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Tuesday, January 30 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Relationship of Snow Goose Hunting Methods on Harvest

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AUTHORS: Daniel T. Sears, Illinois Natural History Survey; Craig A. Miller, Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT: In the last 30 years, the mid-continent snow goose populations have grown at a rapid rate and extensively damaged their tundra breeding habitat. In response, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) enacted a conservation order in 1999 to reduce overpopulation. Under the order, hunters are allowed to take snow geese after March 10th (continuing after other waterfowl seasons), observe no bag limits, hunt from sunset to ½ hour after sunset, and use electronic calls and unplugged shotguns. Under normal circumstances, these measures would be unlawful. To better understand the relationship of liberalized hunting methods on achieving management goals, we hypothesized that featured methods would result in significant differences in snow goose harvest. We collected data from Illinois’ annual mail survey of randomly selected waterfowl hunters who recorded hunting snow geese the previous season. In addition to descriptive statistics, we analyzed reported annual harvest in relation to the use of electronic calls, unplugged shotguns, and post-sunset hunting with one-way ANOVA models. The percentages of hunters using these methods remained consistent from 2014 to 2017. Methods of take had a significant effect on annual harvest. Discussion will focus on the conservation order’s progress and its potential ramifications on the hunting community. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 6:00pm - 9:00pm CST
Ballroom C & Foyer

Attendees (7)