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Goose Knocks out Hunter

Goose Knocks out Hunter

Lessons from dead geese. A couple of years ago, a hunter in Maryland, USA was knocked out after a dead Canada goose fell from the sky. It had been shot by someone in his own hunting party

It wasn't just vegans and animal activists rejoicing about the Canadian Goose that literally fell out of the sky in Easton, Maryland in USA, whacked a hunter on the head, knocked out a couple of his teeth and rearranged his face.

Every corporate team trainer on the planet rejoiced too as they added a new metaphor to the 5 Teamwork Lessons from Geese. And for all of us, the funny little story is also a great reminder of unintended consequences and understanding risk.

Here's what happened. The hunter, a guy called Robert Meilhammer, was out hunting waterfowl with 3 of his mates. One of the mates shot the aforementioned goose, which promptly fell from the sky, bonked Meilhammer on the head and knocked him out. Turns out that you don't have to shoot across a round pond to injure your shooter party. When you stop to think about it, it's kind of odd that more shooters don't get torpedoed by shot birds more often. 

Teamwork and Geese

Anyone who grew up in corporate business knows the teamwork / geese metaphor. Here's the original 5 Goose Lessons in Teamwork with a helpful 6th added by Meilhammer's Canada goose.

  1. Geese fly together for energy conservation and efficiency
  2. Geese who leave always return to the formation
  3. Geese rotate leadersas the front goose has no uplift
  4. Geese honk to each other to communicate and cheer on 
  5. Geese help each other when one is sick or shot 
  6. Refer to 5 if you are a hunter 

For many regions, loud calls from migrating Canada geese flying in V-shaped formation signal the change into spring and autumn as they migrate north and south. Canada geese are monogamous with lifelong pairs formed early in their lives. 

Sometimes, working out the meaning of messages depends on who is doing the honking. The hunter or the hunted. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.

Images: Daniel D'Auria under Creative Commons License. Middle images: Unsplash | Phil Dufrene - Gary Bending
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