February Indiana Canada Goose Season to Continue

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The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is again offering a late season for hunting Canada geese.

The season runs Feb. 1-15 in the following 30 counties: Steuben, LaGrange, Elkhart, St. Joseph, La Porte, Starke, Marshall, Kosciusko, Noble, DeKalb, Allen, Whitley, Huntington, Wells, Adams, Boone, Hamilton, Madison, Hendricks, Marion, Hancock, Morgan, Johnson, Shelby, Vermillion, Parke, Vigo, Clay, Sullivan, and Greene.

The late season helps control the population of the breeding “giant” subspecies of Canada geese around urban areas, a common issue in Indiana and surrounding states. Indiana has offered hunters a late Canada goose season in select counties every February since 2008.

In 2011, the state issued late-season Canada goose permits to 3,906 hunters, and 2,577 of them hunted, DNR waterfowl biologist Adam Phelps said.

Indiana hunters harvested 6,500 Canada geese during the 2011 late season, 800 more than in 2010, according to estimates from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The total late season harvest for Indiana across all four years is estimated at 25,400 geese.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service first granted Indiana a late season for Canada goose as a three-year experiment with a requirement that at least 80 percent of geese harvested during that period needed to be giant Canada geese.

Even if Indiana’s season meets federal guidelines, the season may be closed in future years if local Canada goose populations are sufficiently reduced.

In addition to a valid hunting license, Indiana waterfowl stamp privilege, signed federal duck stamp, and an HIP (Harvest Information Program) number, a free late-season Canada goose permit is also required. The free permit is available at hunting.IN.gov , by phone (317-232-4200), or at any state Fish & Wildlife Area, field office, or reservoir during regular hours in January.