. I sit by the car with my rifle in my lap just enjoying the adventure. I had never really seen a big Canadian goose up close. I had seen thousands flying South in the big vee formations but had never shot at one.
It seemed Dad had been moving around down there forever and I was getting a little bored. Because of the cover in the bottom I couldn't see him all the time and I wondered what was going on. I was just beginning to nod off when I heard him yell "There he goes!" I hear two big blasts from the 12 gauge. And sure enough he had flushed the goose. Dad is on target but he is just too far away to knock him down. The goose is flapping those giant wings and he is getting out of Dodge as fast as he can. I was watching all the action there with my mouth hanging open, like I was catching flies, when I see the goose make a hard right turn and now he is coming directly at me gaining altitude and picking up speed all the time. It was not until that moment that I saw just how big he was. I heard Dad yell, "Get him Sonny!" Being a little slow to react I finally raised my rifle to fire. I wasn't ready for this. The big bird was directly overhead now. I had to turn to get a him in my sights. I tried to be calm and take my time, but again, he was up pretty high and moving away fast. I fired four rounds in quick succession and remember seeing tail feathers fly but he kept on going. "No Christmas goose for you pal."
When Dad made it back up to the road he was a mess. He was unhappy, wet and covered with mud. Just as we were getting into the car I looked up and could barely see the goose circling way up high in the sun. He had survived the hunt but he didn't want to leave his place by the river. Maybe he didn't feel like flying all the way to Florida this Winter.