December Canada Goose Reductions at Summit Lake, Potato Creek SPs
This year’s dates coincide with hunting seasons to optimize effectiveness and take into consideration state and federal laws, local flight patterns and goose behavior. The first reductions will take place Dec. 6 and 7. The second round will be Dec. 13 and 14. During the reductions, the two parks will be closed to the general public. Applications will be available online starting on Oct. 27, at 12:01 a.m.
Large amounts of goose waste at both parks’ beaches, picnic areas and bank-fishing locations have adversely affected visitor enjoyment and resulted in increased operating costs.
As the population of locally breeding Canada geese has grown at the two parks, park managers have tried using special noisemakers; shooting blanks; and using regular, high-decibel distress calls to move the geese out of these areas with little success. They also have used a special federal permit to apply oil to eggs during nesting season to keep them from hatching. Other methods tried have included spraying grass with a commercial non-palatable chemical, and using physical barriers to attempt to keep the birds out of these areas.
Hunter participation will be determined by a drawing that will be run under rules similar to those for other DNR waterfowl draws, with some adjustments. Successful applicant groups of up to four individuals will be assigned to specific reduction areas. Shooting hours will be one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. A standby drawing, based on a list of unsuccessful applicants, will be made each morning to fill spots not taken by successful applicants.
Hunters who want to participate must complete and submit an online application before midnight, Nov. 9. Applications will then be entered in the drawing. No paper applications will be accepted. One individual will be able to apply as a primary applicant and include up to three of his or her friends (buddies) as additional applicants for either set of dates, but no name can appear more than once in the draw, regardless of primary or buddy status. Buddies must be included on applications to be able to participate in the reductions.
Applicants must be Indiana residents who will be 18 years of age by Dec. 6, and should have their hunting license number and Harvest Information Program (HIP) number ready to enter in the application, along with all buddy information, where applicable. Preference is given to hunters who have completed an Indiana hunter education course. A state waterfowl stamp and federal duck stamp must be presented on site on the day of the reduction, but is not required to apply.
To apply, visit www.IndianaOutdoor.IN.gov.
Successful applications will be posted online after the drawing. Participants will be issued a check-in card at time of arrival to the property selected to return upon departure. This will allow gate attendants to determine the number of geese harvested. Conservation officers will be present to monitor compliance of this and all other regulations.