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How to kill Canadian geese or use a lethal approach?

Canadian geese can be a nuisance, especially if they happen to take a special liking to your property. You should always try to remove Canadian geese humanely whenever possible, but there are circumstances where humane removal is not possible due to the temperament of the geese, their aggressive behavior, and other mitigating circumstances.

If you do need to use a lethal method to remove Canadian geese, you must abide by the proper regulations for lethal geese removal. The following guide will help you understand more about the legal requirements in place that regulate whether or not you are allowed to kill Canadian geese using a lethal approach. 

Are you allowed to kill Canadian geese?

Yes. However, there are limitations in place.

You are only allowed to kill Canadian geese if you abide by state and federal regulations regarding the lethal elimination of Canadian geese. This is due to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 which makes it “illegal for anyone to take, possess, import, export, transport, sell, purchase, barter, or offer for sale, purchase, or barter, any migratory bird, or the parts, nests, or eggs of such a bird except under the terms of a valid permit issued pursuant to federal regulations.”

In other words, you cannot kill geese unless you are operating through the appropriate legal channels. There are two primary legal channels you must consider if you want to remove problem geese through lethal means.

Legal hunting

You may be able to obtain a regulated hunting license for the removal of problem geese. Hunting permits for lethally removing geese require an application and are typically restricted to more expansive areas such as golf courses, rather than geese inside residential property lines. It’s important to note that the legal hunting of Canadian geese should be done responsibly so that the local geese populations are not lowered to excessive levels.


Types of lethal removal permits

You can also apply for a lethal removal permit at a federal or sometimes state level. The federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is allowed to issue lethal removal permits for Canadian geese. These permits require an application and not everyone will qualify for these permits. The permits are limited to the removal of 1 or 2 geese per day and the permit does require that the individual (or municipality) applying for the permit uses lethal removal only in conjunction with non-lethal methods. For instance, the permit may allow for the killing of one goose per day as long as a humane method of removal, such as playing loud noises, is also performed.

You may also apply for lethal removal permits on the basis of agriculture depredation if you live in certain states, including Connecticut. Connecticut offers permits specifically for individuals involved in commercial agriculture production to apply for lethal goose removal in cases where the geese are interfering with current or future agricultural production. 

Do I qualify for lethal goose removal permits? 
In order to obtain a permit for lethal goose removal, you must first qualify for permit approval.