It’s open season on snow geese in Delaware as the state tries to reduce the burgeoning bird population.
Thousands of snow geese are expected to be culled through the beginning of April as state hunting regulations are loosened to help reduce the number of snow geese in the region.
The birds have grown so numerous that they “threaten to degrade native breeding ground habitat in the Canadian Arctic,” according to Delaware wildlife officials. The birds have also caused “extensive damage” to wetlands and agricultural areas in Delaware and other areas of the Mid-Atlantic where they stay during the winter season.
The Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife has issued a conservation order which gives hunters more tools to take snow geese. That special order allows the use of unplugged shotguns and electronic calls, legal shooting hours are extended, and there are no daily bag limits.
Last year, 11,000 snow geese were harvested by more than 560 hunters who took advantage of the conservation order. The 2015 order is in place from Feb. 2 through the 6th, and then reopens Feb. 9 and runs through April 11.