Canada goose season set to start

The goose decoys that gathered dust all spring and summer in your garage may soon be placed in a grassy field waiting for honking Canada geese. Although temperatures still feel like summer, waterfowl season begins Sept. 6 with the opening of resident Canada goose season.

"The resident Canada goose population is stable to slightly increasing," said John Brunjes, migratory bird biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. "We are in good shape. Our target goal is 50,000 resident geese and we are right at that number."

Many waterfowl hunters in Kentucky look west for the best hunting, but resident Canada goose numbers are evenly distributed across the state. In the Bluegrass and Pennyroyal regions, agricultural lands are the best places to search for Canada geese in September.

"All the guys I know that hunt them and do well hunt them on fields just like in winter," Brunjes said. "Areas such as grasslands will hold them. Do some scouting and find where they are feeding, and go there."

Farm ponds where Canada geese roost are good spots to try in low light, cool periods of the day. "In this heat, geese move early and late," said John Akers, maintenance director for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife who waterfowl hunts as many days as possible each year. "During this time of year, the early morning and dusk are best. They stay put during the day in this heat. A pond with clover, alfalfa, or silage nearby is a great place to start. They are looking for fresh cut greenery."

Brunjes warns hunters to consult their local paper's weather section for sunrise and sunset times to judge legal shooting hours, which begin a half hour before sunrise and end at sunset. "Make sure you don't take birds coming into ponds after legal shooting hours," Brunjes said.

Resident goose season runs from Sept. 6-14. There is a two-bird daily bag limit.