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DEC changes special measures for September Canada Goose hunting season due to their overpopulation

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Hunters of Canada geese will be allowed higher bag limits and other special measures during the September season due to overpopulation of the bird.

“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,” said Joe Martens, state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner, in a statement. “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.”

A release about the rule changes said the department is working toward reducing the bird’s population by about 85,000 to alleviate the nuisance they bring.

Changes for this season, which is Sept. 1 to 25 for much of the state, increase the number of Canada geese that can be taken from eight to 15 per day, with the exception of the Lake Champlain Zone, which pegs its daily limit at five.

Possession limits for the waterfowl also are increased, to three times the daily bag limit.

Another change is an expansion of shooting hours to one-half hour after sunset, instead of the usual closing at sunset. Also, hunters within shooting range, about 50 feet, will be allowed to use electronic calling devices to help entice the geese. Another rule change will allow hunters to use shotguns capable of holding more than three shells at a time, but no more than seven.

To participate in the September hunting season, hunters must have a valid 2012-13 hunting license and register for 2013-14 in the state’s Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program.

Hunters can register for the program by calling 1-888-427-5447 or visiting www.NY-HIP.com.Hunters older than 16 must also purchase a federal duck stamp, which can be bought at post offices and sporting goods stores, at www.duckstamp.com or by calling 1-800-852-4897.

The new regulations, including the opening and closing dates for the season, can be found at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28496.html.

More information about waterfowl hunting in the state can be found at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28175.html.

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