Special Goose Seasons Continue

March 23, 2009 by  

By PJ McQuire

September 1st will be the opening day for the 2004 early season Canada goose hunting in North Dakota. The 2004 season will be the sixth time in which the North Dakota Game and fish has allowed the early Season for North Dakota hunters. Once again shooting hours will be one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. The season will run for two weeks with a daily limit of five and a possession limit of ten, respectively. September 1st is the earliest any migratory game bird season can start per Federal Law. The opening day falls on a Wednesday, offering good hunting opportunities for students and those able to sneak in a morning before work.
Due to the coolness of the summer and bad nesting conditions in Canada, hunters should expect an early migration. Juvenile birds are typically later migators than adults and cooler weather will move birds towards the south. “I saw two snow geese mixed in with a flock of Canadas the other day…” Ricky Harrison told me, a senior psychology major at UND after returning from a recent scouting trip. Hunters should be careful before pulling the trigger because only Canada geese are legal in the early season.

Last year 6,870 hunters participated in the special season in North Dakota. These hunters helped to cut the high population by bagging 20,500 geese. Every year the Canada goose population grows in North Dakota. Last year, the population almost doubled. Similar to the Spring Season for snows, these special hunts are offered to help keep the local goose populations at manageable numbers. It is our obligation as hunters preserve goose populations at healthy numbers to prevent outbreaks of disease, or worse starvation.

Our neighbor to the East, Minnesota, consistently tops the nation in the harvest of Canada Geese. 282,000 geese fell to the shotgun blast of hunters in Minnesota last year during their early season and regular duck and goose hunting seasons. Minnesota’s early goose also runs an extra week longer than the season in North Dakota. Minnesota can do this because they are not graced with high concentrations of migrant geese like the Dakotas.

Whatever side of the boarder you hunt, I encourage everyone to participate in this special season. You may be telling your grandkids about these days when there are no longer high populations of geese. Scouting is the most important aspect of the hunt and can drastically increase your success rates. Shoot straight and practice your calling.


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