LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Recent headlines show geese are being killed by the thousands in cities that are overpopulated by the birds.
The good news is, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says there is no goose overpopulation in the natural state. A spokesperson says the Arkansas Goose Hunting seasons have prevented them from becoming too many.
“Canada Geese, a lot of people call them ‘Resident Canada Geese.’ These are geese that spend much of the year here in Arkansas,” Trey Reid, a spokesperson for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said.
Reid said because these geese nest here, their population needs to be controlled.
“We have a hunting season that’s essentially the entire month of September and that’s a season that was implemented many years ago to help control Canada Goose populations in the state,” Reid said.
Reid said the state depends on hunters to help them keep the population in check.
“There’s also a later Canada Goose Season that runs concurrent with the regular Waterfowl Season in December and January,” Reid said.
Experts said geese are mostly attracted to parks and golf courses because they need a body of water they can drink from and grass they can eat. They said those geese usually don’t ever become dangerous, but they can become a nuisance due to the mess they leave behind.
“About five or six years ago the city had a real problem with Canada Geese in the parks, on the golf courses, soccer fields, eating the grass, leaving waste behind,” Ian Hope, a Park Ranger in North Little Rock said.
Hope said instead of killing the geese, the city came up with a solution to relocate the birds using a trained dog.
“We don’t touch the geese, we don’t try to catch the geese, the idea is just to impress upon the geese that there’s a predator on the ground and they shouldn’t stay there,” Hope said.
Hope said he and the dog named Shep make rounds about twice a day to scare the birds off and so far, it’s worked.
“After finding two, three, four hundred geese a day on the fields we find maybe a dozen now,” Hope said.