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For Release: Wednesday, August 29, 2018

DEC Announces Canada Goose Season Opens September 1

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that Canada goose hunting season opens Saturday, September 1, in most of the state.

Commissioner Seggos said, "September goose hunting season provides New York's hunters with excellent opportunities to pursue an abundant resource. Goose hunters are key partners in DEC's efforts to manage our resident Canada goose populations."

Resident geese are those that do not migrate significant distances from northern breeding grounds to more temperate wintering grounds. Based on the growing population and frequency of complaints about geese, DEC biologists have concluded that a more acceptable number of resident geese in New York would be at or below 85,000 birds. The current population estimate is more than 200,000 birds. DEC's long-term statewide population goal guides management programs and policies, including establishing hunting seasons and bag limits and allowing additional take of geese by permit.

Liberal seasons and bag limits are set to help stabilize resident goose populations. September Canada goose seasons occur in all goose hunting zones with the exception of Western Long Island. All upstate areas open September 1, and run through September 25. Canada goose seasons on Central and Eastern Long Island begin on the Tuesday following the Labor Day holiday (September 4 this year) and run through September 30. On Western Long Island, the season opens on October 13.

The September seasons include liberal bag limits (15 birds/day), extended shooting hours, and other special regulations to maximize hunter success.

Additional details on waterfowl hunting regulations, season dates, hunting area boundaries, and bag limits can be found on DEC's website.

License requirements

To participate in the September Canada goose hunting season, hunters must:

  1. Have a 2018-2019 hunting license;
  2. Be registered for the 2018-2019 New York Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP); and
  3. All hunters 16 years of age or older must have a 2018-2019 federal duck stamp signed across the face of the stamp in ink

For a list of ways to purchase a hunting license, visit DEC's website. To register with HIP, visit DEC's webpage.

To purchase a Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (link leaves DEC's website), please visit the local post office or the USPS webpage.

Hunting Safety and Etiquette

DEC reminds hunters to follow simple safety guidelines and use good judgment when choosing a time and place to hunt. Being considerate of other people who enjoy the outdoors or live nearby can help avoid potential conflicts and ensure a safe and enjoyable season. As coastal areas become more populated, new landowners unfamiliar with the safety, ethics and traditions of waterfowl hunting sometimes respond by seeking to limit hunter access to popular waterfowl hunting areas. Hunters should be considerate and minimize any disturbance of local residents whenever possible.

A little courtesy and time spent before a hunt can go a long way to avoid or minimize conflicts with property owners and other outdoor enthusiasts. DEC encourages hunters:

  • Consider contacting owners of property adjacent to where they will be hunting, well in advance;
  • Tell property owners when and where they will be hunting. Property owners may be less concerned if aware of planned hunts;
  • Take the time to explain to the landowner the intent to abide by the laws and regulations pertaining to waterfowl hunting, familiarity with the locations of houses, and safety protocols;
  • Plan out shooting directions, and verify that the selected spot to hunt is safe and in compliance with the law. Keep in mind that shot pellets, especially when discharged at a high angle, can sometimes travel farther than 500 feet;
  • During conversations with landowners, identify any concerns the landowner may have and discuss them before you go hunting; and
  • Leave hunting locations as clean as you found it, and be sure to pick up your empty shell casings and other litter you may find.
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