Honker Guide wrote:Most of the recorded weights of the giant Canada goose were taken from birds that were in a captive breeding program where they were fed a special diet to up their weight. So if you are using Hanson as a guide for your heavy geese, you need to think again. Everyone that has called me with a goose over 15 lbs. has reweighed and found the weight to be only around 14 lbs. Now if there is a 15 lb goose out there it will probably come in the late resident season as they are putting on weight for the upcoming breeding season. Paul
Some of Hanson's data comes from captive flocks, not all of it, and the measurements of the big captives tend to agree with the huge wild geese that have been reported.
I hope the GIANTS are out there, but I almost never see a large goose photo with the classical Giant (maxima
) markings. So, I think most people are shooting HONKERS out of populations that can not produce the huge geese. That doesn't mean they don't exist.
Here's a paragraph from Hanson:
"The largest geese I measured at the Rond Lake Waterfowl Station had wing spans of 76 1/2, 76 1/2, 76, 74 1/2, 71 1/2 inches. One of the geese with a 76 1/2 inch span had a flattened wing measurement of 566 mm (22 1/4 inches), the longest of any measured in this study. At the North Dakota Schoool for the Deaf, Devils Lake, a coptive with a wing span of 76 3/4 iinches was measure (flattened wing measurement of 555 mm). At Delta, Manitoba, the goose with the greatest length of flattened wing had a span of 73 inches. An 18 3/4-pound goose killed in Oakes, North Dakota, in 1947, was reported to have a wing span of75 3/4 inches (Fig. 8). However, most of the large adult males in the various populations of maxima
have wing spans between 69 and 71 inches. In contrast, large adult males of interior
have a wing span of about 66 inches." (The Giant Canads Goose, Hanson. p. 26)
It's peculiar, but I just shot my largest Canada goose ever yesterday along with a smaller goose. The big one was 13 pounds even, weighed on a shipping scale. It was about 40 1/2 inches in length, and depending upon how one stretched the wings, it's wingspan was 74 to 75 3/4 inches. I shot two twelve-pounders a few years back that had 72, and 74 inch wing spans, but most of my othe Canada geese have had wingspans no where near that wide (even down to the high 50-inch range). Those usually are 8-11 lbs.