Reduce The Goose!

The DNR will conduct controlled Canada goose reduction hunts at Ouabache, Shakamak, and Whitewater Memorial state parks in November.

Similar reductions have occurred since 2007 and are part of a management plan that includes non-lethal methods also.

Goose reductions will take place Nov. 28-29. These dates coincide with goose hunting season and annual deer reduction efforts at Ouabache, Shakamak, Whitewater Memorial and several other state parks. The parks will close to the general public the evening of Nov. 27 and will re-open the morning of Nov. 30.

Large amounts of goose waste at park beaches, picnic areas and in bank-fishing locations have raised health concerns, adversely affected visitor enjoyment, increased erosion, and resulted in increased operating costs.

Reduction hunts are only one aspect of DNR's approach to managing Canada geese, according to Mike Mycroft, chief of natural resources for DNR State Parks & Reservoirs.

"The high recreational demand on the parks during periods of more optimum goose hunting has caused us to combine the reduction effort with other techniques, including ongoing harassment and nest management," Mycroft said. "Combining these techniques is beginning to show favorable results and fewer parks needing reductions this year."

Participation will be allowed on a daily first-come, first-served basis until available spots are taken. Spots will become available again throughout each day as hunters leave. Potential participants can arrive starting 90 minutes before sunrise local time. Shooting hours will be one-half hour before sunrise to 4 p.m. local time. Though hunting parties of two to four are desired, individuals are allowed. Questions should be directed to the park of interest.

Participants must be Indiana residents and 18 years old by Nov. 28, 2011. Hunters must present a valid hunting license, state waterfowl stamp, HIP number, and federal duck stamp on site on the day of the reduction. Apprentice licenses are not applicable. Dogs, boats and temporary blinds are allowed. Though Canada geese are the only harvest permitted, all state and federal laws pertaining to waterfowl hunting apply.