CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – A controlled goose hunt will be led by officers from Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency at Liberty Park on Dec. 15 and 22. Approximately 250 Canadian geese have made Liberty Park their permanent residence and leave behind waste that presents many health, safety, and environmental concerns.
The hunt will be conducted by TWRA officers and select wounded veterans. Harvested waterfowl will be processed by Clarksville’s Hunters Harvest and distributed to local food banks. During the hunts, the park and boat ramp will be closed to the public in the morning hours, reopening on each date by noon. Nearby residents may hear gunfire in the early morning hours.
Each goose produces one pound of waste per day and up to four pounds if they are hand-fed. The waste damages the park turf, causes slip hazards on walkways, poses health risks, and damages the protected wetlands. The resident geese also reproduce in large numbers, with a single goose capable of hatching five goslings in an average mating season. These concerns ultimately result in a growing burden to taxpayers.
“Liberty Park is a great place for recreation and to enjoy nature,” Clarksville Parks & Recreation Director Jennifer Letourneau said. “But, the geese that typically migrate in and out of the area are making the park their full-time home and causing problems for park patrons and maintenance crews.”
Several mitigation efforts have been conducted prior to the controlled hunt. These include nest mitigation, predator decoys, landscape modification and deterrents. Signage at Liberty Park reminds patrons that feeding waterfowl and other wildlife is prohibited.
Successful controlled Canadian goose hunts are regularly held in similar situations where waterfowl populations have swelled due to the lack of natural predators, resulting in resident birds becoming a nuisance. In most cases, the hunts are not publicized unless they occur in a public park and the community is notified.
For more information, visit TN.gov/TWRA.