Arkansas will participate in the 2007 Conservation Order to reduce the Mid-Continent Light Goose populations.
This option increases the opportunity for shooting Snow, Blue and Ross’ geese, whose overpopulation is causing environmental damage to nesting grounds. There is no bag limit. For the Conservation Order, special regulations apply: hunters may use unplugged guns, electronic calls and shooting hours are extended to one-half hour past sunset. Before hunting, hunters must call (800) 364-GAME (Monday through Friday, office hours) for a free snow goose registration permit number, available after Dec. 1.
Lesser snow and Ross’ geese that primarily migrate through the Mississippi and Central Flyways are collectively referred to as mid-continent light geese (MCLG). They are referred to as "light geese due to the light coloration of the white plumage form, as opposed to "dark" geese such as white-fronted or Canada goose. Included in the designation "light" geese is both plumage forms (white and blue) of snow geese.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (The Service) and biologists across North America believe that mid-continent light goose populations exceed the long-term carrying capacity of their breeding habitat. Their foraging activity has degraded arctic and sub-arctic salt-marsh habitats, thus posing a serious threat to the long-term health of the arctic ecosystem and their associated wildlife communities (Abraham and Jefferies 1997). On November 29, 1999, the President signed legislation reinstating interim population control measures for mid-continent light geese (MCLG). To address this environmental concern, the Service published a rule in the Federal Register (Vol. 64, No. 243, p, 71235 - 71239) December 20, 1999. This rule amends the Fish and Wildlife Service regulations based on Congressional action that effectively reinstated regulations intended to reduce the population of MCLG. The new law authorizes a Conservation Order (CO) for 2000 and 2001 and the use of additional hunting methods during these CO’s to increase take of MCLG.
The USFWS goal is to reduce the combined population of lesser snow geese and Ross’ geese by 50% by the year 2005. Recent analysis suggest that a constant annual harvest of 1.41 million mid-continent light geese will be sufficient to achieve this goal. Initial efforts to decrease the population revolve around utilizing hunters to increase the annual harvest. It is hoped that the additional hunting methods allowed by the Conservation Orders will result in increased harvest and the ability to control light geese through hunting without resorting to employ more drastic control methods. The previous two years results are very encouraging, indicating that it may be possible to manage the problem of overabundant snow geese.
Passage of the Arctic Tundra Habitat Emergency Conservation Act and the current EIS ensures that the alternative regulatory strategies for mid-continent light geese (i.e., unplugged guns, electronic calls, conservation order, etc.) will be available to Mississippi and Central Flyway States in 2004, with the provision that all other waterfowl seasons must be closed before individual states implement the Conservation Order.
Arkansas is one of the top wintering states for Snow and Ross’ geese in the Mississippi Flyway, Louisiana and Missouri are the other two. It is important that Arkansas hunters take advantage of this extended opportunity and harvest some of these magnificent birds.
Special Hunting Rules
It is important to remember that since the Conservation Order is not a hunting season. This option increases the opportunity for shooting Snow, Blue and Ross’ geese, whose overpopulation is causing environmental damage to nesting grounds. States are allowed the use of electronic calling devices, unplugged guns, shooting one-half hour after sunset, and have no daily bag or possession limits. A 1-800 number was established for participants to obtain a snow goose registration. Names and addresses needed to survey the participating individuals for the number of light geese harvested, the methods by which they were taken, and the dates they were taken were obtained through this registration. Collection of this data is required for any state that implements a Conservation Order.
For the Conservation Order, special regulations apply.
Hunters may use electronic callers.
Hunters may use unplugged shotguns.
Shooting hours are extended to one-half hour past sunset.
There is no bag limit.
Hunters must possess a valid hunting license from any state.
Before hunting, hunters must call (800) 364-GAME (Monday through Friday, office hours) for a free snow goose registration permit number, available after Dec. 1.
Shooting hours during the Snow, Blue and Ross’ Goose Conservation Order are one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise (local time) until one-half (1/2) hour after sunset (local time).
Information from the Arkansas Game and Fish com.
http://www.agfc.com/hunting/waterfowl-m ... order.aspx