New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced Monday several significant changes to September Canada goose hunting seasons throughout the state. The season dates are similar to past years, but higher bag limits and other special measures will be allowed this year because local-nesting Canada goose populations remain too high in many areas. The updated regulations are now posted on the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28496.html.
“When DEC established the September goose hunting season in the early 1990s, New York’s resident Canada goose population was estimated to be around 130,000 birds, but today we have more than 200,000 birds,” Commissioner Martens said. “New York waterfowl hunters annually take more than 50,000 Canada geese during the September season, and we hope the changes adopted this year will enable hunters to take even more to help reduce the population.”
DEC’s management efforts are working toward a reduction in the population to eventually hit approximately 85,000 birds to alleviate the variety of problems they are causing in urban, suburban and rural areas.
The opening and closing dates for the upcoming September Canada goose season for central and eastern Long Island is September 3 through September 30.
During most of the September goose hunting seasons, hunters are allowed to take up to 15 Canada geese per day. The previous limit was eight per day; however, as several other eastern states with overabundant resident geese have done, DEC has allowed the maximum number acceptable under federal regulations. Although few hunters will take a full daily limit, the opportunity to do so may be helpful in some chronic problem areas where hunting is allowed and hunters are particularly successful.
The only exception is the Lake Champlain Zone, which will continue to have a daily limit of five Canada geese per day, consistent with adjoining areas in Vermont. Possession limits for waterfowl have also increased this year to three times the daily bag limit.
In addition to the higher bag limit, three other changes will be in effect during the September season in most areas: shooting hours will be extended to one-half hour after sunset instead of the usual closing at sunset; hunters will be allowed to use electronic calling devices to help entice geese within shooting range (typically 50 yards or less); and hunters will be allowed to use shotguns capable of holding more than three shells at a time, but no more than seven.
A license is required to participate in September Canada goose hunting season and hunters 16 years or older must have a new federal duck stamp as well.
For more information about waterfowl hunting in New York, including public hunting areas around the state, go to http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28175.html or contact any DEC wildlife office.