Second goose reported shot with arrow

Old Lyme — State regulators are investigating an alleged goose shooting that the Connecticut Wildlife Rehabilitators Association believes was carried out by a Lyme-Old Lyme High School senior during an archery lesson in gym class last month.

On Wednesday, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection spokesman Chris Colibee confirmed DEEP was investigating but could not provide further details on the incident. He said he still was waiting to receive an official report on the matter.

Old Lyme Superintendent Ian Neviaser also confirmed that DEEP responded to an incident involving the shooting of a goose at the high school but did not provide further details. He could not confirm the date of the incident and could not comment on whether disciplinary action was taken against the student who allegedly shot the bird. Neviaser said DEEP would have to make a final determination on whether the shooting was illegal.

State police also could not confirm Monday whether a police investigation into the matter was pending.

The incident comes shortly after another goose, also injured with an arrow, was seen in the area of the Groton sub base last week.

In an effort to identify who shot the goose found in Groton, The Connecticut Wildlife Rehabilitators Association, a state-appointed organization, announced that it would offer a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who shot a Canada goose with an arrow.

Association President Laura Simon told The Day on Monday that, in response to that offer, she received five separate emails detailing the Lyme-Old Lyme High School shooting from students who were present in the gym class. She said the emails offered similar accounts of the incident.

According to one of those emails sent to the CWRA from a classmate who witnessed the incident, a student shot at a flock of geese standing at a distance from archery targets while the gym teacher wasn’t looking. The teacher had told the class not to shoot at the geese, the email said. After the goose was shot, it simply flew away without making a noise. It is unclear whether the bird flew away with the arrow.

"He shot at the goose with the intent to shoot at the goose, from where we were shooting there was no way he could have accidentally shot the goose," the email said.

Simon was not able to provide the names of the five people who sent her emails about the incident and said all five declined to go on the record with The Day.

The Day could not confirm the identity of the gym teacher overseeing that class.

Simon said she did not think the goose found at the sub base was the same one shot in Old Lyme, therefore alleging two separate goose-shooting incidents in close succession. According to the emails she received, the Old Lyme shooting occurred on Oct. 24 and believes that the goose found in Groton was shot before that date. 

“I can’t say that animal shootings are abnormal. But no, something like this has not happened while I’ve been here,” she said Monday. “This sort of thing isn’t completely surprising but it is depressing. It’s all undue and unnecessary violence.”

The CWRA claims that the Old Lyme shooting incident is a violation of state wildlife and animal cruelty laws and the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

DEEP told The Day last week that with the right permits during hunting season, it is legal to shoot a goose, though a bow and arrow is not likely to be a hunter’s preferred method.

The Canada goose hunting season ended in southeastern Connecticut on Oct. 20 but starts up again on Nov. 10, according to the 2018-19 Connecticut Migratory Bird Hunting Guide.

Simon said that the goose shot in Old Lyme is yet to be found and suspects that it is still in the Old Lyme area.

“This would probably be a resident goose and resident geese have their spot and their habitat during this time of year. Normally, it will stay in its area,” Simon said. “I just pray we find it alive and not dead.”

m.biekert@theday.com

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