Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

October 5, 2013

LETTER: September slaughter; conservation or extermination?

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — September slaughter: conservation or extermination?

Here’s a reply to Mr. Confer’s column published Sept. 16 in the Union-Sun & Journal.

The Department of Environmental Conservation has decided to solve the Canada goose problem by allowing hunters to kill 15 birds a day, almost twice the limit in previous years. September 2013 was a long month for Canada geese. New York state has nearly 20,000 geese hunters. If each hunter killed five birds a day, that would add up to about 100,000 geese from our landscape — in one day.

Hunters are allowed to carry shotguns with up to seven shells, instead of the usual three in their shotguns (which violates the S.A.F.E. Act, right, Governor Cuomo?)

Shooting hours were extended, from sunset to a half hour past sunset, when most geese are mobile searching for refuge for the night.

Electronic calling devices were permitted to help entice geese within shooting range, usually 50 yards or less.

All these factors made it much too easy to exterminate the geese from our environment.

I believe we should try other measures to keep the geese out of places they are not wanted. First, use a propane cannon, which is a noise device, to deter the geese from unwanted areas. Airports utilize them. Also, use a large hunting dog that will go into lakes and ponds and scatter the geese.

The DEC stated the nonviolent ways of controlling geese were ineffective at reducing the overall number of geese. So, they decided on the final solution — kill the geese.

My fear is that they will not control the geese population, they will destroy it.

I hope that everyone who reads this letter will call their politicians and complain about the DEC’s current policies. Let’s not eliminate these magnificent birds from our environment. Let’s conserve, preserve and not kill the Canada goose.

James W. McGrath