Harvest of light geese (Chen caerulescens, Chen rossii) during the 2013 Illinois Light Goose Conservation Order season was estimated at 73,495, a 16% decrease from the 2012 estimate of 87,558 geese. Participation decreased 22%, from 5,726 hunters in 2012 to 4,477 hunters in 2013. Hunters spent an estimated 45,724 days afield during 2013, a decrease of 6,039days (12%) from 2012. The majority (49%) of the light goose harvest occurred during the month of February. Electronic calls were used by 57% of hunters, 64% used unplugged shotguns, and 56% indicated hunting between sunset and ½ hour after sunset. Fifty-eight percent of light goose hunters indicated an increase in effort over the past five years, and 58% of hunters perceived an increase in light goose abundance during the regular goose seasons. More than three-quarters (84%) of non-hunters were interested in light goose hunting to extend their hunting season. Hunters who did not participate in the Conservation Order season reported “no place to hunt snow geese,”“no snow geese in my area,” and “not enough time” as the primary reasons they did not hunt light geese.
|Name||INHS Technical Report 2013 (33)|