[Tweeters] Emperor Goose

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at yahoo.com
Sun Dec 5 18:03:06 PST 2021

Dear Tweeters,
As reported earlier, there were two Emperor Geese swimming around the dredge-spoil islands by March Point's southeast corner this afternoon, December 5th. I managed to take a couple of miserable photos before hunters shot and killed at least one of them. I don't know if the other bird survived.
According to the WDFW's Washington Game Bird and Small Game Hunting Regulations booklet for 2021, Skagit County is in Goose Management Area 1. On page 25 of the booklet, it states that the "Regular Season (all goose types)" is October 16-November 28 and December 11-January 30. Thus, we are now in a hiatus period for goose hunting. It is legal to hunt ducks right now in Skagit, but not geese. The hunters who killed the Emperor Goose had goose decoys out. They may also have wounded a Brant, since there was a wounded Brant swimming about about a hundred meters away from their blind.
The Emperor Goose is not mentioned in the booklet, but I would surmise that "all goose types" means exactly that. The hunters today had goose decoys in place, which would seem to indicate that they were hunting geese. As far as I can determine from the booklet and from online information from WDFW, Brant season is not open right now, either.
Too bad my friends arrived just in time to hear me tell them that Skagit's second or third recorded Emperor Goose was now in a hunter's bag.
I was told by a former WDFW official that the best thing to do in such situations is to call 911 first. I learned this the hard way today. It took a long time to get in touch with a WDFW warden through their official chain of communication. Even then, they had nobody on duty anywhere near the site.
Yours truly,
Gary Bletsch
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