July 15, 2010

"This is precisely the position taken by [Instapundit's] Nigerian relatives..."

"... who see all these annoying — but very fat — geese running around, with no one even trying to eat them."

Now, when I suggested eating the Canada geese that are ruining our lakefront parks, my commenters quickly informed me that they don't taste good enough. Surely, there must be some recipes to overcome whatever the problem is. Google indicates the answer is yes.

I have no knowledge of goose-hunting laws, but I'd like to see it made legal to hunt Canada geese wherever they are found within the city. Now, assuming it were permitted and we knew how to cook them into deliciousness, is there an easy, humane, safe technique for taking them? They are not afraid of people right now. You can walk right up to them. In fact, they walk right up to me — and not in a nice way. In an angry, bite-y way.

54 comments:

danielle said...

i've just lost my appetite.

Skyler said...

One of the bedrock cases in law school regarding the supremacy of treaties over state law is the case where one state challenged the migratory bird treaty. They lost.

States and cities can't make their own laws regarding hunting migratory birds.

MadisonMan said...

You should wear gloves like these at all times, and when the geese come up to you, slice away.

Fred4Pres said...

Most of these resident Canada geese are exactly that, resident. I am not sure if any winter over in Wisconsin (maybe maybe not) but they sure do in slightly milder climates and never migrate anywhere. So perhaps a new Wickard v. Filburn should be brought, this time challenging the migratory bird treaty over resident geese that poop too much.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I always found duck and goose to be kind of greasy and far more gamey tasting than other fowl. Never had a Canadian goose before but would be willing to try.

TMink said...

I had goose fried cajun style for a Thanksgiving. It was great. But then my shoe would be good cooked that way I think.

Trey

DADvocate said...

I'd say whacking their heads off with a machete would be easy, humane and safe enough. Geese have long necks that would be hard to miss.

BTW - if an angry goose comes towards you, stand calmly and wave your arms up and down out to your sides. It makes you look bigger to the goose and it will stop. (The same kind of phenomena as when the peacock spreads its tail feathers.)

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Local Canadas are not migratory. I suggest a crossbow bolt right into the boiler room. Breast 'em out -- the rest is not worth eating -- and stew them, Polish-style, with oregano and nutmeg for spicing.

Whadya do with the rest of the damned things, I dunno. Maybe Madison's neo-Luddites can require a return to quill pens.

traditionalguy said...

Canadian Goosegate reminds me of the "large bug in Althouse's window curtains" video. It's not nice to bite humans. It's good to show them who is the boss in human areas.

chuckR said...

Wild goose : domestic duck = mutton : lamb

Had it once. Tougher and gamier.

But the fat, indolent resident geese may be more tender and less gamey.

Hard to believe that a few decades ago they were considered rare and worth protecting. But I'm sure someone said that about passenger pigeons before we killed them all.

Ann Althouse said...

@Skyler The case is about the federal power to make such a treaty. But what is the current treaty and the federal statutory law passed to enforce it? The feds don't have to preempt state law unless they choose to. I can't believe these damned geese have so much protection. New York City just killed thousands of these birds in Prospect Park.

In any case, my proposal is to change whatever law is necessary to allow people to start eating all the Canada geese they want.

Hoosier Daddy said...

if an angry goose comes towards you,...

Drop kick.

MadisonMan said...

if an angry goose comes towards you, stand calmly and wave your arms up and down out to your sides.

In addition, have Meade make a video of it.

ET1492 said...

How do the livers taste? There could be big money in this.

aronamos said...

I had canada goose-beak marks on a leather briefcase I used to carry. Big gouges, like someone had run a steak knife over the leather. He was pissed at me walking too close to his mate and their goslings.

edutcher said...

Geese are territorial; they get ticked if you invade their space, so you must be within what they consider their domain.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I always found duck and goose to be kind of greasy and far more gamey tasting than other fowl.

Those are The Blonde's feelings. Her youngest brother hunts, but she goes all vegan when he wants her to take a taste.

Original Mike said...

"I have no knowledge of goose-hunting laws, but I'd like to see it made legal to hunt Canada geese wherever they are found within the city."

While I have no problem with hunting, having been a hunter myself in the past (and probably will be again in the future), I don't want my fellow citizens who, as a class, are idiots to go blasting away in Brittingham Park.

Class factotum said...

The writer of "Urban Farmer" used a pruning shears to decapitate the ducks she raised in her back yard. I would think the same would work for the geese if you could get close enough and were fast.

traditionalguy said...

The way to solve the illegal immigration of Canadian born geese is to start a new sport over on ESPN. Like that new one they call soccer, the points come from chasing down and kicking a goose into a net. No hands, only feet. After the game, the winners get to eat all that the goal keeper has plucked and barbecued. The fat geese are 2 points and the skinny geese are worth 3 points because the run faster. This sport could feed the world.

Irene said...

A few Madisonians consider eating the geese a good option.

Original Mike said...

"is there an easy, humane, safe technique for taking them? They are not afraid of people right now. You can walk right up to them."

"Bang! Bang! Maxwell's silver hammer
Came down upon her head."

jayne_cobb said...

At a park near my house they occasionally allow hunting when the goose population grows too large; although I use the term "hunting" loosely as these things don't move for anyone.

I'm not quite sure which method they for hunting though.

Bob_R said...

I have not cooked the game birds, but domestic duck and goose are big favorites in our house. The trick with goose is to think of it as pot roast rather than poultry. Cook well done, let as much fat as possible render. Watch the rate of fat flow. You want the meat to be basted. If the flow stops for too long it will dry out. With duck I like to do confit with the legs and cook the breasts rare.

Apple shaped morbid obesity rules - for a while.

holdfast said...

For what it is worth, my Canadian-born Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever hates Canada Geese and would be happy to sign up some some geese killin'. He accepts payment in kibble and bellyrubs.

http://www.nsdtrc-usa.org/

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/novascotiaducktolling.htm

Badger said...

http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/97359619.html

The USDA recently trapped 190 geese near Mitchell Field in Milwaukee:

For the past four or five years, authorities have rounded up all the Canada geese in a few parks near Mitchell and, this year, when wildlife biologists noticed the geese populations had grown at Jackson and McGovern parks, those facilities were added to the list. For airport safety reasons, 190 Canada geese were removed this month from the four parks as well as the Milwaukee Area Technical College campus south of Mitchell Airport and transported to a licensed poultry processing facility, said Charles Lovell, district supervisor with the United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services.

The meat from the adult birds was donated to local food pantries after testing for contaminants. Meat from the juvenile birds was donated for food at animal shelters.

DADvocate said...

Dramatically slicing off their heads with a Samuri sword would add to the allure of the hunt. Samuri garb required.

Roux said...

Cajuns can cook just about anything and make it taste good. Some onions, butter, bacon and cajun seasoning and you're good to go.

Geese are a very oily bird so they do present a little bit of a problem but it can be done.

FloridaSteve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard Dolan said...

"They are not afraid of people right now. You can walk right up to them." That should make the "humane, safe" part of "taking" them easy. Like hunting buffalo in the 1880s - they just stood there while the herds were decimated. And, really, why be so squeamish about the act of killing another living thing in order to eat it?
Do you think hooking a fish and reeling it in is so wonderfully safe and humane?

As for the cooking part, that's easy. Some years ago my in-laws took me to a restaurant in Hong Kong that specialized in goose. No idea what kind of goose they were cooking, but they put on a wonderfully memorable banquet featuring goose (all of it, head to foot) cooked many different ways. I have every confidence that a good Cantonese chef could do the same with these urban pests if only they were allowed.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Wild geese are tough and dry. Not full of fat like domestic geese. Although, mabye the welfare recipient geese in your parks are less tough because they are lazy and don't fly as much and mooch bread from the tourists.

However, I've killed, cleaned and eaten quite a few geese in my lifetime. While the legs and the rest are very very tough and only good for stewing, the breast meat can be quite good. (watch out for metal shot!!)

Bone the breast meat. Pound with a meat mallet to tenderize. You can cut it into strips crossways or leave whole. If you leave it whole...beat it up a bit more :-)

Marinate the meat. A sweet teriyaki blend is good. Also an olive oil, garlic, lemon, herb. Red wine based marinade.

Saute quickly in a very hot pan. Similar technique to stir fry. You want the meat to be done as you would a duck breast....medium rare. DO NOT COOK TO WELL DONE unless you like to eat shoe leather. Depending on the marinade, you might be able to deglaze the pan and make a sauce. The teriyaki makes a nice glaze.

Serve with steamed rice, wild rice blend, rice pilaf or couscous. Steamed vegetables.

I have made a sort of pot pie with the rest of the goose meat by stewing and then deboning and using the meat in a pastry covered pie. Not really worth the effort unless the goose meat is all you have.

You can also bbq the breast meat if well tenderized and marinaded. Again. NOT well done.

Lance said...

@Bart Hall
Maybe Madison's neo-Luddites can require a return to quill pens.

"Neo-luddite," what a great oxymoron!

John Burgess said...

The problem with eating urban geese is the same as eating urban pigeons (formally, 'rock doves'). You just don't know (or want to know) what they've been eating!

Hunted geese can at least carry off the pretense that they've been eating organic, wild grains and the like. The ones in the park are just as likely to have been eating the ends of somebody's rancid bratwurst. Or what the dog threw up.

bagoh20 said...

For bait, promise fast, quality health care. Brings them like pigeons to popcorn. Method of dispatch: send them back north.

Freeman Hunt said...

We get a bunch of Canada geese at one of our city parks. They are no so ill-tempered though.

Why would they be naughty in Madison and nice in Springdale?

Synova said...

Perhaps the rule for in-town goose hunting is landing nets only.

If you can catch it with a regular fishing net, long handles allowed, you can have it.

If nothing else, very soon, the geese will start to keep their distance.

Synova said...

A town near to where I grew up in Minnesota has a huge, permanent, goose population. The power plant is on the river in town and uses the water as a coolant of some sort so that waste heat keeps the river from freezing all winter, 40 below or not.

It's almost impossible to even use any of the city parks in the summer (since being Minnesota, they all have at least a pond in them.)

Triangle Man said...

Why would they be naughty in Madison and nice in Springdale?

Madison is an excellent place to raise young. Geese recognize this and nest here and become protective. In Springdale they are content to have a warm place to eat and poop.

chuck said...

In addition, have Meade make a video of it.

Way to end a marriage. My brother and I laughed when my girlfriend came running out of the shed chased by two geese who ran her down and beat her up. But not everyone was equally amused.

halojones-fan said...

I remember P.J. O'Rourke commenting on how to cook a bird:

"PLANKED COOT. Pluck and clean one medium-size coot; rub with butter and garlic. Place on a seasoned oak plank. Cook for three hours at 350 degrees Farenheit, basting with a variety of sauces and herbs. Throw the coot away and eat the plank."

Foobarista said...

This isn't always a good idea. A Chinese couple in Australia was trying to have a baby, but also liked to catch and eat local pigeons. They tried and tried and couldn't have a baby, and finally talked with a doctor.

After many visits and tests, the doctor investigated their diet and asked where they got the pigeons they ate. It turned out that the local government had been feeding the local pigeon population birth-control stuff to reduce the population, so this couple had gotten it.

After they quit eating the pigeons, the wife was pregnant within a few months.

AllenS said...

That was a great story, Foobarista. I've been feeding the local turkeys genetically modified corn, in the hope that I can get three drumsticks out of them.

bagoh20 said...

Be careful AllenS, that third drumstick may be "semi-boneless", so to speak.

MadisonMan said...

chuck, that's a fair point.

Have John or Chris film it, while Meade rescues Ann, if needed.

MadisonMan said...

chuck, that's a fair point.

How about John or Chris film it, then, and Meade stands by the rescue althouse, if needed.

(Fixed previous post that broke a cardinal rule)

Gabriel Hanna said...

Taking Ann's proposal seriously for a moment, it just doesn't seem practical. You have to kill the birds in a way that local hippies don't get upset (good luck), then have them processed in a facility that can handle them, and have them inspected and passed. Hardly "free" food.

Believe me all those will be necessary. We live in a society where you cannot bake cookies at home and give them away without running afoul of health regulations.

My wife always suggests catching and cooking Canada geese; she says in China geese don't just wander around in city parks for very long without becoming someone's dinner. Well, in China they throw garbage in the river too.

Peter said...

Back when I was about four years old I got attacked by a goose. That beak was like a razor and the leading edge of the wing was like a police nightstick.

I ran home and got a nice stick and was on my way to extract my revenge when my Mama caught me.

This being about 1951 she was allowed to whop me, so she did, all the way home. It was step, whack! Step, whack! It was near forty years before I forgave her for that grave injustice. I still don't like geese.

The goose problem is best solved with shotguns. Since these geese don't fly much you should be able to use somewhat smaller shot, say number four. If it weren't for the ban on lead shot near water we could use five or six shot. five shot is almost always a handloading proposition, though.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The correct technique is to cut the throat and let the blood drain out. Ideally, this should be done in the background, while Sarah Palin gives an interview in the foreground.

J.R. said...

You grab them by the head and give a very quick twist. Humanely beheaded dead goose, ready for picking.

peter hoh said...

I favor making it legal to take them out with a swords, so long as there are no unwilling bystanders within 30 feet.

Synova said...

"The correct technique is to cut the throat and let the blood drain out. Ideally, this should be done in the background, while Sarah Palin gives an interview in the foreground."

LOL!

Winner!

Matthew said...

We had a "resident" flock that lived on the canal out behind my apartment complex in Charlotte. They had a really bad habit of walking right up onto my patio to shit, and then they'd run back into the water.

I was told that doing anything to the geese was strictly prohibited, but the Management couldn't be expected to report what they didn't know about, could they *wink, wink*

It's amazing what you can do with aa little popcorn... and a Lousiville Slugger. And since you're...ahem...pruning the hedges...very early in the morning when these annoying pests first start honking anyways, no one knows all that noise is really you taking batting practice.

After that,the stray cats and raccoons get at them and very quickly dispose of the evidence.

Spartacus said...

"is there an easy, humane, safe technique for taking them? They are not afraid of people right now. You can walk right up to them. In fact, they walk right up to me — and not in a nice way. In an angry, bite-y way."

How about using those big gardening shears that you'd normally use on large bushes?

AST said...

They'd be a pain to cook. You'd have to clean and pluck them after beheading them. Then you'd have to roast them slowly to render the fat out and leave the skin crispy basting one an hour for about 12 hours. They would taste gamy, but it some butcher would dress them for roasting and leave the roasting to you, try it. You might like it, and the the quills can be used as pens. In fact they are pens, the meaning as a writing instrument came later. Be sure to have a share pen knife handy if you write with them.

I've only had roast goose once in my life and it was crispy skinned and very good, but it was a domestic goose not a wild one.

Mike Lorrey said...

You can hunt Canada geese, you do need a hunting license and a federal migratory waterfowl and a federal goose stamp (those can be gotten at the post office) which affix to your hunting license. You should take a hunter safety class before you get your hunting license, its mandatory in most states.
Once you've accomplished this, you should be able to hunt your lazy resident canadian geese with a pellet gun if your aim is good enough to nail em in the head, though there may be caliber requirements in your state. Consult your state's Dept of Fish & Game or Wildlife (most have websites) to determine your local regulatory requirements.