COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Goose hunting season is here, and this year North Carolina Wildlife Officials have new goose hunting season with new incentives.
Matthew Long has been hunting his whole life and believes the new regulations will be beneficial.
"It's a great opportunity," said Long. "The resident geese usually come in large groups and with the normal regulation where you could have three shots, with five or more--however many your gun will hold--it gives you an opportunity to harvest more."
The new rules allow hunters to bag 15 Canadian geese a day, up from 5 last year. They can also use guns holding more than three bullets, which was the limit in 2008. Additionally, they can hunt for half an hour past sunset.
The new incentives were set in place because the birds are overpopulated, according to Master Officer Keith Rogers.
"Mainly the reason is possibly lack of hunters participating," said Rogers. "The population is just swelling because habitat has changed and that kind of thing, so the numbers have increased and just don't have enough predators out there taking some of these birds out of the population."
Wildlife officials say geese don't migrate, so they cause a lot of problems for golf courses and in residential areas.
"They come in the yard eat the shrubbery and the grass," said Rogers. "They mess all over the driveway and porches and things like that."
Hunting season for Canada Geese began Sept. 1 and will run through the end of the month.
*Shooting hours for doves: noon until sunset on Sept. 5 only, and 1/2 hour before sunrise until sunset therafter
*Canada Goose: in that area west of US 17 only, expanded hunting methods are allowed for Canada geese. These include: a.)shooting hours are extended to 1/2 hour after sunset, b.) unplugged guns are permitted, c.) electronic calls are permitted. This applies to this area only during the month of September.