Maryland DNR Expands Light Goose Hunting Regulations

Maryland DNR Expands Light Goose Hunting Regulations
Light Goose Conservation Order Season Included

Annapolis, Md. — -( The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has published liberalized hunting methods for light geese during the latter portion of the 2008-2009 season. This includes the addition of a Light Goose Conservation Order season which will allow hunters to harvest light geese beyond the established regular hunting period. Greater and lesser snow geese and Ross’s geese are collectively referred to as light geese.

Beginning January 26, 2009 and continuing through the end of the regular light goose season on March 10, 2009, waterfowl hunters in Maryland will be able to take light geese using unplugged shotguns and electronic calls. During this time, all other hunting regulations pertaining to shooting hours and bag limits remain unchanged. The liberalization is permitted in the following geographical area: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Harford, Howard, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, St. Mary’s, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties; that portion of Carroll County east of Route 31 to the intersection of Route 97, and east of Route 97 to the Pennsylvania line; that portion of Prince Georges County east of Routes 3 and 301; and that portion of Charles County east of Route 301 to the Virginia line.

The Light Goose Conservation Order season will go into effect in the same geographical area from March 11 to April 18, 2009. During the Conservation Order season, legal shooting hours have been extended from a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset and daily bag and possession limits have been removed. Hunters may continue to use unplugged shotguns and electronic calls during this time.

“The intent of the expanded hunting methods and Conservation Order season is to reduce light goose populations,” said DNR’s Waterfowl Project Leader Larry Hindman. “The Atlantic Flyway greater snow goose population now exceeds one million birds. That is twice the population objective. Relaxing these regulations is aimed at minimizing the ecological and agricultural damage caused by the current over-abundance of geese.”

Waterfowl hunters participating in the Light Goose Conservation Order season (March 11 to April 18, 2009) must possess a Light Goose Conservation Order permit. The procedure for issuing permits is being worked out at this time and will be announced at a later date. Participants will also be required to possess a valid Maryland hunting license (resident Delaware licenses are also acceptable) and a 2008-2009 Maryland Migratory Game Bird Hunting Stamp. Possession of a federal duck stamp is not required during the Conservation Order season. Once registered, hunters are required to keep the permit receipt in their possession while hunting light geese during the Conservation Order season.

A Conservation Order is a special management action authorized by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act that is used to control wildlife populations when traditional management programs are unsuccessful in preventing overabundance. This action is granted under the authority of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.