Spring means goose nuisance
By Kitty Conley email@example.com March 5, 2013 11:56AM
A trio of Canada geese fly over Lou Mikolics' farm fields in Hobart May 25, 2006. The birds have become a nuisance, often feeding on his planted crops, and Mikolics has received a permit allowing him to fire his shotgun to scare off the birds. | Stephani
Fly, fly away
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources
website dnr.IN.gov/dnr/fishwild/2996.htm has
suggestions available as to how to get rid of Canada geese.
Updated: March 5, 2013 11:56AM
It’s that time of year again. Knowing how to deal with nuisance Canada geese can be a great challenge.
Many residents have reported how the property that they spent so much time and energy making beautiful has been over run by geese. That pretty little pond on which you like to paddle your canoe or kayak and that raises the value of your property is calling, “Come live here.”
These waterfowl are protected birds that can only be shot during hunting season; you can’t just shoot them any time of the year, but you can scare them away.
Here are some local comments on what has and has not worked:
Jill Stochel: “My daughter, Ashleigh, said they don’t like being chased with a golf club!” Stochel lives outside Crown Point.
Bill Stack: “We live on the lake in Lakes of the Four Seasons in one of the condos. Packs of geese hang out in the lake near our unit. They are messy and noisy… a real pain.” He doesn’t like them but can’t get rid of them.
Gerry Stiener: “I happen to have a little pond within about 100 feet of my patio. Yes, the geese can be messy. We do our best to scare them away but usually they just flap into the pond where they feel safe. I happen to own a shotgun, which does scare them off. I do not shoot them but just fire into the air. The amazing thing to me is that I can walk into the back yard with the gun and shoot three or four times before they fly away. However, when it is hunting season all I have to do is walk into the backyard with the gun in my hand and they usually see me and fly away. How do they know when hunting season starts?” Stiener lives in Winfield.
Tom Fleming: “I have one owner at Ellendale Farm that puts plastic alligator heads floating out in the lake behind his home. He says it works at keeping the geese away.” Fleming lives in Crown Point and is the developer of Ellendale Farm in the city.
Don Carnahan, the self-proclaimed “Goosinator” and “goosebegone guy”: “I have used every ‘scare’ option to rid our lakefront property from goose trespassing and contamination.” A number of years ago he told the story of running outside from the breakfast table with his bathrobe flapping as he was banging on a pot with a metal spoon, screaming at the geese. That had all his friends laughing while visualizing the sight. Since then he has tried waving flags and has fired cap guns.
This grandfather has continued to chase them. The geese just go out into the lake. The goosinator has taken to following the geese on the lake on his paddle board, getting great exercise, and once again, creating more laughter in that visualization by his friends and family.
The best remedy however is a barking and aggressive dog.
Northwest Indiana gets the smaller Canada geese as travelers passing through on their way to Canada. They are just temporary visitors. Their destruction time is limited.
Unfortunately Northwest Indiana also has as permanent resident, the large Canada geese, who take over parks, golf courses, and suburban and semi rural homes and farms. Most of the time they like to be within 150 feet of a pond or lake. The average life span of this largest of American water fowl is about 24 years. It can stand over 3½ feet tall, and have a wingspan of 5½ feet. This big bird can fly at up to 50 miles per hours.
Most goose problems occur from March through June, during the nesting season, when geese are especially aggressive, sometimes attacking and nipping at people. It is not a nice little nip.
After hatching, goslings are incapable of flight for about 70 days, so the young birds and their parents will graze near the hatching area for that time. Damage to landscaping can be significant and expensive to repair or replace. In addition to that with a large flock of geese there are large amounts of excrement. That can destroy lawns and render whole areas unfit for human use.
Barking dogs, floating alligator heads and paddle-boarding grandpas seem to be the only solutions.