South Dakota -(Ammoland.com)- The 2015 August Management Take (AMT) season for Canada geese is underway and the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is reporting varying levels of participation and bird numbers.
“The average success opening weekend varied among hunting groups; some groups had good success while others did not. We’ve also had reports from hunters that participation was limited due to warm temperatures on Aug. 15, the opening day of the season. Conservation officers also reported seeing a number of fields with geese and no hunters,” reported Scott Lindgren, northeast regional supervisor. “We expect hunting to improve the last part of August and into the early fall season that starts Sept. 1, as more wheat fields will be available and temperatures may be cooler.”
“In the southeast, some landowners have indicated a high level of interest by hunters for access to wheat fields, so competition is keen,” reports Emmett Keyser, southeast regional supervisor. “Overall it appears geese have moved out of some areas; thereby reducing the numbers currently available to hunters.”
In the central part of the state, there is no AMT season. In the west, it is limited to Pennington County west of the Cheyenne River, but most of the hunting takes place east of Rapid City in the regional airport area.
“Similar to the southeast, the interest in utilizing wheat fields to hunt is high,” reports Mike Kintigh, western regional supervisor. “We do not see large movements of geese out of the areas as some parts of eastern South Dakota do. We have more water available than in the past with nearly every stock dam and pond full. The geese have more options to choose from which makes patterning the birds difficult.”
This year’s estimated breeding population index of 155,000 is down 11 percent from 2014 and above GFP’s current population objective of 80,000-90,000. Hunters may notice geese in different areas than observed during the breeding season. Previous research indicated that nearly half of all Canada geese in South Dakota make significant post-molt movements in late summer, generally in a northerly direction. Additionally, many non-breeders and unsuccessful nesters undertake molt migrations in early summer, primarily to the north.
The AMT season concludes on Aug. 31, 2015 and is open in the following counties: Brookings, Brown, Clark, Codington, Day, Deuel, Hamlin, Hanson, Hutchinson, Grant, Kingsbury, Lake, Lincoln, Marshall, McCook, Miner, Minnehaha, Moody, Roberts, Spink, Turner and Union counties and Pennington county west of the Cheyenne River. The daily bag limit is 15 and there is no possession limit. For more information, visit http://gfp.sd.gov/hunting/waterfowl/august-goose-management.aspx.
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