North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Light Goose Conservation Season

Description

 

Location:  Statewide, although light geese (snow, blue, and Ross’ geese) winter primarily in the coastal counties of Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell, Washington, Chowan, Perquimans, Pasquotank, Camden, and Currituck counties. 
Season dates:  February 13, 2017 – March 31, 2017
Bag and Possession Limits:  No bag or possession limit
Special hunting methods allowed:  Electronic calls and unplugged guns
Shooting hours:  ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset 
Non-toxic shot: Required
Permit and Harvest Survey: Required

Waterfowl hunters have additional opportunity to harvest light geese (snow, blue, and Ross' geese) in North Carolina under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Conservation Order for Light Geese.   A Conservation Order is a special management action authorized by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to control certain wildlife populations when traditional hunting seasons are unsuccessful in reducing overabundant wildlife populations. The Conservation Order allows additional harvest of light geese, in response to concerns about their growing numbers across North America, during times when no other waterfowl seasons are open, and allows additional harvest past March 10, the latest closing date for regular light goose hunting seasons under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.


Light geese have reached population levels that are causing extensive and possibly irreversible damage to their, as well as other nesting birds', fragile arctic and sub-arctic tundra breeding grounds.  Large numbers of light geese feeding on natural vegetation can also destroy large areas of coastal marshland during migration and winter.  Serious damage to agricultural crops, such as hay, winter wheat, barley and rye, occurs on migration and wintering areas as well. Returning light goose populations to sustainable levels is necessary to protect these delicate habitats, and every species dependent on them.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requires States to identify participants and report harvest of light geese in any Light Goose Conservation Order Season.  To facilitate this process, the Wildlife Resources Commission will require all participants in the Light Goose Conservation Season in North Carolina to obtain a free permit and complete a harvest survey.  

NOTE: LIGHT GOOSE HUNTERS WILL NOT NEED TO APPLY FOR A FREE PERMIT OR COMPLETE A HARVEST SURVEY TO PARTICIPATE IN THE REGULAR LIGHT GOOSE HUNTING SEASON.  Regular light goose hunting season dates can be viewed here.
 

 

License Restrictions, Rules and Conditions

Waterfowl hunters 16 years of age and older wishing to participate in the Light Goose Conservation Season must possess a valid NC hunting license, a NC waterfowl privilege license, a federal duck stamp, and be HIP registered.  Hunting on NC Game Lands requires a NC Game Lands privilege license.  Youth less than 16 years of age who are not licensed or hunter education certified must be accompanied by a properly licensed adult at least 18 years of age or older.

All state and migratory game bird hunting regulations and requirements apply to the taking, possession, shipping, transporting, and storing of light geese during the Light Goose Conservation Season, except that use of recorded or electrically amplified calls or sounds are allowed, unplugged guns are allowed, hunting hours are from ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset, and there are no bag or possession limits.

All waterfowl hunters, regardless of age, wishing to participate in the Light Goose Conservation Season must obtain a free permit.  All hunters who apply for and receive the free permit must also report their participation and harvest during the Light Conservation Season by completing a Light Goose Conservation Season Harvest Survey, regardless of whether they hunted or harvested any light geese.  Please refer to How to Obtain Permit and Harvest Survey for additional details.

How to Obtain Permit and Harvest Survey

Waterfowl hunters wishing to participate in the Light Goose Conservation Season must obtain a free, self-issued Light Goose Conservation Season Permit.  To obtain the no-cost Light Goose Conservation Season Permit, participants can apply July 1 through March 31 by clicking Obtain Light Goose Conservation Season Permit.

As a condition of the Light Goose Conservation Season Permit, all participants must also complete a Light Goose Conservation Season Harvest Survey.  The information collected from the harvest survey helps waterfowl managers assess the effectiveness of the Light Goose Conservation Season for reducing light goose populations.  Participants can complete the survey by visiting our website and answering the questions Online or by calling 888-248-6834, 8 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday before May 1.

NOTE: LIGHT GOOSE HUNTERS WILL NOT NEED TO APPLY FOR A FREE PERMIT OR COMPLETE A HARVEST SURVEY TO PARTICIPATE IN THE REGULAR LIGHT GOOSE HUNTING SEASON. Regular light goose hunting season dates can be viewed here

 

Contact
Information

 Address:   North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
Division of Wildlife Management
1722 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1722
   
 Phone: 919 707- 0050
 Fax: 919-707-0067