Why We Need To Control The Canada Geese Population
In most areas of the United States, resident Canada geese are a big problem. From parks littered with feces to aggressive birds that troll public places looking for food handouts, the large Canada geese population can range from a simple annoyance to a legitimate crop threat. Even worse, goose feces around public beaches can cause E-Coli outbreaks in the water – a major health risk for swimmers. Yes, the fat honking birds are a true menace, and the worst thing about them is that their populations seem to expand without boundary.
As Canada goose populations have gotten more and more out of hand, many states have expanded hunting season for the birds. For example, ever since 2008, North Dakota has kicked off Canada goose season in August rather than September. Last year, the state allowed hunters to bag as many as 15 geese a day – up from eight in previous years – all in an effort to curb the rapid growth of goose populations.
And rapid it is: in Michigan, the once near-extinct birds have obtained serious prominence, increasing from just 9,000 specimens in 1970 to over 300,000 now. That’s a massive population explosion in a relatively brief time window, and without population control systems in place, Canada geese numbers in North Dakota, Michigan, and almost every other area in North America will quickly reach almost overwhelming heights.
Arguably the most effective manner of controlling goose populations is through hunting. Where hunting of Canadian geese is legal, population levels are kept relatively in check. Furthermore, the meat provided by the Canada geese helps inject some extra zest into the local economy, allowing for a substantially-sized, protein-filled meal. In other words, where Canada goose hunting is allowed and encouraged, everyone wins. Fewer parks are saturated with goose feces, fewer families have to deal with aggressive birds looking for food or defending their nesting territory, hunters are happy in their quest to reach the state-allotted bag limit, and the economy gets a kick.
The guidelines for dealing with goose populations in North Dakota are especially friendly. With a daily bag limit of 15 and a possession limit of 45, hunters were able to trim the state’s Canada geese populations by an estimated 71,000 in 2012 alone. Farmers can also obtain permits to shoot the birds on their land, a system that supports crop protection and helps spread the benefits of hunting and population control even further.
Hoping to help out in pruning the Canada geese population? Check your state’s guidelines to learn how long hunting season is and what you can expect from bag and possession limits.