“Robert Meilhammer, 51, of Crapo, Md., was struck in the head Thursday by a dead Canada goose that plunged from the sky after a fellow waterfowl hunter fired a blind shot on a flock overhead, npr.org reports. Some might chalk it up to bad luck; others, to karma. Let’s take a closer look at what happened . . .

Meilhammer was in the midst of a hunting party with three friends in Easton, Md.

The goose fell about 90 feet, knocking the hunter out instantly and causing head and facial injuries. When Meilhammer came to, he was coherent but “hazy,” according to the Maryland Natural Resources Police.

Wow, come at me bro. I mean did he even see the bird coming at him? Was he just staring into the sky? Why, why, why? I have so many questions.

Natural Resources police officers and EMS responders transported Meilhammer via ambulance to the Easton Airport, where he was airlifted to the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

This goose is a serious criminal and I’m glad he is off the streets or, in this case, airways.

Talbot County EMS responders called his head injury “severe.” The dead bird also knocked out two of Meilhammer’s teeth.

Dude, seriously were you just staring at the goose as he landed on your grill?  You could’ve turned away.

Thousands of Canada geese in the United States migrate south each year, filling the sky with long, V-formations. Adult Canada geese weigh about 12 to 14 pounds, and can have a wing span reaching nearly 6 feet. The “honkers,” as the bird are called for their noisy calls, are found in every contiguous U.S. state.

Twelve to 14 lbs. of feathers is falling from the sky, presumably straight at you, what do you do?  Not what this guy did.

Meilhammer is in stable condition.

I’m grateful the guy didn’t die as a result of the goose assault. Otherwise poking fun at him for not protecting his face as the feathery football fell on his face would be so, so wrong.

33 COMMENTS

    • Doing the math, he had about 2 seconds from the time his partner shot to recognize the problem and move. Not likely to happen if he was also hunting.

      • Two seconds is an eternity. Heck, most batters can manage to avoid a beanball that takes only half a second to get from the pitcher’s mound to home plate.

        My guess is the guy had his left eye closed when aiming his shotgun. That cut off his peripheral vision to the left and it came in on his blind side.

        Keep both eyes open, focus on the target. You’ll hit more birds, and fewer birds will hit you!

  1. If I am looking down the barrel at a duck I’m not likely to notice a truck bearing down on me, much less a silent goose falling from the sky.

    Also take into account that the goose was probably flying at the other hunter when it was shot. It’s trajectory wasn’t likely downward, but angled in.

    My hunting buddies often make a game of shooting ducks and seeing who can get it to fall in the closest. Every great once in a while, someone can just reach out and grab it on the way down.

  2. “CRAPO”?!? Seriously is this an Onion thing?😏Reminds me when on my 1st “honeymoon” 40 some years ago a Canada Goose attacked my pregnant bride at Brookfield Zoo…funny stuff😄

  3. It happens — just not that often.

    Several years ago a friend and I were snow goose hunting. We were working opposite sides of the field. It was a blue bird day with hardly any geese flying at all. Finally I spotted a lone, silent snow goose flying over our spread right at me. When he was well in range, I took my shot and nailed him. The goose plummeted into the opposite side of the field and landed within 2 feet of my dozing partner. It shocked the hell out of him — he never saw it coming.

    Also many years ago I was watching a hunting show where they were hunting snow geese. The show’s host (I forget which show) took his shot. The cameraman was tracking the falling bird down. Apparently, looking through the camera lens ruins your depth perception, because that bird landed right on the camera! Knocked the cameraman out cold; but fortunately no serious injuries.

  4. Dropped a crow on my son once. He was aiming at another crow winging away and never saw the one that was almost directly above him. A quick snap shot and it was on him. We still laugh about it.

    It wasn’t a goose though. Back when I did waterfowl I can remember the heavy ‘thud’ them critters made when they hit land after taking a load of 4s.

  5. So did his friend really fire a ‘blind shot’ or was it a shot from a blind? The way it’s written makes it sound like the friend was ‘firing blind’ i.e could not see what he was aiming at.

    A bit nitpicky for sure but it sounds like npr is trying to make the ‘shooter’ out to be irresponsible.

  6. How cold was it? Did the bird fall from such a height that it was frozen when he hit the dude in the head?

    ‘Cuz that’s the only way to explain getting your teeth knocked out by 10 pounds of meat & feathers.

    • Quick, somebody calculate the force generated by a body of 14 lbs falling 90 feet! I think it would be substantial. And remember, this isn’t a stuffed toy; it has bones.

  7. For all we know, the guy was pouring coffee from a thermos and looked up just in time to hear the shooter say “Look…” thud “…out.”

  8. I almost dropped a Canada onto a hunting buddy a few years ago. We were next to each other hiding in brush on the edge of a cut cornfield and a flock of geese circled low over our decoys and right towards us. It was a great shooting opportunity, and I nailed one as it was almost over us. As the bird folded up and plummeted down to earth I hear him curse and see him scuttle out of his spot. The Canada landed about 3 feet behind where he was was set up.

  9. Despite what Liberte says about the prevalence of Canada geese, they are rare where I live in flyover country. Therefore, it was a novelty for me to see many of them when I worked on a project in a rail yard in the Detroit area. The locals hated them. The birds shit everywhere, have a mean disposition and are big enough to do serious damage to the target of their ire.

    • Are you sure you’re not thinking of snow geese (pure white ones)? Those things are big, mean spirited and fearless. We had a big flock of them at the local park where I walked regularly and they would bite at my ankles as I went past. They caused so much trouble that management ended up having to ‘relocate’ that flock (I didn’t ask whose freezer they ended up in).

      By contrast the Canada geese were as pleasant and non-confrontational as you’d expect from the name. There’s still a big flock of them at the same park and they bother nobody.

      • No doubt about it. Canadian Geese are big ornery poop machines. You just haven’t come across enough yet. Oh, and they mess traffic up royally because they think they are kings of the animal kingdom. Let’s just say that the work truck has bad brakes and I try to do my part to keep my local airport safe.

        • Canada geese, not Canadian.
          They have no citizenship.

          As a protected migratory waterfowl, they have inundated the midwest. Many have stopped migrating and hang around all year, messing up the sidewalks.

          It’s time to change the game laws and start shooting the ones that don’t migrate.

  10. I wonder if it’s really true they mate for life? You’d think that if the population got so low they’d find a new mate?

  11. I don’t know anything about bird hunting, but have to wonder why the victim was downrange of another shooter (who he knew was there).

    Also have to wonder why anyone would want a damned goose.

  12. Talbot County and Easton doing me Proud! Go Miles River!!!!
    Some things you just don’t want to admit where you’re from!

    Lets just say that Maryland’s Eastern Shore has a lot in common with Florida.

  13. Well, his goose is cooked.

    I’m sure he’s crying fowl.

    He couldn’t be very experienced, must have been winging it.

    Good thing he didn’t get bird brained.

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