City turns to hunting to control goose population

Published: May. 24, 2016 at 10:24 PM CDT
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Hunting geese within city limits is the newest tool city officials are looking to add to their arsenal as they combat a rampant goose population.

“The population has steadily increased and we’ve tried a number of tactics to manage that,” said Parks Superintendent Daniel Gibbins. “But it’s to the point where we have to reduce the population locally.”

In the past, the city has invested time and money into scare tactics like a remote controlled device that chases the birds and lasers that frighten them into flight. The city has passed a no feeding ordinance and changed what vegetation grows near rivers to discourage nesting.

Annually, the city spends 15 to 20 thousand dollars on cleaning up after and controlling geese.

Now, after partnering with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to find other solutions, a proposed change to an ordinance would allow goose hunting in parts of the southwest quadrant of the city.

“As long as people are responsible doing it, and do it for what I say is the right reason, which to me is eat what you kill, I'm all for it,” said Joel Johnson, whose property would qualify for hunting under the amendment.

If the change passes two more readings, goose hunting would be allowed on rural, undeveloped land that is both south of Highway 30 and west of Interstate 380. Hunters would also need permission for the property owner.

Hunters will also need a license from the DNR.