Thursday, October 12, 2006
Extra goose hunting permitted
Under a conservation order from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mississippi hunters may hunt light geese from Oct. 1 through Nov. 12, from Nov. 27 through Dec. 1, from Jan. 29 through Feb. 2, and from Feb. 5 through Mar. 10, according to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.
Many parts of the United States and Canada are burdened by too many light geese, which include snow, blue, and Ross’ geese.
Annual winter population counts of light geese estimate that the population has more than tripled in the past 30 years, biologists say.
The Service says the fragile Canadian arctic, with its short growing season, cannot support populations of that size. This condition may be contributing to the decline of breeding populations of other migratory bird species that share these breeding grounds.
The order provides a better opportunity for states like Mississippi to increase their light goose harvests and to help alleviate the over-population of these birds.
According to the Service, these extraordinary measures are needed to halt the widening destruction of fragile arctic migratory bird breeding habitat caused by the exploding populations of light geese.
By federal regulation, the conservation order to take light geese cannot be implemented unless all other waterfowl seasons are closed.
Hunters taking geese under the conservation order must call 601-432-2199 to register their name and address and receive a free permit number before hunting.
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