Indiana also initiated an early goose hunting season. Each year our Department of Natural Resources expands the length of this early hunting season, which targets resident birds, as opposed to the later season which is aimed at migrating flocks.
With the increase in urbanization over the past several decades the population of resident Canada geese has exploded and shows no sign of declining. There is an estimated five million resident geese in the country today.
Geese typically start breeding at three years of age and can continue for up to 17 years. Although they breed just once each spring, normally during March and April, they will normally lay four to nine eggs, called a clutch. Making matters even worse is the fact that resident birds living within city limits have few natural predators such as fox and coyote, so it doesn’t take long for city dwelling geese to reach problematic numbers.
Have you ever wondered why you see so many geese, especially during the months of June and July? Goslings hatched in the spring cannot fly until fall and parent birds will not readily abandon their young. Also, during the middle of the summer adult geese molt, dropping their primary flight feathers to grow new ones. During molt these adults cannot take to the sky either. All of this takes place during the busiest time of year for parks.
Let’s face it, resident Canada geese are thriving and it’s because we have created the perfect situation then compound the problem by giving them free handouts. Until everyone realizes this, some level of tolerance for residents, including Canada geese, has to be expected.
Wayne Nolder and Bob Rose won the Thursday Delphi-Delco team bass tourney with three largemouth weighing 5 pounds. Second place went to Mike Nolder and Dennis Goff with two fish totaling 4 pounds, 2 ounces. A 2-pound, 7-ounce fish also gave them the tourney’s “biggest bass” honor. Mike and Aaron Harrison grabbed third place with one fish tipping the scales at 1 pound, 10 ounces.
• John Martino is the Tribune’s outdoors columnist. He may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.