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2007 spring light goose hunting begins March 1

In Minnesota the harvest of snow geese, including blue-phased and the smaller Ross' geese will be allowed under a federal conservation order this spring.

Since 2000, when Minnesota began participating in the conservation order, the state harvest of light geese has varied dramatically from a few hundred to 6,000 depending on weather conditions.

Hunting this year will be open from March 1 to April 30.

"Minnesota is at the extreme eastern edge of the spring migration through the Midwest," according to Ray Norrgard, Wetland Wildlife Program leader with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

He added that March weather, particularly snow and ice conditions, can have a tremendous effect on the migration routes of light geese."

A Spring Light Goose Permit is required and may be obtained after Feb. 18 at any of the 1,800 Electronic License System agents statewide.

Spring light goose permits will also be available by telephone at 1-888-665-4236 or online after March 1 at No other license, stamp or permit is required to participate. Although the permits are free, there is a $3.50 application fee to cover the cost of issuing the permit.

Nontoxic shot requirements and federal baiting regulations as well as most regulations that apply to fall goose-hunting seasons will also apply during the spring light goose conservation action.

Electronic calls and unplugged shotguns are allowed.

Refuges closed to either duck or goose hunting during fall seasons are also closed during the spring conservation action. Shooting hours will be one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset each day. No daily or possession limits apply.

The conservation order is part of an international effort to reduce by 50 percent populations of lesser snow geese that breed in Arctic coastal areas and the Hudson Bay area. High populations of the birds cause habitat damage on the breeding grounds.