Goose hunt planned for Liberty Park to reduce population by 250 birds in Clarksville
CLARKSVILLE, TN (CLARKSVILLE NOW) – After years of damage, disgust and failed attempts to control birds, the town of Clarksville has had enough of the Canada geese in Liberty Park. It’s time to bring out the big guns.
A controlled goose hunt will be conducted in the park by agents of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency on December 15 and 22, according to a press release from the city.
As previously reported by Clarksville Now, approximately 250 Canada Geese have made Liberty Park their home year round, encouraged by well-meaning visitors who give them bread.
But this diet has compounded the problem: ducks and geese produce even more waste when they eat low-nutrient products like bread and crackers.
âEach goose produces 1 pound of waste per day and up to 4 pounds if hand-fed,â said Ryan Sample of Clarksville Parks and Recreation.
That’s 250 to 1,000 pounds of bird droppings dumped in the park each day.
âThe waste damages the park’s turf, poses a risk of slipping on the paths, poses health problems and damages protected wetlands. All of this translates into an increasing burden on our taxpayers, âSample said.
Resident geese also breed in large numbers, with a single goose capable of hatching five goslings in an average mating season, according to the press release.
Non-fatal attempts – such as plastic decoys of wolves, alligators and owls in the grasses around the pond – have not been effective in scaring the birds.
“Liberty Park is a great place for recreation and for enjoying nature,” Clarksville Parks and Recreation Director Jennifer Letourneau said in the statement. “But, the geese that typically migrate in and out of the area make the park their full-time home and cause problems for park patrons and maintenance crews.”
The hunt will be conducted Dec. 15 and 22 by selected TWRA officers and wounded veterans, the statement said. Harvested waterfowl will be processed by Hunters Harvest of Clarksville and distributed to local food banks.
During the hunts, the park and the launching ramp will be closed to the public in the morning and will reopen on each date before noon. Residents nearby can hear gunshots early in the morning.
Successful controlled hunts of Canada geese are regularly organized in similar situations where waterfowl populations have increased due to the lack of natural predators. In most cases, these hunts are not publicized unless they take place in a public park, the statement said.
For more information, visit the TWRA website, TN.gov/TWRA.