COLUMBUS (WCMH) — It’s nesting season for geese in Ohio, and the animals are protected as soon as they lay their first egg. But, if you don’t want them settling down on your property, you’re running out of time to scare them away.
Karen Norris, Tthe assistant wildlife management supervisor for the Ohio Division of Wildlife, said, “For the most part, geese are fine until there’s a human component that can no longer tolerate them being in the area.”
If you’ve hit that point with geese and they have not laid any eggs yet, ODNR’s Division of Wildlife recommends harassing them until they leave.
“Harassing is not harming them, but making it undesirable for them to use a piece of property; whether it’s excluding them from nesting in a certain mulched area by a door,” Norris said. “You can use fencing to do exclusion.”
The nesting process started a little earlier than usual because of the mild weather, and it’s not just areas on the water where the geese are settling down.
“In urban areas, they pick places that hold heat — mulch, asphalt, parking lots, things like that that hold heart, then they’re more apt to lay their eggs,” Norris said.
Once those eggs have been laid, you need a permit or a professional to take care of the geese or you might be stuck with them through summer while their flight feathers grow back.
“Geese become flightless at a certain point of the year,” Norris said. “They replace their flight feathers, which is typically around the middle of June. To about the end of August, they’re flightless and they’re growing in new flight feathers, preparing for the migration season. At that point, they’re, flightless and harassment techniques don’t work because they cannot leave the vicinity. The best they can do is maybe walk across the street, and they’re going to walk right back.”
There are different ways to remove geese, including applying for a harassment permit, talking to a biologist about removal, or even applying for a population control permit.
“While birds are flighted, you can get what’s called a ‘shooting permit’ and you can remove up to five geese a day,” Norris said. “That is more of a deterrent that, when a small section of the flock disappears, they get uneasy because of the hunting aspect of it. So, in rural areas of places that can tolerate a shooting permit, we will grant a shooting permit, and it serves two purposes: it reduces the flock a little bit, but it also harasses the remaining geese to not want to be there.”
Ideally, people and geese will find a balance in getting along. But here are some resources for solving problems caused by nuisance geese.
Here is a video that ODNR recommends for managing geese: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYnH9Bke6s8
Here is a link if you need to report a goose damage report those are available now (avalible from March 11 through August 31): https://apps.ohiodnr.gov/wildlife/goose/
More information on nuisance wildlife can be found at http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/species-and-habitats/nuisance-wildlife