Better Late Than Never

Better Late Than Never

An afternoon hunt nets an international goose

Mike Carrocci of Sunbury, Ohio, almost didn't go goose hunting on Jan. 2, 2010.


"I had some other things to do and wouldn't be able to get out until late in the day," he said. But the younger guys Carrocci regularly hunts with insisted.

"They said they'd set up, and I could get there later," he recalled.


By the time Carrocci got there, his buddies had all limited out.


"It was one of those days you live for," Carrocci recalled. "It was really cold and snowy, new migrants had just arrived and were looking for a place to feed. We were covered up with geese."

Carrocci hadn't even loaded his gun yet when a flock dropped in. Those geese didn't stick around, which gave the hunter time to load up and get ready.

The next flock arrived 20 minutes later and immediately worked to the decoys. Being the only shooter, Carrocci took his time to line up the first shot.

"I can't honestly say I saw a band, but something drew my eye to that particular bird," he said. "I shot. It dropped. Then I missed with my other two shots."

But one shot was more than good enough.

Carrocci was elated to find his goose sported a leg band and a neck collar. A veteran waterfowler, Carrocci immediately recognized the yellow neck collar with only three letters was unusual.

"The goose was also much smaller. We usually shoot giants," he said.

Even more unusual was the inscription on the leg band: Zoologisk Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark.

The group couldn't imagine how the bird could have flown all that way, but they were anxious to find out. Later, while Carrocci and one of his pals field-dressed the birds, the other searched the World Wide Web for information.

THE BAND


HUNTER: Mike Carrocci, Sunbury, OHBAND#: 2H-8561 GLL (yellow neck collar)SPECIES: Canada goose (M)BANDED: 7/19/2008LOCATION: Lake Y, Isunngua, GreenlandRECOVERED: 1/2/2010LOCATION: 1 mile east of Sunbury, OH

 

"I think the bird may be from Greenland," he subsequently announced.

Carrocci called the U.S. Geological Society to report the band, but they had no idea of its origin. They did, however, provide a contact at the bird-banding lab.

Carrocci called the lab the following Monday, and the woman he spoke thought she recognized the band's description. She contacted a colleague, Tony Fox in Denmark, who confirmed the bird's origin. According to Fox, the goose was banded on a lake simply known as Lake Y to the banding crew in Isunngua, near Kangerlussuaq in central-west Greenland -- a straight-line distance of 2,100 miles from where Carrocci killed it.

Other Greenland-banded geese have been reported in the United States, but primarily from their wintering grounds along the northern Atlantic coast. Carrocci's goose was recovered considerably farther west than any previous report.

While it is difficult to say for sure, Carrocci suspects the goose might have been blown westward by the severe northeaster that hit New England over New Year's weekend.

How it got there was ultimately less important than when.

Carrocci started out the day thinking he'd be late. As it turns out, he was right on time.

Recommended for You

Industry

Ducks Unlimited: A Duck Man's Best Friend

David Hart

To date, Ducks Unlimited has played a role in conserving 14 million acres.

Retriever

Gun Dog Nutrition & Intelligence

Tony J. Peterson

Nourish your pup's noggin for elite performance.

For Dogs

Dog Discipline Tips & Gear

Joe Genzel - June 20, 2019

Take it from a pro: Less is more.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Cowboy Fernandez Commemorative Yentzen Classic Duck Call

As Groves, Texas duck call maker Sure-Shot Game Calls celebrates their 60th anniversary during 2019, company CEO Charlie Holder shows off the limited edition Yentzen Classic aimed at commemorating the life and times of company founder Jim 'Cowboy' Fernandez. With a special autographed box and a laser engraved call body, the Cowboy Classic is a perfect way to honor the legacy of the 1959 world duck calling champ and inventor of the double-reed duck call.

Browning A5 Shotgun - 'Gun Stories'

Gun Stories host Joe Mantegna talks about the origin and history of the Browning A5 shotgun.

Picking a Puppy

Wildfowl contributor Mark Romanack shares advice about choosing your next retriever.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Shotguns

Best Waterfowl Shotguns of 2018

John Taylor - September 25, 2018

Author John M. Taylor has broken down the top waterfowl shotguns for the 2018 season.

Calls

Cowboy Fernandez Commemorative Yentzen Classic Duck Call

Lynn Burkhead - January 28, 2019

As Groves, Texas duck call maker Sure-Shot Game Calls celebrates their 60th anniversary during...

Ammo

11 Best New Shotshell Loads For Waterfowl

Wildfowl Online Staff - August 17, 2017

Consistency is what pushes today's shotshell makers to constantly improve new waterfowl loads

See More Stories

More Band Tales

Band Tales

Band Tales: When Birds Wear Silver

Bob Humphrey - March 08, 2016

In the lexicon of waterfowling they're referred to as jewelry–those bands of silver...

Band Tales

Band Tales: One Year Apart

Bob Humphrey - February 09, 2011

A hunter kills a matched pair of geese in consecutive seasons. By Bob Humphrey ...

Band Tales

Band Tales: Summer in December

Bob Humphrey - November 22, 2016

A late December forecast for highs in the 70s almost coaxed Kenneth Mullins to turn off the...

See More Band Tales

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×