Thursday, March 12, 2009

How to get rid of Canadian geese - You can not kill them

My wife, who is not as patient as I am, basically feels that the best way to get rid of geese is to kill them. Of course she does not want to kill the geese herself she wants me to kill the geese. I’m guessing that though she would rather have me kill them, she actually would kill the geese herself if I didn’t stop her. She is a very clean person and the mess from the geese really bothers her a lot more than it does me.

The first issue is that it is a federal crime to kill geese. I have read this in several places and I’m pretty sure that it is true. There is something about a treaty between the U.S. and Canadian governments (really, look it up) that makes it a U.S. crime to kill Canadian geese.

The other problem is that there are a lot of consequences of killing them. The first obviously is what to do with the dead geese. We actually had one die on our lawn last year and we had a big debate as to what to do with the dead goose. Geese are not small birds and the carcass weighed about 20 pounds. It was difficult, but with a couple of shovels we managed to get it into a garbage bag. In the end we dumped it at the town dump but did not tell anyone there was a dead goose in the bag. It looked like it might have been shot and we didn’t want to deal with the legal issues even though we didn’t do it.

She really wants me to shoot the geese as a sort of revenge for all of the mess that they have left on the lawn. However I think that shooting the geese will attract a lot more attention from neighbors and officials than we want to deal with. Also, I am not that good a shot so I would have to use a shotgun and that could conceivably leave goose parts that we would have to deal with, and we are back to dealing with the dead geese.

The other thing my wife has suggested is putting out poison for the geese. Even though that may pass off the dead goose problem to the neighbors, there is the risk that the poison will impact other wildlife, and of course animal poison is not a good thing to have around children.

For me the worst case scenario of killing the geese is that we would use poison and them come back to the lake house after a week or two and find dead and rotting geese on the lawn. As my wife points out it would be a one time problem, but it would be a lot worse than picking up the goose poop from the lawn.

So as much as I want to get rid of the Canadian geese I have not yet reached the point where I am willing to kill the geese to get rid of them.