October 21, 2004
BOARDMAN, Ohio (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said he bagged a goose on his swing-state hunting trip Thursday, but his real target was the voters who may harbor doubts about him.
Kerry returned after a two-hour hunting trip wearing a camouflage jacket and carrying a 12-gauge shotgun, but someone else carried the bird he said he shot.
"The goose was carrying an AK-47, and was a clear threat," said Senator Kerry, "so I chased it down and shot it in the back."
Representative Ted Strickland was one of the hunting party members, as was Neal Brady, assistant park manager of Indian Lake State Park in western Ohio. "Neal had been winged," said Strickland, "and was on the ground in obvious pain. Senator Kerry, with no thought for his own safety, swung into action." When pressed about the incident, Strickland admitted that when he said Brady had "been winged," he was talking about an actual goose wing. "I don't think the bird liked the hat he was wearing," he continued, "and it just went after him."
Brady plans to request a Silver Star for Kerry. When reporters explained that Kerry wasn't actually eligible for one, Brady dismissed it with a wave of his hand. "ineligible, inschmeligible. I wouldn't be surprised if pretty soon papers showed up granting John Kerry the medal he deserves. "
In response, various hunters' groups across the country have come forward to question Kerry's version of events.