PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) Registration continues for one more week for those who would be interested in helping manage the numbers of Canada geese in South Dakota. The population of the geese in the state is higher than management goals. G F & P Wildlife Division Director Tony Leif says the optimum population would be 80,000 to 90,000 resident Canada geese. In the spring of last year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated the spring population to be nearly 270,000 resident Canada geese. In the months since, the department has spent almost three quarters of a million dollars to reduce crop damage caused by resident Canada geese. Since 2000, over $4.3 million dollars has been spent on Canada goose depredation. The G F & P Commission has also allowed additional goose hunting opportunities in August and September to help manage the goose numbers. New this year, the department in seeking volunteers to harvest resident Canada geese on locations that have chronic depredation problems. No hunting license will be required to participate. A limited number of volunteers will be selected and given instructions and authorization to harvest the geese. Geese harvested during the spring management effort will be eligible to be donated to the Sportsmen Against Hunter Program to feed hungry families in the state. Volunteers can register through March 8 and the harvest will start later this month. To register, visit the Game, Fish and Parks website at http://gfp.sd.gov/hunting/volunteer-hunter.aspx, login and select “Canada Goose-Spring” then choose the county where they would like to participate.
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