Not tired of goose hunting just yet? Have I got a deal for you! In 1999 the US Fish
and Wildlife Service created a special conservation order extending goose hunting
for snow and Ross’ geese until April 30 each year. Since the mid 1970’s the light
goose populations have exploded 300% and they have ravaged portions of the
already fragile breeding habitat in the Arctic tundra which could take decades to
Large numbers of geese of any kind can be hard on habitat and crops. For years a
friend of mine has been part of a group of guys that go up into Canada each fall to
hunt geese. He told me about being in a restaurant one time when some land
owners approached them, asking if they were the “goose hunters,” and practically
begged them to come kill geese on their property.
But wait; there’s more! Along with this extended season come other perks as well
in the form of hunting methods not legal during regular waterfowl season, to
include the allowed use of electronic calls and unplugged shotguns. Top that all
off with the fact that there are NO bag limits whatsoever on Ross and snow geese
during this extended season and it all spells a win – win for Kansas goose hunters.
Light geese are not known to be the best table fare, so if you have developed
good recipes for preparing these critters, please email them to me and I’ll put
them into a future column.
We Americans are a people who like to celebrate and memorialize all things,
including having state symbols for everything imaginable. Kansas has a state
insect, a state amphibian, a state soil and even a state grass among others, but I
was surprised to find we currently have no state fish. A bill recently introduced in
both the Kansas House and Senate would make the channel catfish our state fish.
The quest to make the channel cat our state fish has been ongoing for years. The
last attempt was in the 1990’s when the entire high school history class from
Olpe, KS showed up at the hearings to testify on Mr. Whisker’s behalf.
I’ve been accused of being a stick-in-the-mud, but I have a problem with our need
for state symbols for anything. But I guess if it makes people feel better about
themselves or about our state, then so-be-it. And as far as the channel catfish
goes, I guess it couldn’t happen to a nicer fish! But really, is choosing a state fish
something that needs done by our legislatures? Can’t someone just put it on a
ballet and let us all vote on it so the lawmakers can concentrate on trying to guide
our state away from the mangled economy it appears headed for?
My wife’s creative mind is always, well, creating. She suggests we put together a
group of mercenary goose hunters from Kansas who can be hired to travel the
continent harvesting overpopulated Ross and snow goose populations. Then,
since they are not the most desirable table fare, they can be ground into fish food
for what will probably soon be our new state fish, Mr. Whiskers. …Continue to
Explore Kansas Outdoors.
Steve can be contacted by email at [email protected]