Pennsylvania State Parks Open For Early Goose Hunting September 1

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Pennsylvania State Parks Open For Early Goose Hunting September 1HARRISBURG  — Pennsylvania state parks again will allow Canada goose hunting when the state’s early season opens Monday, Sept. 1.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said the statewide season, designed to reduce local nuisance geese populations, runs through Monday, Sept. 25.

Hunters should contact individual park offices for local starting dates and other details. Some parks are closed to hunting. Also, with the early-season starting date falling on Labor Day, some parks will not allow hunting until Tuesday, Sept. 2, the day after Labor Day. Sunday hunting is not permitted in Pennsylvania.

Geese may be hunted during the early season at state parks within designated hunting areas. This year, hunters will be permitted to take one Canada goose in the Pymatuning zone; while hunters may take up to three geese on Pymatuning State Park Reservoir and an area extending 100 yards inland from the shoreline of the reservoir, excluding the area east of SR 3011 (Hartstown Road).

However, in the Pymatuning zone, all of State Game Land 214 located in Crawford County, will be closed for the early Canada goose season. Additionally, no hunting will take place on the controlled hunting area at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Lebanon and Lancaster counties.

There also has been a change to bag limits and zone boundaries in the Southern James Bay Population (SJBP) zone. The bag limit has been reduced to three geese daily, and six in possession. The SJBP zone is defined as: the area north of Interstate 80 and west of Interstate 79, including in the city of Erie west of Bay Front Parkway to the Lake Erie Duck zone, which includes Lake Erie, Presque Isle and the area within 150 yards of the Lake Erie shoreline.

Excluding these areas, an eight-goose daily bag limit and a 16-bird possession limit will be in effect statewide.

Non-migratory Canada goose populations have increased drastically in recent years, causing crop damage and nuisance problems in residential neighborhoods. Park visitors often complain about goose excrement on state park beaches and other facilities, and water quality at some state parks has been adversely affected.

Resident Canada geese have been among the suspected cause of high fecal coliform counts at some Pennsylvania state park beaches, forcing swimming restrictions during peak use periods.

Many state parks have taken measures, including anti-goose fencing and/or the use of loud noisemakers, in the attempt to deter the waterfowl or scare them away.

All Game Commission rules and regulations governing the early Canada goose season will apply at state parks. Additional details can be obtained from the Game Commission Web site, www.pgc.news.state.pa. Park information can be found at DCNR’s Web site: www.dcnr.state.pa.us.

Persons with disabilities wanting to hunt geese in the early season should contact specific state parks for further information. Sportsmen’s groups interested in volunteering for waterfowl habitat improvements and other projects in state parks should contact their local state park