Hunting doesn’t need to be divisive


One day last week, the noise caught my attention. I pulled on my jacket to ward off the chilly wind and walked toward the barn bank.
Sure enough, the Canada geese were gathering in our hay field once again. The sky was peppered with flocks flying in from every direction. The field was already hosting several dozen geese, squawking up a storm, seemingly calling in those in flight to come and join them.
The geese circled and landed, one flock after another. Soon the field was an incredible sight, and our farm dog, Channing, looked up at me with a puzzled expression.
“Should I chase them off?” she seemed to be asking.
I patted Channing on the head and told her to let them be. She sat down on my foot and continued watching the show, listening to the tremendous racket those geese were making.
Wildlife. I remember the first time I ever spotted a Canada goose. My father was excited, urging us to come and take a look. A family of geese had set up housekeeping in a calf hutch on our dairy farm and Dad had seen the mama and her newly hatched goslings waddling toward the pond.
“It was something to see, I’m tellin’ ya!” he said with excitement in his voice.
For years, no one spotted many wildlife creatures around here. Deer were not seen in such numbers as they are now, and wild turkey was something of the distant past. The family of geese was enough to bring amazement, giving us something to talk about for days on end.
Dad was known to go to the grain bins and scoop out shelled corn for the newcomers. When the baby geese were a bit bigger, the mama began parading them all over the farm. I remember watching her cross the road with them, the papa goose bringing up the rear, keeping those odd-looking,

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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren.