[Tweeters] hunting of Emperor Geese

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at yahoo.com
Mon Dec 6 20:21:18 PST 2021

Dear Tweeters,
Thanks to all of the Tweeters out there who have written to me personally about this event, as well as to those who have been continuing the discussion amongst the group.
On the Birds of the World website, under "Conservation and Management" of Emperor Geese, there is this information (link pasted below the quoted material).



Measures Proposed And Taken

Guidelines for management of Emperor Geese are presented in the Pacific Flyway management plan for Emperor Geese (Pacific Flyway Council 2002b). Measures recommended to manage harvest include: (1) Closure of all hunting when numbers fall below a 3-yr running average of 60,000, based on the spring survey. Hunting allowed only after population levels rise above 80,000; (2) Enforce harvest restrictions; and (3) Continue support of the Yukon Delta Goose Management Plan. (The plan is an agreement for voluntarily reduction in subsistence harvest of several species including Emperor Geese).

Following amendment of the Migratory Bird Treaty, a system of co-management exists in which federal, state, and the collective indigenous community each have a vote for how harvest regulations are established. Under this current system, Emperor Geese remain one of the few species with no allowable harvest.
The Emperor Goose management plan also recommends management and research activities. The highest priorities include: (1) Continue spring aerial surveys; (2) Continue nesting habitat aerial and ground surveys on the Y-K Delta; (3) Continue autumn production estimates as derived from air photo analysis of age composition from flocks along the north side of the Alaska Peninsula; (4) (4) Initiate study on winter ecology; and (5) Continue and expand cooperative educational and volunteer programs.


Conservation and Management - Emperor Goose - Anser canagicus - Birds of the World

The article states that there is "no allowable harvest" of Emperor Geese at the  moment. One might conclude that this species can't be hunted in the US.
However, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website tells a different story. Here is a link.
2021-2022 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations (alaska.gov)

The website states that there is hunting of Emperor Geese in Alaska. Residents can apply for a special Emperor Goose hunt; non-residents must win such permission through a lottery. The bag limit is ONE (1) Emperor Goose per season.
Of course, this has no bearing on the taking of Emperor Geese in Washington. I wish that our state would have language in the hunting regulations, such that the only migratory birds that can be hunted be the ones specifically listed in the regulations. That way, if a wayward species makes its way here, the bird does not get killed. I would guess that most responsible hunters would find that reasonable. I don't see why a hunter in the year 2021 would find it necessary or desirable to shoot, for example, a Baikal Teal or an Tundra Bean Goose, when there are hundreds of thousands of Mallard, Wigeon, and Snow Geese for the taking.
In the present case, goose season was closed. I would say that a closed goose season is a closed goose season, meaning that it would be unlawful to shoot any species of goose during this time; a lawyer or a reluctant WDFW officer might argue differently.
Yours truly,
Gary Bletsch

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