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Annual goose round-up a success

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    A goose with a collar roams the pen.
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    A goose pen is unloaded off a truck.
July 14, 2017 04:45 pm

Around this time of year, Canada geese (along with other waterfowl) lose their flight feathers in the molting process. That signals time for the annual “Goose Round-Up.”

The goose round-up is a national program conducted by the US Fish & Wildlife Service (US F&W) to safely capture, band and release many species of geese. They work with state and tribal natural resource agencies across the country.

According to the US Fish & Wildlife Service website, “This cooperative effort has been ongoing since the early 1950s. WCCWBP banding data have increased our knowledge of waterfowl population dynamics and helped inform management decisions.”

In our area, the US F&W Service is assisted by DEC in this effort which chiefly captures Canada geese during the annual round-up. This year was no exception.

In Region 4 and Region 3, hundreds of Canada geese were caught and released as a result of the annual effort. A percentage of geese trapped are “recaptures,” meaning the geese still had bands from a previous round-up. Other markings such as numbered collars or colored leg bands signify they were previously captured as part of another research project.

Geese Banding as an Art in Support of Science

Temporarily lacking flight feathers, Canada geese will generally seek safety on the water. Goose round-ups are conducted in plain view of the public at locations selected for their concentrations of local populations.

Geese take to the water as “walkers” surround them, eliminating landward escape routes. Pre-positioned staff in kayaks and canoes slowly close in, causing the geese to walk onto shore where they are funneled into a portable dog kennel-like pen. Individuals are lifted out to waiting staff where the metal leg band is affixed, information recorded and their sex determined.

They are then released, none the worse for wear to go and do what geese will do.

The information collected is shared with the US F&W Service who reports, “Managing a complex and mobile resource requires information on breeding and wintering distribution, behavior, migratory routes, survival and reproduction. Biologists gather this information by placing uniquely numbered bands on many species of birds.

These birds may be recaptured in the future by biologists, or are found dead by the general public, or in the case of waterfowl and other game birds are harvested by hunters, who then report these bands to the National Bird Banding Laboratory, which provides information about where the bird was banded, where it was recovered and how long it lived. This is the information that was used to develop the Flyway system that has been used for managing migratory birds since 1950.”

September 1st Will be Here Before You Know It

The statewide early goose season which (except for on Long Island) starts Sept. 1 and ends Sept. 25.

Bag limits for the early “resident” goose season are 15 per day except for Lake Champlain, which has a limit of eight per day.

Speaking of Shotgun Shooting

A perfect trap line was achieved at Philmont Rod and Gun Club.

Club members and guests have been shooting at clay birds on the trap field at the Philmont Rod and Gun Club since the late 1920s. Trap consists of a line of five individual shooters with each shooter trying to hit 25 clay targets thrown at random angles from five different positions.

The Philmont Trap Team has consistently placed in the Top 3 in the Capital Region Trap League competition. However, recently a milestone was reached at the Philmont club.

For the first time, there was a perfect line, meaning all 125 targets were broken. Each shooter broke 25 straight. Congratulations to all of the shooters — David Siter, Dick Ruggles, Dale Rowe, Dave Ensign and Tom Tiano. For more information about the club, visit

News and Notes

— Field & Stream in Latham is holding a free introductory class for those wanting to learn fishing basics. Fishing “101” will take place at the Latham store on Sunday, July 23 from 1-3 p.m. Capitol District Flyfishers is conducting a “Kids Fly Casting Clinic” at the Latham location on July 27, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. To register for these events, call 518-785-3270 and ask to sign-up with a Fishing Associate.

— There are two remaining events for the 21st Annual Lake Taghkanic Bass Tournament; one on July 22 and the last on Aug. 5. Push-off is at 4 a.m. from the West Beach and fishing ends at 11 a.m. The cost is $30 per person. For rules, further information and to sign-up, call Bill Johnson at 518-537-5455.

Happy Hunting, and Fishing, and be safe until next time.

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