Author Topic: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute  (Read 21684 times)

Jen8

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Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« on: April 23, 2014, 09:50:38 AM »
Hi guys.  I've been following MMM and reading the forums for a while but never needed to post until now.  I have been a fair weather bike commuter for a few years now, and am working on expanding my idea of "bike weather".  This year, I've run into a problem.

An aggressive goose seems to be nesting along my usual route.  He seems to be especially threatened by bicyclists.  He flew into me once, knocking me off my bike into the road.  Luckily there was a break in traffic, and I was able to get up with just minor bruises from where I landed.  Last week, I saw him fly at another cyclist from the other side of the street.

I contacted my town's animal control, but they just recommended keeping my distance from him.  I'm trying out alternate routes, but this was the most direct route with the lightest, slowest traffic.

Has anyone else had experiences like this?  Does anyone have any advice about how I could prevent future attacks?

ms

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2014, 10:06:11 AM »
Alternate route for the next 4 weeks or so is probably your best bet.  They are very aggressive protecting their nest this time of year. 

CNM

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2014, 10:06:29 AM »
What a crazy goose!  Do you know where this goose nests?  Perhaps if you dismount from your bike and walk it past, the goose will not feel as threatened. 

fiveoh

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2014, 10:11:25 AM »
There was a goose like that on my walk to class when I was at college.  I gave it a nice kick and he/she didn't mess with me again after that.  If its your safety or the goose, I'd put yours first and defend yourself.

keepingmobens

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2014, 10:19:26 AM »
Bring a shotgun

Milspecstache

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2014, 10:23:27 AM »
I once had a viscous dog that would chase me when I would run past a certain house.  Since no one at the house seemed to care I started carrying mace and sprayed him down one day.  After that he left me alone.  Not sure if it would work on a goose as your best bet is to avoid but even when I ran on the other side of the street that dog would run after me.

Scandium

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2014, 10:23:37 AM »
Aggressive goose will definitely be the name of my next folk-punk-blues band.

samburger

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2014, 10:57:32 AM »
Can you cross the street while you pass the nest? Dismount if you must.

GuitarStv

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2014, 11:05:22 AM »
Bring a shotgun

Yep.


Geese aren't endangered.  But they are good eatin'.


NW Girl

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2014, 11:37:35 AM »
This exact same thing happened to me a couple years ago! It was terrifying….although everyone laughed at me.   I didn't have a lot of available alternative route options since it happened along a dedicated bike trail.  I never actually got knocked off my bike, but I did get my legs nipped up.  My best (although not great solution) was to ride REALLY fast past the thing.  A couple of times I launched tennis balls at it while I rode, which knocked it off balance a bit.  I must have looked ridiculous.  Good luck!  And other readers were right…it did last only a month or two.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2014, 11:48:31 AM »
I'd change your route for a few weeks. If you can't, well:

If you have a BB or pellet gun, that'd do the trick. Otherwise bring a pipe or something.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2014, 11:54:33 AM »
Maybe a horn or loud bike bell? I don't know though... that might just make it angrier.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2014, 12:05:26 PM »
The goose is being a good parent, it doesn't know you are not a threat to its nest.  Just go another route until the eggs hatch. 

marty998

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2014, 02:48:22 PM »
Never been savaged by a goose before, but I seem to attract magpies when I'm out biking.

If you're not wearing a helmet you could find yourself with a hole in your skull after a magpie is through with you. They fly straight into you kamakazi style and keep pecking away hard!

enigmaT120

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2014, 03:33:00 PM »
Never been savaged by a goose before, but I seem to attract magpies when I'm out biking.

If you're not wearing a helmet you could find yourself with a hole in your skull after a magpie is through with you. They fly straight into you kamakazi style and keep pecking away hard!

I had a red-winged black bird do that to me once, while I was riding my bike out of Monmouth.  Crazy.  He didn't hurt me, though. 

When I'm on foot I can defeat a goose in single combat, but it's more complicated when I'm on my bike.  On my commute I just have wild turkeys, and so far they chicken out before I do. 

eil

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2014, 03:58:02 PM »
Bring a shotgun

Yep.


Geese aren't endangered.  But they are good eatin'.



Depends on location and what kind of geese we're talking about. Around here, Canada Geese are protected once they've made a nest and it is very much against the law to interfere with them.

Moreover, the goose was there first. Either pick a new route or ride fast enough to outrun it.

knox harrington

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2014, 04:20:57 PM »
Fill a water bottle with ammonia and spray the goose if it tries to attack you.  Long term harm is very unlikely, but it will definitely get the idea.  Pepper spray might work, but could be overkill. 

hybrid

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2014, 04:56:24 PM »
Maybe some Sriracha instead. After all, sauce for the goose....

teen persuasion

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2014, 05:08:10 PM »
Bring a shotgun

Yep.


Geese aren't endangered.  But they are good eatin'.



Depends on location and what kind of geese we're talking about. Around here, Canada Geese are protected once they've made a nest and it is very much against the law to interfere with them.

Moreover, the goose was there first. Either pick a new route or ride fast enough to outrun it.

There was a story on the local news tonight about Canada geese nesting on a college campus near the dorms, and they mentioned that the fines for interfering with the nesting geese was $5k to $10k!  The advice given was to give the birds a wide berth until they leave the nests.

skyrefuge

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2014, 05:16:57 PM »
There was a story on the local news tonight about Canada geese nesting on a college campus near the dorms, and they mentioned that the fines for interfering with the nesting geese was $5k to $10k!

Yep, given the Chicago location of the OP, it's almost certainly a (ridiculous) violation of federal and state law to mess with them.

On the other hand, I bet there's nothing in the statutes about tipping off a friendly neighborhood coyote to the location of some sweet, sweet goose eggs....  I wonder if there's an app for that?

I always pretty much head aggressively right at geese on my bike to let 'em know who's boss. I once took a wing to the shoulder when a few were flying away, and another time nearly got shit on as they literally took off and turned around to make a bombing run, but never thought they'd be so aggressive as to come right at me and knock me over. Perhaps I'll have to rethink my aggressive approach (unless that's what's been keeping them cowed?)

pablo suarve

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2014, 05:20:41 PM »
Here in texas, I would bring a shotgun with me and enjoy some goose sandwich for lunch :-)

oldtoyota

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2014, 10:26:12 PM »
I always pretty much head aggressively right at geese on my bike to let 'em know who's boss. I once took a wing to the shoulder when a few were flying away, and another time nearly got shit on as they literally took off and turned around to make a bombing run, but never thought they'd be so aggressive as to come right at me and knock me over. Perhaps I'll have to rethink my aggressive approach (unless that's what's been keeping them cowed?)

I hope you are kidding!

Rube

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2014, 10:43:32 PM »
If you can get away with a pellet gun I'd do it. Otherwise a slingshot or tennis balls.

Argyle

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2014, 11:18:00 PM »
Oh, fer Pete's sake, there's no call to harm the goose.  The goslings will be hatched soon.  Just take a short detour for a few weeks.

wtjbatman

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2014, 05:27:30 AM »
I disagree. Next time the goose approaches, dismount your bike and get into a battle stance. You need to remain aggressive and establish dominance. It doesn't matter who was there first, it matters who is stronger. Don't forget to honk and flap your arms (wings if you have them) as you approach, signifying your desire to do battle, else the cowardly foe may attempt to flee back to its nest. If it flees the field of battle, you have won the day and your future commute should be worry free.

chasesfish

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #25 on: April 24, 2014, 05:42:30 AM »
I disagree. Next time the goose approaches, dismount your bike and get into a battle stance. You need to remain aggressive and establish dominance. It doesn't matter who was there first, it matters who is stronger. Don't forget to honk and flap your arms (wings if you have them) as you approach, signifying your desire to do battle, else the cowardly foe may attempt to flee back to its nest. If it flees the field of battle, you have won the day and your future commute should be worry free.

Reminds me of fishing next to the river and went into the bank to take a potty break.  40lb geese chased me out

Squirrel away

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #26 on: April 24, 2014, 06:26:33 AM »
The goose is being a good parent, it doesn't know you are not a threat to its nest.  Just go another route until the eggs hatch.

+1.

GuitarStv

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #27 on: April 24, 2014, 08:30:48 AM »
While I was being a bit tongue in cheek with the suggestion to eat the goose . . . there is absolutely no reason for Canadian geese to be protected any more.  They have bred wildly beyond natural population levels due to the reduction of their natural predators, and are annoying pests.  The laws protecting them enacted in 1918 really should be updated regarding these animals.  I somehow suspect that people would not be as concerned for their health and safety if these were large flocks of rodents.

Spork

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2014, 09:27:04 AM »
I somehow suspect that people would not be as concerned for their health and safety if these were large flocks of delicious rodents.

Fixed that for you.

Villanelle

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #29 on: April 24, 2014, 09:55:09 AM »
Never been savaged by a goose before, but I seem to attract magpies when I'm out biking.

If you're not wearing a helmet you could find yourself with a hole in your skull after a magpie is through with you. They fly straight into you kamakazi style and keep pecking away hard!

I had a red-winged black bird do that to me once, while I was riding my bike out of Monmouth.  Crazy.  He didn't hurt me, though. 

When I'm on foot I can defeat a goose in single combat, but it's more complicated when I'm on my bike.  On my commute I just have wild turkeys, and so far they chicken out before I do.

When I am biking and I have Wild Turkey, it is definitely dangerous!

MrsPete

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #30 on: April 24, 2014, 11:12:01 AM »
I think I"d consider an air horn.  It'll scare the goose pretty badly and let the owners know that something's up. 
Another thought:  Could you hook up a tennis racket over your back so you could reach it -- it'd let you swat away the creature without real harm.

Those things are SAVAGE!  I say no mercy.

zachd

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #31 on: April 24, 2014, 01:41:23 PM »
There was a story on the local news tonight about Canada geese nesting on a college campus near the dorms, and they mentioned that the fines for interfering with the nesting geese was $5k to $10k!

Yep, given the Chicago location of the OP, it's almost certainly a (ridiculous) violation of federal and state law to mess with them.

On the other hand, I bet there's nothing in the statutes about tipping off a friendly neighborhood coyote to the location of some sweet, sweet goose eggs....  I wonder if there's an app for that?

I always pretty much head aggressively right at geese on my bike to let 'em know who's boss. I once took a wing to the shoulder when a few were flying away, and another time nearly got shit on as they literally took off and turned around to make a bombing run, but never thought they'd be so aggressive as to come right at me and knock me over. Perhaps I'll have to rethink my aggressive approach (unless that's what's been keeping them cowed?)

Last time I was in Chicago my friend was driving us back to his place in Evanston. It was after a show and was a little after midnight.  We were in a residential neighborhood and saw a rabbit hauling ass across the road and thought wow.  Then a second later a coyote was hauling ass after it!  It was freaky never seen one that close and running.  I live in Texas I have heard them while camping but never seen one.  It slipped on the pavement and busted it's ass. Probably the rabbit got away that time.

If I was trying to deal with the goose I think I would maybe try either dismounting and walking my bike and keep my bike between me and the goose and hopefully going slow it wouldn't come at you.. or if not, like some people said I would try and go super fast before I get to that spot and probably you would be past before she noticed.. but depends on how fast you can ride a bike safely :)

Probably some of ya'll are kidding but the goose has as much right or more to be there than you do, I don't think I would try and hit it with a pipe or shoot it with a pellet gun.  How would you like it if someone hit you with a pipe or shot you with a pellet? Probably not fun.



yyc-phil

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #32 on: April 24, 2014, 01:50:55 PM »
He wouldn't dare doing this up here, especially at this time of the year. I am actually getting ready to accompany a couple of Dene hunter friends next weekend on their last winter snowmobile hunt, north of Lutselk'E. No goose here yet, but lots of ptarmigan and hopefully some caribous.

senecando

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #33 on: April 24, 2014, 02:05:06 PM »
I'd probably go to Europe to do a Canadian Geese-kicking bike tour. They're invasive over there and appear to be causing problems.

oldtoyota

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #34 on: April 24, 2014, 02:11:25 PM »
Does anyone else find it strange that--on a board where talk about consuming less and, as a result, making the environment better--we talk about shooting a bird with a gun just because a bird is where someone rides his bike?

Why ride your bike if you have to kill a bird?

Drive your car and use up fossil fuels instead.

I am not seeing how the answer can be more complicated than "dismount and walk" or "ride another way" or "ride further away from the bird."




GutsGloryRam

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #35 on: April 24, 2014, 03:23:47 PM »
it happened to me last weekend. I just got my NEW bike and was on the path, suddenly goose attacked me from behind. Some how i managed to balance & started to pedal hard to get away, but the stupid goose came again attacking me. This time i couldn't balance & i feel down. Bcoz of this idiot goose, i got some bruises and my new bike got scratches. I fell right infront of the goose nest, it didn't allow me to take my bike. they are very aggressive. Some how after a long struggle managed to leave with my new bike.
For all guys who are saying its bad to kill or harm the bird etc,hold on to that thought. Initially i had the similar thought. Now i don't want to show any mercy what so ever to this bird. probably you guys will have different opinion when to get in to goose nest.

Edit: minor text
« Last Edit: April 24, 2014, 03:25:20 PM by GutsGloryRam »

RetiredAt63

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #36 on: April 24, 2014, 07:33:51 PM »
Parent defending babies - remember that mindset and you will understand the goose's behavior.  Would you threaten an intruder who was potentially about to hurt your children?  Of course you would.  Now you know where the nest is, you can avoid it.

it happened to me last weekend. I just got my NEW bike and was on the path, suddenly goose attacked me from behind. Some how i managed to balance & started to pedal hard to get away, but the stupid goose came again attacking me. This time i couldn't balance & i feel down. Bcoz of this idiot goose, i got some bruises and my new bike got scratches. I fell right infront of the goose nest, it didn't allow me to take my bike. they are very aggressive. Some how after a long struggle managed to leave with my new bike.
For all guys who are saying its bad to kill or harm the bird etc,hold on to that thought. Initially i had the similar thought. Now i don't want to show any mercy what so ever to this bird. probably you guys will have different opinion when to get in to goose nest.

Edit: minor text

RetiredAt63

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #37 on: April 24, 2014, 07:41:24 PM »
At least you are on bikes and can get away fast.

True story - a few years ago a student and I were sampling at the pond at Bruce Pit (Ottawa people will know the location, it is a pond at the bottom of an old sand quarry that is now a city park).  Anyway, it was a windy day, we were out in a very clunky boat, and it was Canada Goose breeding season.  We were being blown towards shore, and we looked over our shoulders and saw Mother Goose on her nest, staring at us and looking very upset.  Upset = hissing and spreading wings, very threatening.  We started paddling for our lives.  Adrenaline does wonders for physical activity, we got far enough away that the wind was pushing us past her nest, not onto it.

We packed up soon after that, the boat was drifting so much that we couldn't get good samples, and we did not want a repeat encounter.  It is funny (sort of) in retrospect, the hazards of urban field sampling, but it was not at all funny at the time.

GuitarStv

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #38 on: April 25, 2014, 06:00:04 AM »
Does anyone else find it strange that--on a board where talk about consuming less and, as a result, making the environment better--we talk about shooting a bird with a gun just because a bird is where someone rides his bike?

Why ride your bike if you have to kill a bird?

Drive your car and use up fossil fuels instead.

I am not seeing how the answer can be more complicated than "dismount and walk" or "ride another way" or "ride further away from the bird."



Not really.  If we hadn't wiped out all of the predators of these birds in previous years they would naturally have significantly lower populations.  Killing a bird that's part of an overpopulation problem doesn't seem like it's going to hurt the Earth significantly.  Is it more cruel to kill a few geese quickly and humanely or to let a huge number of them starve to death slowly and naturally?  Because that's where this unchecked growth is headed:


People really need to get past the emotional response to cute things when talking about the environment.  It causes bad decisions and blatant animal favoritism.  Like protesting seal hunts, while seal populations are so high right now that they're wiping out breeds of fish.  Have you ever killed an ant while cycling along without noticing it?  Would you care if you had?  Even if that ant was trying to find food to protect billions of maggoty and larvae?  Would you swat an ant that crawled on your arm and started to sting you while you're out at a picnic?  Because that stinging ant might just be trying to be a good parent.  But we don't like ants, so we don't treat them the same way that we treat other animals.

oldtoyota

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #39 on: April 25, 2014, 08:21:03 AM »
Parent defending babies - remember that mindset and you will understand the goose's behavior.  Would you threaten an intruder who was potentially about to hurt your children?  Of course you would.  Now you know where the nest is, you can avoid it.

it happened to me last weekend. I just got my NEW bike and was on the path, suddenly goose attacked me from behind. Some how i managed to balance & started to pedal hard to get away, but the stupid goose came again attacking me. This time i couldn't balance & i feel down. Bcoz of this idiot goose, i got some bruises and my new bike got scratches. I fell right infront of the goose nest, it didn't allow me to take my bike. they are very aggressive. Some how after a long struggle managed to leave with my new bike.
For all guys who are saying its bad to kill or harm the bird etc,hold on to that thought. Initially i had the similar thought. Now i don't want to show any mercy what so ever to this bird. probably you guys will have different opinion when to get in to goose nest.

Edit: minor text

Someone talking sense. Thank you retiredat63!

oldtoyota

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #40 on: April 25, 2014, 08:23:11 AM »
Good Lord. I used to live in FL and canoe around/walk on paths with alligators. Nature is not that confusing. Stay the heck away from mother animals.

I never had to shoot a 'gator to get where I wanted to go.




RetiredAt63

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #41 on: April 25, 2014, 08:53:28 AM »
Um, we have two issues here - one is what a cyclist can do re an animal (in this case a goose) defending babies. 

The other issue is that we have gotten into a discussion of Canada Goose populations.  Not really relevant to the OP, but certainly relevant in the larger picture.  Too many geese in your area?  Ask your Fish and Wildlife people if it is truly an issue, or are there just a lot of them in your area and they are a nuisance.  Same with deer in populated areas - whole spectrum, "Bambi-lovers" to hunters to gardeners who feel like they are running a salad bar to people who just like seeing a bit of wildlife around.  Remember wild animals have big swings in numbers, a few good years and they are way up, and then in the bad years they drop drastically, so your "too many" situation could change fast.  That is why Canada Geese are protected now, they were in real trouble at one point. 

Plus, shooting at any animal in a populated area strikes me as dangerous, so I am hoping those suggestions were in jest.  "Friendly fire" and "non-target organism" are euphemisms for unfortunate events.

senecando

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #42 on: April 25, 2014, 09:04:32 AM »
I'm sure they were in jest. It's hella illegal to shoot a shotgun at a goose in a Chicago park.

senecando

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #43 on: April 25, 2014, 09:09:29 AM »
Also (and I'm posting this because it is funny not because I think this is the best course of action for the OP), the Indiana DNR, at least, suggests "implementing daily goose harassment techniques":

> No permit is required to harass geese using methods such as dogs, water hoses, leaf blowers, etc., but you may not physically harm the geese. You may remove the nest without a permit. Place a geographical barrier (fencing, etc.) in front of the nesting area so that the geese cannot re-nest. If an egg is placed in the nest, a permit becomes necessary.

GuitarStv

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #44 on: April 25, 2014, 10:00:56 AM »
^ probably best not to place an egg in the nest before harassing the geese then . . .


:P

MayDay

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #45 on: April 25, 2014, 10:07:42 AM »
I don't get the goose love.  If mice, groundhogs, rabbits, etc, become invasive, we get rid of them.  If deer become overpopulated, the city hires people to shoot them (inside city limits).  Canadian geese are most definitely a problem in some areas, and just because they were dumb enough (or more likely overpopulated enough) to build a nest in a high traffic area, doesn't mean everyone should have to avoid that road for a month.  I view it more as natural selection- if you are a dumb enough goose to build a nest by a road, your genes do not need to be propagated. 

Now can you actually shoot a goose legally, or safely in town?  Probably not.  But if I had a little pellet gun, and ran into geese somewhere that I wasn't likely to be caught and didn't have other people around, sure I would use it for protection if needed. 

Vegetarian gardener who hates rabbits and groundhogs and will happily kill them if they get in my garden, as well as the mice who get in my house, checking in! 


MayDay

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #46 on: April 25, 2014, 10:08:55 AM »
^ probably best not to place an egg in the nest before harassing the geese then . . .


:P

Do goose eggs taste yummy?  Duck eggs sure do.

GuitarStv

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #47 on: April 25, 2014, 10:13:41 AM »
I'm partial to unfertilized eggs myself.

Sonorous Epithet

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #48 on: April 25, 2014, 11:35:47 AM »
Everyone is responding with either a recommendation for either "fight" or "flight." I say, rise above your animal instincts. Surely you can reason with this so-called "goose," and together you can reach an amicable accord that mutually benefits you both.

GuitarStv

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Re: Aggressive goose interfering with my bike commute
« Reply #49 on: April 25, 2014, 12:30:52 PM »
I suggest you discuss the new accord over some food at a nearby KFC.