Hunters at Alpena County Fairgrounds were once again staked out on Thursday for the third and final goose hunt of the year.
They bagged 34 during the third hunt, totaling 118 through all three. “From what I can tell, as much as you can tell, we got a lot of the locals,” said Don Gilmet, coordinator of the hunt. “We didn’t have groups of 10 birds come in or 15. It was like pairs, threes, and fours. You know, typically those are the local birds.”
The hunts have caused a lot of controversy in the area and its unclear if there will be another next year. The Alpena city goose management committee will meet next month to discuss. “That includes everything, not just whether that’s going to be a hunt,” Gilmet said. “That’s usually the last thing they decide, but what kind of nest control they’re going to try and do, other things like if they get a treatment for the grass or something like that.”
Gilmet has been working the hunt for about 6 years and believes these efforts have helped create a healthy goose population. “I can’t think of any years where in July there wasn’t 150 geese around town,” he said. “I can only suppose that had 100 not been taken out earlier out of the local population, the numbers would grow and grow and grow. That is in fact what we saw happen.”
The geese that were taken are eaten by the hunters and their families so nothing goes to waste.