Goose hunting OK'd in Rochester Game Refuge
8/24/2007 9:20:34 AM
By John Weiss
Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN
Hunters will be able to shoot geese within the Rochester Game Refuge Sept. 1 through Sept. 22 to help control the growing population of resident Canada geese.
The boundaries of the refuge are also changing, with the Department of Natural Resources adding the Haverhill Wildlife Management Area east of the present boundary but taking away some land on the northeast side of today's refuge.
The bag limit for the special hunt, when hunters will need the $4 special goose hunt stamp, will be two daily, four in possession.
The refuge is basically a square around Rochester where waterfowl hunting had not been allowed. Hunters will need to get permission to go on private land and can't hunt within 100 yards of surface water.
"Hunting is the DNR's primary tool for managing game populations within sustainable levels," said Don Nelson, DNR area wildlife manager.
The boundary change came because there is growing pressure on the DNR to sell the Gordy Yeager Wildlife Management Area just east of the Federal Medical Center. The area is a major place for the migrating geese to feed but it's also close to Olmsted County's Waste to Energy Facility. The county would like to see buildings on the management area land so those buildings can use some of the energy the facility produces.
To give them a new place to feed, it said it will add the 208-acre Haverhill management area now so geese begin to get used to going out there. That refuge will be closed Sept. 1 through March 1 to limit disturbances and let the geese get used to feeding there. The DNR is seeking additional hunting land southeast of Rochester to replace the Haverhill land.
The Yeager land transfer is in a preliminary stage, the DNR said.
NOTE FROM LOVE CANADA GEESE: This dastardly move has earned the city of Rochester a rightful place in the Canada Goose Hall of Shame.