Parts of Chapman State Park will be open for early Canada goose hunting starting next week.
The statewide season opens Saturday and runs through September 24, according to a park release, and is specifically “designed to reduce nuisance goose populations.”
But Chapman State Park won’t open to such a hunt until Tuesday, the day after Labor Day weekend.
“Typically there are 70 to 80 geese that populate the park during the summer months,” Chapman Park Superintendent Robert Sweeney said.
These numbers are falling as some have already started migrating “but the northern migrating geese,” he added, “will be stopping at the park for the remainder of the year providing opportunities for hunters.”
According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Canada goose population had “fallen dangerously” in the early 20th century due to unrestricted hunting. Commission websites “strict law enforcement, wildlife management practices and increased agriculture” with the reversal of the trend to the point that it “There are probably more honkers on the mainland now than when the pilgrims landed.”
A limited portion of the park is open for goose hunting in Chapman. The area open to hunting is essentially the lake and its shore, with the exception of the second parking lot near the campsite. The campground and most trails are not open to goose hunting.
The park will also be open for this hunt from October 22 to November 25, from December 12 to January 14 and from February 3 to February 25.
“Populations of non-migratory Canada geese have increased dramatically in recent years,” explains the park’s press release, “causing crop damage and nuisance problems in residential areas.
“Park visitors often complain about goose droppings at state park beaches and other facilities, and water quality in some state parks has been affected, forcing bathing restrictions. during peak periods.
“Many state parks have taken measures, including goose-proof fencing and/or the use of loud noisemakers, in an attempt to deter waterfowl or scare them away.”
All Game Commission rules and regulations for the start of Canada goose season apply and anyone with a disability wishing to hunt geese at the start of the season is asked to contact the park office at (814) 723- 2050 or [email protected]