Is the snow goose plan working?

If you are a waterfowl hunter, you probably know the history and purpose of the Light Goose Conservation Order of 1999.

For those who don’t know, this federal directive was enacted in 1999 to deal with an ongoing ecological disaster in the Arctic Circle.

It seems that the snow goose population in North America had tripled during the 1990s and these snow geese, also referred to as “light geese,” were destroying the tundra in the Arctic Circle due to their feeding and breeding habits.

In fact, the destruction was so bad that it was visible from satellites overhead, stretching for miles across the arctic tundra.

Wildlife experts ultimately decided that the best way to reduce the snow goose population would be to allow the harvesting of snow geese by hunters without the usual restrictions placed on waterfowl hunters during the regular waterfowl season.

By virtue of the enactment of the Light Goose Conservation Order, it became permissible to hunt snow geese from early February to mid-April during the spring migration of snow geese back to the Arctic.

In addition to expanding the hunting season, other restrictions were also dropped; now snow geese could be hunted without bag limits (in most states) and they could be hunted with unplugged guns and with electronic callers.  

As a result, a new cottage industry was born — spring-time snow goose hunting — throughout the Midwest, including Missouri, Kansas and Illinois.

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