Canadian geese seeking a warmer climate in the colder months have arrived in flocks at A.J. Jolly Park in Alexandria.
The decision could kill them.
"The population has increased in the past week or two," said Larry Harrod, Campbell County parks & recreation manager. Though often when we envision birds "flying south for the winter" we may picture a place like Florida, Harrod said that it is not uncommon for some geese to spend prolonged periods in Kentucky. In the summer, there were about 150 Canadian geese at A.J. Jolly Park. The number has climbed to 600 or 700, Harrod said.
The county is seeking help from local hunters.
"We have so many geese and they do a lot of damage," said Campbell County Judge/Executive Steve Pendery. "We've tried everything."
"Everything" includes pyrotechnics, dogs, lasers, and seeds that the geese are expected not to like. Still, the population has increased.
"We had a hunt three and a half years ago," Harrod said. At that point, our population was above a thousand. That helped dwindle that, but it's starting to grow again and this is just a method to curtail that."
The real problem left by the geese: poop.
"From the stats from the last hunt that I gathered, one of the shocking things," Harrod said, "is each goose produces a pound of excrement a day."
That has left a mess of droppings on walking trails, youth sports fields, and the golf course.
Campbell County Commissioner Tom Lampe said that he witnessed the large geese population when he attended a recent luncheon at the park. "The golf pro explained the problem and then we watched the gathering on hole 9 and hole 1," Lampe said. "There were hundreds."
And now they must die.
Well, not all of them.
If the previous hunt is any indication, after a small amount of blood is shed by the invading geese, the rest of them take note and move on.
"A thousand geese could have been involved in the hunt," Pendery said of the last effort, "but a very small number were actually harvested and the rest got wise and left town, which is the whole point."
A youth hunt is scheduled for December 27 and 29, and adults can begin hunting the geese on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from January 4 through 27. Kentucky Fish & Wildlife officials will monitor the hunt, and all state and federal hunting guidelines - including the necessary licenses - will be enforced.
On Thursday, the county is hosting a registration and information session at the Campbell County Environmental Education Center (1 mile east of US 27 on 824 or Race Track Road). The session starts at 6 p.m. and will feature remarks from Harrod and an official from the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife.
Hunters shouldn't expect to leave with a truck full of birds.
"(Last time) only twenty-one were taken," Harrod said. "They got wise and moved to greener pastures, so to speak."
Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher