NEW CASTLE, Ind — The once-endangered Canada goose has now become a nuisance for many homeowners, businesses and even state parks. One of those parks is Summit Lake State Park, and it wants hunters to help.
Canada geese were on the brink of extinction in the 20th century, due to unregulated hunting and the drainage of wetlands. Efforts by conservationists helped reestablish their populations, which have since grown out of control.
The problem with these pests is that, despite their large population size, they're federally protected and can only be hunted during specified hunting seasons and within specified hunting parameters.
That's why, for the fifth year in a row, Summit Lake will be hosting a goose reduction hunt.
Goose hunting season at the park, located in New Castle, runs from Nov. 19, 2022, through Feb. 12, 2023. No hunts will be held on Nov. 28 or 29 due to state park deer hunts.
The park hopes the hunt will help reduce the harmful effects of the overabundant resident Canada geese on the ecosystem's health and human safety.
Shooting hours begin a half hour before sunrise and go until three hours after sunrise and start back up again three hours before sunset and continue until sunset.
The park specified that only Canadian geese may be taken. No other species, including other waterfowl, may be taken.
The daily bag limit is five geese and the possession limit is three times the daily bag limit.
Hunters will need to have the proper permits and licenses to participate. Those permits can be obtained at the park office beginning Nov. 16. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.