Goose hunter may face wildlife fines
By Bobby Kerlik
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
A youth minister from Pine thought he was doing a favor for a friend
when he killed two Canada geese with a bow and arrow.
Unfortunately for Michael Koepfer, 33, the state Game Commission and
a few angry neighbors didn't see it that way.
"I walked out and saw a dead goose in (my neighbor's) pond and he was
there getting it out," said Tracy Budzynski, 41, who volunteers at a
local bird recovery center. "They're not my favorite animals either, but
to kill them like this... . He got the two that couldn't get away
because they were crippled. It's sick. And he's supposed to be a man of
Koepfer went afoul when Marc Voit asked him to hunt the geese that
populate his front yard in Pine near North Park. Voit's home sits about
100 yards from Pearce Mill Road with a small pond that draws at least a
dozen geese daily. The birds leave droppings in his yard and driveway.
Koepfer, who has an archery license, shot two geese on Oct. 13 before
Budzynski called police. Budzynski, whose house sits about 40 yards from
her neighbor's pond, had named the geese Queenie and Pat.
"He told me he wanted someone to harvest the geese and now I'm caught
in the middle," said Koepfer, who works for New Community Church. "I was
just trying to do the right thing. I thought I had all the right
credentials. I didn't mean to hurt or offend her. I didn't want that to
Conservation officer Gary Fujak said Koepfer could be fined for
several violations, including hunting without a goose license, hunting
out of season and hunting too close to homes.
"I love nature, but you get to a point where laws have allowed these
birds to populate out of control," said Voit, 40. "My No. 1 priority is
my family. I have four kids and I don't want my 2-year-old to be playing
in goose poop in my front yard. The geese are just destroying the
Voit said he didn't know the geese were crippled. Budzynski said one
had a broken wing that never healed and the other suffered from
"I don't know the birds' life history," Voit said. "It's my property.
I asked the game commission what I could do. They told me to have
someone hunt them during the season."
Koepfer has a migratory bird license and thought that covered geese,
but geese require additional licensing. The next hunting season doesn't
start until Nov. 15.
Bobby Kerlik can be reached at