A lot of times, when people have a problem with wildlife, they want to see if they can take the solution into their own hands. While this seems like the best course of action, it is not always the case. Believe it or not, there are some pretty specific rules for trapping Canada geese across various parts of the United States. Let’s take Washington as just one example. Canada geese are covered by an act that protects a wide range of migratory birds. This act means that they can only be handled in specific ways — humane and safe ways. The act also means that they can only be hunted or killed in specific circumstances. Non-lethal force in the state of Washington must be tried before lethal force will be considered out of the regular hunting or “open” season, and even then, the lethal force can only be administered by someone deemed suitable for the job, such as U.S. Department of Agricultural Wildlife Services.
During hunting season, you are permitted to trap or take a maximum of 4 Canada geese per day. You must get a permit for this, and this application will come with a fee. Again, sticking with the rules of trapping Canada geese in the state of Washington, there are additional forms that must be filled in. A HIP, or Harvest Information Program survey, and this must be done at a dealer for licenses, and, at the same time, the hunter must also have a permit for state migratory birds.
In short, in most states, you have a lot of hoops to jump through and money to spend before you can actually start trapping a Canada goose. All rules and regulations are subject to change annually, because the status of those animals also changes. That means the rules you read up on one year won't necessarily be the case for the following year. Furthermore, if you have a problem with the bird outside of hunting season, you are restricted from trapping them anyway.
The federal law that covers migratory birds protects Canada geese for the entire year, not just during hunting season. The act covers and protects the animals, alongside their nests, and even their eggs. It also means that you are not permitted to capture or kill the animal if it is not during that hunting/open season. That’s going to make life very difficult for you when you start looking at ways to trap them.
If you do have a Canada goose problem, you can apply for authorization to do certain things outside of open season. You will need to get in touch with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to get this approval, and even then, you are only permitted to use certain approaches to then get rid of the birds. This approval will, again, only be given to those with difficult circumstances, such as when a gaggle of geese are destroying agricultural areas, for example. The majority of these permits will only allow lethal force — destruction of the animal — when all other methods have first been exhausted, and this will include preventative measures.
When permits are given, they will allow the authorized person to destroy a nest, or to grab the eggs and then addle them, a process which stops the fertilized eggs from developing, but without alerting the mother. If she is aware that her eggs have been destroyed, she will simply lay more eggs. That’s how the animal works, and gives you a good idea how these beautiful birds have become a nuisance animal quite quickly.
It will be only in extreme circumstances that permits will be given to Canada geese proving a nuisance on residential property, and then the situation will be given a silver lining, if any can be found. In areas where geese are in high numbers, a roundup can be performed by a professional (permitted by the authorities only).
You will need to do a lot of research before you decide to trap a Canada goose, and you will also need to remember that the work involved is extensive, as well as the list of tools. Do not go into this situation blindly or you will waste a lot of time and money. After some research, you will most likely realize that you will have more success purchasing a Goosinator to help you than trying to take on the goose problem yourself.