Higher bag limits and other special measures will be allowed this year during the September Canada goose hunting seasons in St. Lawrence County and throughout the state.
The season dates are similar to past years, but because resident Canada goose populations remain too high in many areas, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
"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 Joe 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 are set for specific goose hunting areas. In the North Country – included in the DEC’s Northeast Zone -- the dates are Sept. 1 to Sept 25. That will be interrupted Sept. 21-22 during the Youth Waterfowl Hunt weekend, when junior hunters may be afield hunting both ducks and geese.
The daily bag limit has been raised to 15 birds per day during the September season. The previous limit was eight per day.
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)
• Hunters will be allowed to use shotguns capable of holding more than three shells at a time, but no more than seven.
The updated regulations are now posted on the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28496.html.