Geese becoming a problem

POWHATAN POINT – The Village of Powhatan Point is facing a problem of local non-migratory geese, also known as Canadian Geese. This is a yearly problem that has caused the Powhatan Police Department to take action.

Powhatan Police Chief Joshua J. Haught has received several complaints from Powhatan Point residents, who live on river front property, about the geese entering yards and gardens.

“(The geese) are damaging landscape, gardens and other vegetation,” said Haught. “There is not an open season on these geese due to the fact that it is illegal to discharge a firearm within village limits, as well as with the population in the area, using firearms would not be the best option.”

Chief Haught, along with other officers, passed out pamphlets on April 24, containing information on how residents can keep the geese out of their yards . The pamphlets and information that they contain comes from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife.

Some of the methods that are contained in these pamphlets include:

  • Visual deterrents such as flags, balloons, scarecrows and mylar tape;
  • Physical barriers such as perimeter fencing;
  • Mechanical scare devices such as leaf blowers, electronic alarms, air horns and sirens;

Haught urges residents to try these methods as opposed to other means to scare off the geese.

This is not a new problem for Powhatan residents. If these methods do not work, please inform the Powhatan Police. Along with the pamphlets, Haught along with the other officers within the department have been given a goose shooting permit that allows only police to shoot the geese and destroy nests.

“I contacted Chris Smith, from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and after some compromise, he allowed us to obtain the shooting permit as long as we get the village residents and ourselves to try the other methods first to see if they are effective at dispersing the geese,” said Haught.

Along with the pamphlets, the police department included a liability statement for the property owners to sign and return to Haught if they wish for the police to come on his or her property and kill the geese or destroy the nest.

“We actually don’t destroy the nest, we actually destroy the eggs, by shaking them, so they are no longer a viable egg,” said Haught. “Only those with the proper permit, in this case the police, have the authority to do this.”

The remains of the geese must be properly disposed of by donating to charity or an educational facility, buried or incinerated. The eggs are placed back into the nest to fool the geese.

“I strongly caution all residents to try these methods first and not to discharge their own firearms,” said Haught. “If the methods do not work, then please contact me or one of my other officers and we will take care of the problem.”

Powhatan is not the only village to have this type of problem. According to Bellaire Police Chief Mike Kovalyk, numerous geese have been spotted on the village’s sports fields.

The wandering geese have also attracted other predators. One resident reported seeing eight coyotes, three adults and five pups, chasing the geese.

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