Please click on images of pair of Canada geese with goslings in May 2008. This same pair has nested in the same area for about six years.
Apparently, the plan to capture and give away the unwanted geese isn't on the table this year. That sounded good when it was proposed in 2008, and I was told that people were signing up to adopt geese.
Both shooting and adopting create a common problem in dealing with geese. Geese pair up for life, and killing mature geese that already have selected a mate may leave a lot of widows and widowers that may not establish a new relationship. Capturing geese to be moved away would require taking both members of the pairs or the same result would occur.
Former Governor Mike Huckabee, an avid waterfowl hunter, did not go on record about this problem at the time he was advocating a program of covenant marriage for human beings. I can't recall his stating that the solid family structure of geese was a model he was saying human beings should follow.
The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas
Association Votes To Obtain, Use Goose-Culling Permit
By Anna Fry
THE MORNING NEWS
BELLA VISTA -- The Bella Vista Property Owners Association board voted Thursday to obtain and use a federal permit to shoot 100 Canada geese.
The feces of Bella Vista's estimated 1,000 resident geese foul lakes and golf courses.
"This is not unique to Bella Vista," said Darrell Bowman, the association's lake ecology and fisheries manager. "This is a problem nationwide."
The board voted last year to use such a permit. After some resident objections, the board decided to pursue peaceful methods and let the permit expire.
Association officials presented their recommendations on goose control to the board Thursday. The recommendations were to start oiling -- coating eggs with embryos that haven't developed lungs to stop biological processes -- and educate the public that a city ordinance prohibits feeding geese.
The administration didn't take a position on whether to use the permit.
"That is such a controversial thing that I think the board needs to weigh in on that," General Manager Tommy Bailey said.
Board members supporting using the permit said they were concerned it may take a few years for the oiling's effect to become evident, which doesn't now help residents who have a goose problem.
"I think we've got a short-term problem and a long-term problem," said Bill Johnson, a board member.
The board voted 5-3 with Tom Wooters, Andy O'Neil and Anita Werts dissenting.
Werts said the association spent a lot of money on GeesePeace and needs to see what effect oiling will have before looking at how many geese to eliminate.
"I've come to grips that we're probably going to have to take some lethal means," she said.
City ordinances forbid shooting guns and hunting with guns within the city. The association will speak with city officials about obtaining a permit, Bailey said.
After halting the plan to cull last year, the association invited GeesePeace, a nonprofit group that promotes nonlethal methods of goose control, to visit. GeesePeace representatives recommended oiling and chasing the geese with a border collie. Chasing the geese makes them want to find a safer place before molt, during which they can't fly.