Every Spring property owners in Michigan contend with large flocks of migratory and resident geese nesting and molting on their land. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) understands what a nuisance geese can be and they provide several different ways that you can legally control the population of geese on your land.
There are three different relevant permit types in Michigan.
If you hire a contractor to help with your property, they have to have this permit before doing any work for you. All contractors that have this permit also have a valid Wildlife Damage and Nuisance Control Business Permit. Permitted contractors have also attended training conducted by the DNR, and they are ready to help you with nesting geese.
This permit is specifically for properties that have problems with geese despite using other methods like habitat modification, decoys, dog hazing, etc. If you need advice on how to conduct these alternative measures, please see our guide here.
We always recommend the egg and destruction program to our clients because it's a reliable and humane way to gradually decrease the goose population on your property. The most effective combination of goose control methods is dog hazing followed by annual egg and nest destruction. If your property is a shared waterfront with several owners, you must provide a resolution or petition to participate in the program, as well as keeping all landowners notified of goose control activities. You can find this petition on the MDNR website here.
You will need to obtain a permit for each property that you manage; the same permit cannot be used for multiple locations as every location is unique and must be approved on an individual basis. Luckily, the state has waived the fee for this permit as long as you’re eligible for the permit. If a contractor is hired, you will only have to send someone representing your property to the training once. If your site has participated in the program in the past, you won’t have to attend the training. This is to ensure that all legal processes and record-keeping are followed.
Tip: Always remember to dispose of oiled or addled eggs at the end of nesting season. They have a tendency to explode when rotten, something you don’t want your visitors experiencing! Contractors will do this as part of their service.
Sound like too much hassle? Click here to contact us about handling your 2018 egg destruction program for your property.
This permit allows you to round up and capture flightless geese during the second half of June as a way to get immediate relief from the birds. The MDNR sees this as a last resort for property owners who have tried everything else and you will first be required to do the egg and nest destruction program. While we are licensed to conduct roundups, we don’t believe that roundups are a good value for landowners and we would discourage you from pursuing a round up program for your property. Studies have shown that between 60 to 80% of birds that have been removed from a roundups return to the property as soon as they are able to fly. Round ups are more often than not simply an expensive band aid to a problem that could be better managed through alternative methods. Additionally, if your stakeholders are concerned with the humane treatment of the animals, there’s always a chance that the birds rounded up will be killed if a suitable relocation site cannot be found. This can result in bad PR for your organization. We have never seen a site that could not be controlled with a combination of dog hazing and supplementary non-lethal methods.
If you want to proceed with the roundup then there are a few things you should know about applying. If this is the first year that your site is participating in the program you must have approval from a local MDNR biologist and have used some of the alternative measures mentioned earlier. You must have done the egg and nest destruction program if eligible and provide a report of your activities. As with the egg and nest destruction permit you must have a resolution or petition if your site has multiple owners. The application deadline is May 20, with a round up date of June 15th-30th. You also must have crates approved by the MDNR for transporting the geese as well as attending training. If you hire a contractor, they typically charge based on the number of birds being rounded up. The cost for the permit is $200, and that is in addition to what the contractor charges.