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Dealing With Canada Geese

Folks are squawking about Canada Geese. The US Fish and Wildlife Service recently made a ruling that will allow more hunting of Canada Geese and destruction of their nests, but as you can imagine, the ruling has ruffled a few feathers.

News on 6 reporter Jennifer Loren says Canada Geese have taken up residency in Oklahoma, like some at the LaFortune Park Golf Course. The geese tend to take up residence where people feed them or where there is freshly mowed or fertilized grass. Some golfers like Shelly Armstrong are used to them; in fact she says she likes the geese. "You know it’s been a little bit of a problem. But I'd say over-all I like looking at them, more so than the problems they cause."

Many people agree that they're a beautiful part of nature. But for people who deal with them on a daily basis, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Pat McCrate with LaFortune Park Golf Course: "You know they just create much more of a mess than the beauty they provide. I mean I'm not anti-geese, but in such huge numbers they're overwhelming."

You see Canada Geese leave droppings everywhere they go. Those droppings can contaminate water and they can mess up a golf course's greens. Pat McCrate says in certain seasons, he'll gets geese complaints on a daily basis. “You'll get some complaints. But there's not a lot you can do. Just kind of shoo them away. You can't go out there and individually pick that up."

At LaFortune, they've tried putting up artificial wolves. They've tried relocating the geese. They've even thought about hiring a dog to chase them away. But now owners of golf courses will have the authority to do something more about the geese, so will airports, public health officials and landowners.

Allen Stacey with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife: "Resident Canada Geese have been steadily increasing in terms of their population." The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation used to need Federal permits to help people remove and kill Canada Geese. Now, they won't need those permits.

In fact, those who qualify will be able to destroy nests and eggs on their own. "Ultimately we hope that the population will be stabilized somewhat. Certainly we want to try and reduce it."

For more information, visit the US Fish And Wildlife webpage news release.
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