2017 spring light goose harvest begins

Published 9:01 am Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A spring conservation harvest of light geese will open Wednesday and run through April 30, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Light geese are snow geese, blue-phased snow geese and the smaller Ross’s goose.

A federal conservation order permits the taking of light geese during the spring to reduce the population of snow geese and Ross’s geese that breed in Arctic coastal areas and around Hudson Bay. High populations of the birds have caused considerable habitat damage to these fragile ecosystems.

According to a press release, the conservation order is authorized by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which allows harvest of specific bird species during times when other waterfowl seasons are closed. Minnesota has participated in this spring conservation harvest each year since 2000. Harvest of light geese in Minnesota has varied from a few hundred to several thousand birds each spring.

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To participate, a spring light goose permit is required and may be obtained wherever Minnesota hunting licenses are sold, via telephone at 888-665-4236 or online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense. There is a $2.50 application fee to cover the cost of issuing the permit. No other license, stamp or permit is required.

A summary of regulations is available at mndnr.gov/waterfowl, from license vendors, DNR wildlife offices or by calling the DNR Information Center at 888-646-6367 or 651-296-6157.