Hunting for hordes of honkers

It's no secret that the goose population in New York is on the rise. This has many land owners and state parks looking for a solution to the problem.

When it comes to out-of-control wildlife populations, the solution is simple in the minds of hunters like myself. While to non-hunters and some wildlife agencies, the ideas can be a bit outlandish. When natural populations become protected or choose not to migrate, the numbers are sure to increase. Coupled with breeding groups inhabiting non-huntable areas inside city limits, they can simply spiral out of control.

Hunters were the first conservationists, and continue to be the best. They aim to not damage wildlife populations, rather to enhance yet keep their numbers at a safe and healthy capacity. They give more money than all other non-hunting, so -called conservation groups combined. In fact, the money generated by hunting and outdoor sports is more than all other professional and non-professional sports combined.

Fortunately, our state has decided to fight this problem using hunters as the main line of defense. This year they made an unprecedented announcement. The decision was made to increase the daily bag limit of geese from eight to 15. They also allowed hunters to remove the duck plugs from their guns, which had previously limited the gunís capacity to three shots. A maximum of seven shells are now allowed, which will surely increase the amount of birds harvested per volley. The change is only for the early September season that is aimed at limiting local, not migrating populations. Non-toxic shot will still be required, along with all other preexisting regulations for transport and possession.

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