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Dec 9, 2012 11:32 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Goose Found In Noyac Shot With Arrow; $1,000 Reward Offered For Information Leading to Arrest, Conviction

Dec 11, 2012 3:48 PM

A Canada goose impaled by an arrow was found in Noyac on Saturday, and investigators are searching for the person who shot it, as well as a means to catch the bird in order to help it. The Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is also offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the culprit.

The bird, a federally protected migratory species, was found walking with its gaggle on the lawn by Sag Harbor Cove off Long Beach Road by Ann Gleason, a resident of the neighboring Bay Point neighborhood who was out feeding the songbirds near sunup on Saturday when she first caught sight of the wounded fowl. An arrow was sticking straight through its body.

“It was disturbing,” Ms. Gleason said. “I saw it immediately and said, ‘Oh my goodness! Not again!’” she said on Monday, referring to two other episodes of impaled wildlife in 2011.

The bird appeared uncomfortable, she said. “He or she was eating and walking and able to fly, but was definitely picking at it a lot with her or his beak.”

The waterfowl was last seen on Sunday, and, despite its movement was suffering and unlikely to live long with the arrow stuck in its body, according to Roy Gross, chief of department for the Suffolk County SPCA.

He said there was a chance it could survive if it could be caught and rehabilitated.

The arrow appears to be a target-tip arrow, which has a pointed piece of metal at one end and is used to shoot targets, Mr. Gross said. It does not appear that it hit any vital organs, but it likely means the bird will suffer a slow death. “This is a horrific act of animal cruelty,” Mr. Gross said. “Imagine the pain that this poor bird is in.”

The SCSPCA has been working with the State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center of the Hamptons to try to catch the bird and give it the veterinary care it needs.

It is also seeking a net gun to capture the bird before it flies away, Mr. Gross said, adding that his organization would like to buy such a net, but would also welcome a donation of one.

Although he said this weekend that it was illegal to shoot Canada geese with a bow and arrow, Mr. Gross recanted on Monday and said he had been misinformed by the DEC and that it was, in fact, legal.

The $1,000 reward would still likely have been offered, he said, if the shooter was charged with animal cruelty. A true sportsman would have used a more lethal broad-tip arrow that would have caused the bird to bleed out quickly, he said. Also, it is unknown whether the shooter had a valid hunting license, a federal migratory bird stamp required for a federally protected species or whether the arrow was discharged properly, i.e. not within 500 feet of a dwelling, among other restrictions.

According to the DEC, the regular hunting season for Canada geese on eastern Long Island runs from December 2 to January 30. Hunters are to make a reasonable effort to retrieve all killed or crippled birds, and any wounded birds must be immediately killed and included in a hunter’s daily bag.

Anyone with information on the goose or knowing anyone who has a net to catch the bird, is asked to call the SCSPCA at 382-7722. All calls will be kept confidential, authorities said.

“This has really got to stop,” said Ms. Gleason. “A swan, a seagull and now a goose,” she said, referring to a swan impaled with an arrow that was found near Indian Island County Park in Riverhead and a seagull lured with bread and then bludgeoned to death with a rock in Montauk, both in July 2011.

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Have they contacted the Wildlife Rescue Center of the Hamptons, (631) 728-9453?
By 2xJsk8 (1), Hampton Bays on Dec 9, 12 8:41 PM
Have they thought of just observing this bird, and waiting until dark to capture it?

The term "sitting duck" exists for a reason.
By M. O'Connor (147), Southampton on Dec 10, 12 9:44 AM
How is this species protected ? They seem to be everywhere, just shoot it so it doesn't suffer anymore , drama over .
By Bill in Riverhead (190), Riverhead on Dec 10, 12 12:20 PM
Bill - all migratory birds are protected under the Migratory Bird Act. They are eligble for hunting (and destruction of nests actually) - but it doens't mean you can shoot them with a non-lethal arrow whenever you feel like it.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Dec 10, 12 12:29 PM
Are you suggesting that the possible hunter should have used a "lethal" arrow, perhaps one with an explosive tip?

When is goose season BTW?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Dec 10, 12 12:56 PM
Well - it would have put the bird out of its misery and it's designed to kill - the arrow used only maims (as evidenced by the still living bird).
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Dec 10, 12 2:10 PM
Nature, actually I meant to use a shotgun and do the job quickly and completely. Sorrry for any confusion .
By Bill in Riverhead (190), Riverhead on Dec 11, 12 8:37 PM
It is being reported elsewhere that the reward was offered based on mistaken information from the DEC about the hunting laws.

An apparent "rush to judgment" which the SPCA is now back-peddling on.

What a soap opera!
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Dec 10, 12 7:30 PM
Christmas goose!

By Allergic2Stupidity (77), Riverhead on Dec 11, 12 4:21 AM
The Suffolk County SPCA site no longer contains a reward for this, but does have another reward posted, so can we assume that they jumped the gun (er, bow?) on the this one?

An update to the article would be appreciated. Heck, the goose may have actually been hit elsewhere, as apparently it can still fly, according to comments elsewhere. Plus, it IS the legal season for hunting geese.

Suggestions above for using lethal arrow tips, or shotguns, of course assume that the hunter always ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Dec 16, 12 7:50 AM
I guess richard never eats any meat or fish of any kind
By sandie (15), speonk on Dec 17, 12 3:23 PM