The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds interested participants that the spring conservation action on "light" geese (snow geese, blue-phased snow geese, and the smaller Ross's goose) will open Friday, March 1, and run through Tuesday, April 30, again this spring.
The action is allowed under a federal conservation order which permits the take of "light" geese during the spring. The conservation order season is in place to try to reduce the population of snow geese and Ross's geese that breed in the Arctic coastal areas and around Hudson Bay. High populations of these birds have caused considerable habitat damage to these fragile ecosystems.
A spring light goose permit is required and may be obtained through any DNR license agent, via telephone at 888-665-4236 or online at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense. The $3.50 application fee covers the cost to issue the permit. No other license, stamp, or permit is required.
Customers who use the phone to apply will receive a temporary authorization number in lieu of the permit until it is mailed to the applicant. People who use the Internet to apply can print their own permit when completing the transaction and will not receive a permit by mail.
Most regulations in place during fall waterfowl season also will apply during the spring season, including nontoxic shot requirements and federal baiting regulations. In addition, all refuges closed to either duck or goose hunting during fall seasons will remain closed during the spring season. Shooting hours are one half-hour before sunrise until one half-hour after sunset. No daily or possession limits apply. Electronic calls and unplugged shotguns are allowed.
Minnesota has participated in this spring conservation action each year since 2000 and harvest of light geese has varied from a few hundred to several thousand birds each spring.
"Minnesota is on the extreme eastern edge of the spring migration corridor for snow geese through the Upper Midwest," said Steve Cordts, DNR waterfowl specialist. "In addition, March weather, particularly snow and ice conditions, have a major impact on spring migration, migration routes, and migration timing of snow geese in Minnesota."
A summary of regulations will be available from license vendors, DNR wildlife offices or by calling the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367.