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Goose Damage Permit

Canada geese are probably the most adaptable and tolerant of all native waterfowl. If left undisturbed, they will readily establish nesting territories on any suitable pond, be it located on a farm, backyard, golf course, apartment or condominium complex, or city park.

Most people will welcome and start feeding the first pair of geese on their pond, but these geese will soon wear out their welcome. In just a few years, a pair of geese can easily become 50 to 100 birds. The feces will foul the areas around the pond and surrounding yards and also damage the lawn, pond and other vegetation. Geese that are fed will lose their fear of humans and attack adults, children and pets during the nesting season (March through June). DO NOT FEED GEESE. Feeding bread, corn, potato chips, popcorn and other human food items harms the geese and sets the scene for goose attacks on people.

Canada geese are protected under both the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Ohio state law. This protection extends to the geese, goslings, nests, and eggs. Non-lethal scare and hazing tactics, which do not harm the geese, are allowed. These tactics include: pyrotechnics, dogs, barriers, a grid on the pond, laser pointers (at night), distress calls or grape-flavored repellents such as Flight Control.

If non-lethal tactics have been used in the past, without success, the Division of Wildlife may issue a lethal permit to allow the landowner to destroy nests, conduct a goose roundup, or shoot geese. These permits can only be used March 11 through August 31. Hunting in the fall, outside city limits, is also a good method to reduce the goose population, feed people and further scare the geese away.

Landowners should consult with their county wildlife officer or contact the nearest district office for assistance.