Spring snow goose hunting opens Friday

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters that the spring conservation action — hunting season — on “light” geese (snow geese, blue-phased snow geese, and the smaller Ross’s goose) will open Friday and run through April 30.

The action is allowed under a federal conservation order that permits the take of “light” geese during the spring. The 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. The $3.50 application fee covers the cost to issue the permit. No other license, stamp, or permit is required.

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.”

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