547 The Question Is... Who?


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

Dell Owens wrote:



My name is Dell Owens and I hunt and fish with a bow only.

I would like to offer $200 for information leading to the arrest of the cowardly low life who shot a goose with an arrow here in our park.

This is not a hunter; it is the work of a coward who would shoot a helpless tame animal. That person has no pride, no remorse, and is void of anything that resembles a sportsman.

Dell Owens


Good for you, Dell! I wholeheartedly agree.

It has been said that when you are looking for someone who did something you need to look at the right people.

The Question Is....

Who are the "right people?"


• Teenagers?

• Pre-teens?

• Some psuedo hunter?

• A drunk?

• Someone else? Who?


Barbara Rasmussen 3 years ago

I had heard that Game and Fish took the dead goose and the arrow and were pursuing an investigation. Whether this is true or not I do not know. But it would seem feasible that they could obtain fingerprints from the arrow. And compare it with fingerprints on file? Does anyone know if this can be done or if the killing of this goose is being investigated?


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

I have no idea what they are doing. Fingerprints can definitely be taken, and I'm pretty sure that anyone who would do such a thing forgot all about that.

I just wonder where they should start asking questions. It;s such a bizarre thing for someone to do that you would almost have to say that only a kind would do such a thing. Does anyone know when it happened? Day? Night? Weekend?

And didn't I hear about this happening once before?


Pat Randall 3 years ago

I think it is terrible that the goose was shot and left there. But did you know goose hunting is allowed by the state and in the town? And it is goose hunting season. Did this person break the law or not? What would their punishment be if found out who did it?


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

Here's a possibility that just occurred to me: Since it is the hunting season, what if the goose were shot somewhere else and flew in? That would make this an altogether different matter. Anybody know how bad the injury was? Where's the goose now? Is it dead or alive?

I'd call around, but am VERY busy at the moment.


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

Well, I finally got time to do my homework on this, and I think you will agree with me when I say, "Mystery solved!"

Way back when this happened the first time I suspected there was a logical reason for it, and apparently there is.

First of all, there was an identical occurrence in 2006. A goose shot with an arrow in the water at Green Valley Park.

Please see:

"Goose Pierced With Arrow Recovering At Rehab Center" Payson Roundup, Thursday, January 26, 2006.

Also see the knee jerk reaction by the Town Council:

"Bow And Arrows Now Illegal In Town Parks" Payson Roundup Monday, March 13, 2006

Wasn't just bows and arrows that were banned. It was anything that could conceivably make anything go through the air. Read on....

"It is now illegal to discharge bows and arrows, crossbows, pellet guns, BB guns, paint ball guns and similar weapons in municipal parks."

"The original ordinance presented to the town council on Feb. 23 only prohibited bows and crossbows, but the one passed by council Thursday evening was broadened by the town's legal department to include the additional weapons...."

What! You left out pea shooters and spit wads? What an outrage!

Please see the next post for the actual explanation of this apparently not very rare event.


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

Here's the research. I'll give it to you in short form: Headlines

• Goose Recovering After Being Shot In Neck With Arrow — Sacramento CA.

• Goose shot through head with arrow is released to the wild — Boston MA

• Goose hit by arrow at VB apartments— Virginia Beach VA

• Goose killed with bow and arrow in Walmart parking lot — Ottawa

• Goose survives arrow through head — Plymouth, MA

• Goose shot with arrow — Lawton OK

• Goose shot in the head in Ellis Haven Camp Ground — Weymouth MA

• Goose survives arrow shot through head — Old Lyme CT

• Goose Survives Shot With Arrow — Louisville KT

• Goose recovery from arrow expected — Fayetteville NC

• Goose shot with arrow lives on — Ann Arbor MI

• Goose Shot By Arrow — Brentwood TN

• Goose With Arrow Through Body — Des Moines IO

• And, of course, all the ones like this one:

Police seek person who shot goose! — Lancaster PA

And I do not know how many others because I got tired of copying them.

Please notice: In every case it was reported —no doubt incorrectly! — that the goose was shot where it was found.

They all took place during bow hunting season, and so....

Explanation: Not every shot of any kind kills, and it is not always possible to track a wounded animal, especially one that flies. It's a sad fact, but an inevitable result. It happens all the time.

End of mystery.

Just one additional point.

I'll put some data from the Arizona Game and Fish Department in a separate post.


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

From: http://www.azgfd.gov/h_f/waterfowl_species.shtml


Canada Geese

Identification tips:

The male and female Canada geese have the same appearance, but are differentiated by the smaller size of the female.

Canada geese begin to arrive in Arizona in good numbers along the Colorado River in December. Other areas with significant numbers are the White Mountains around Alpine and Saint Johns. A large number of Canada geese also reside near Payson and Roosevelt Lake. Canada Geese prefer to feed near their loafing sites and select areas with green grass forage and grain. These birds are quite habitual and will return to feeding areas if not over harassed by humans. Scout the area and set up decoys pre dawn and you will be rewarded. They are increasingly abundant in our urban centers because of their attraction to the water and grass parks and golf courses provide.


And your comment on all this is?


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

What do you say, folks?

A case of vandalism, or a case where one thing was confused for another?


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

Who shot Cock Robin? I said the sparrer. I shot Cock Robin, With my bow and arrer.


Pam Mason 3 years ago

Ah memories of nursery rhymes....

Who shot Cock Robin I said the sparrow With my bow and arrow I shot Cock Robin

and another

... and there I met an old man Who wouldn't say his prayers So I took his by the left leg And threw him down the stairs

Of course today they are not PC but most of us turned out alright .... didn't we?


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

Good question, Pam.

I think you are absolutely right. Most of us turned out all right.

And you know what? I have an odd feeling that most of the younger generation will do the same thing — turn out all right, that is.

I've quoted it before, so I'll pass on quoting it again, but as far back as ancient Greece, almost the first people who left us any written comments, the olderly folks didn't have a great opinion about the "next generation."

I'm no Solomon, so I don't know why that is, but I have a suspicion that one reason for it lies in what happens as each new generation gets its hands on the lawmaking process and begins to mess around with something it doesn't really understand. We get two things going on. One is laws that loosen up the connection between morals and the law, and the other thing is an attempt to write laws that treat adults like children and attempt to force them to be perfect. "Eat your tofu! It's good for you. Put out that nasty cigarette!" And so on.

I see that Houston, Texas, has set up a "sober-up" place where people can now sleep it off "instead of being arrested." Mind you, this has nothing to do with drunk driving; it's something else entirely. "Oh," they are saying proudly, "it's going to save us millions of dollars in arrest and handling fees." The facility costs $1.6 million a year to run, and it seems that it actually does save money.

I know a better way to save money. Repeal the law that makes being drunk in public a crime.

Tell you what, I'll run a test on everyone. I just read some words written by John James Audubon, the bird man, one of the most respected people our nation has ever known. See what you think of them. (next post)


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

This happened in 1807; I'll try to tell it as much as possible in his own words, but it's too long to just post, so I'll have to leave a lot out and paraphrase a few things.

Audubon was crossing "one of the wide prairies" on foot, with nothing but "knapsack, my gun, and my dog."

As night fell he searched for someplace to settle. A "...fire-light" atracted his eye. he went toward it thinking it was Indians, but then he, "...discovered from its glare that it was from the hearth of a small log cabin, and that a tall figure passed and repassed between it and me..."

He "presented" himself at the door and "asked the tall figure, which proved to be a woman, if I might take shelter under her roof during the night. Her voice was gruff ... but ... she answered in the affirmative."

He then saw an Indian sitting at a table with his head hanging down. Knowing the Indians of the region knew no English, but spoke some French, he spoke to him.

The Indian raised his head and pointed to his eye. His face was "covered with blood." He told Audubon that he had drawn his bow to shoot at a small animal, the cord had broken, and the arrow had sprung back and put out his eye.

After commiserating with the indian, Audubon drew out the gold watch he kept on a chain around his neck, mentioned to the woman that it was late, and asked if there was any chance he might get some food.

The woman asked to see the watch. He handed it to her and she "...was all ecstasy, spoke of its beauty, asked me its value, and put the chain round her brawny neck, saying how happy the possession of such a watch would make her."

As Audubon put his watch back around his neck and ate some cold venison the Indian, turned, shook his head, and warned him with silent looks, taking his knife out of his belt.

Audubon, grateful to the indian for the warning, says, "Never until that moment had my senses been wakened to the danger which I now suspected to be about me."

He nodded at the Indian, who nodded back. Then, pretending that he wanted to see what the weather would be like for his next day's trek, he says he, "...took up my gun and walked out of the cabin. I slipped a ball into each barrel, scraped the edges of my flints, renewed the priming, and, returning to the hut [lay down on some bear skins and pretended to go to sleep]."

Soon, two brawny young men, sons of the woman, showed up. The woman took them aside and whispered to them. Then all three of them began drinking from a whiskey bottle as he secretly eyed the woman.

"Judge of my astonishment when I saw this incarnate fiend take a large carving-knife and go to the grindstone to whet its edge. I saw her pour the water on the turning machine, and watched her working away with the dangerous instrument, until the sweat covered every part of my body, in despite of my determination to defend myself to the last."

(Sorry. Going to take two posts.)


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

"Her task finished, she walked to her reeling sons and said, 'There, that'll soon settle him! Boys, kill you—and then for the watch.'"

Audubon and the Indian turned as the "...infernal hag was advancing slowly, probably contemplating the best way of despatching me, while her sons should be engaged with the Indian."

Right at that moment the door opened and "there entered two stout travellers, each with a long rifle on his shoulder. I got up on my feet, and making them most heartily welcome, told them how well it was for me that they should arrive at that moment. The tale was told in a minute."

The woman and her sons were so drunk it was easy to tie them up and keep them out of the way until morning.

And now I'll put up the part of this tale which is the only reason I am telling it. You see, I am a believer in going to original sources for information, the actual words of those who were there at the time something happened. I spend a lot of time reading such things. They are an education in and of themselves.

To continue on, morning came, and....

"They were now quite sober. Their feet were unbound, but their arms were still securely tied. We marched them into the woods off the road, and having used them as Regulators were wont to use such delinquents, we set fire to the cabin, gave all the skins and implements to the young Indian warrior, and proceeded, well pleased, towards the settlements."

Are you a little shocked?

John James Audubon, respected scientist and painter, helped to "use" three people? "Use?" What does that mean? Did they hang them, or did they just shoot them? We don't know. He doesn't say. But there is no doubt that they were dead when the "using" was over. Nor is there any doubt that he had no concerns about openly reporting it in writing.

I could refer you to any number of documents which clearly show that the past was not quite what we sometimes think it was, nor were the laws quite the same as those we "enjoy" today.

And now....?

The important part of all this: Your comments....


Pat Randall 3 years ago

If people spent as much time, money and anger for helping abused, hungry and cold kids as they do for geese, humane society and other animals it would be a better world. Maybe those kids would grow up to be better, healthier people and no one would have to worry about abused animals.


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

Good point, Pat.

I doubt there is anyone who cares more about animals than I do. I watched a poor raccoon die a few years ago. I believe it had rabies. Its groans were so human they nearly broke my heart.

And I am the only person I know who catches spiders in the house and puts them outside to play, and does a dozen similar things, so I feel I have a right to talk on this subject.

There is a line between trying to preserve the world being just plain dumb. It is not possible to recreate that which is gone — a "natural" world. And if we did, you wouldn't want to live in it. What we can do, we should do, but we need to define "can do" with some common sense. Doing things like re-introducing wolves which were shot out because humans hated them — and with good reason — is just plain nuts. And spending millions of dollars to sieve the whole Colorado river to remove trout so that mudfish which occupy the same environmental niche but can't compete with them can multiply is obscene. It's fanaticism at its worst. Those millions could be spent in many ways which would benefit both humankind and the animal world far more.

There is a balance between the natural rights of human beings and the natural rights of animals. Place the slider in the correct place and we all feel "right" about it. Try to get too far left or right of that point and you create problems instead of solutions.

The simple truth? Any idea or belief when carried too far becomes absurd. It's called "reduction to absurdity." And that is what we seem to be unable to teach some people. A good idea is only good as long as something GOOD proceeds from following it. When BAD things happen because you are following a good idea beyond its natural limits then that good idea has become a bad idea.

That goes for anything. Anything at all. Even — say — drinking water. Believe it or not it is quite possible to commit suicide by drinking too much water.

Don't believe me?

What the hey? Try it. You'll see. :-)


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