Permit/Licensing: A spring light goose permit (or license code No. 521) is required and may be obtained through any of the 1,800 electronic license sales (ELS) point of sale (POS) license agents statewide, or the ELS-telephone and ELS-Internet agent. To obtain a permit via telephone, call toll free 1-888-665-4236 or see mndnr.gov/buyalicense. Customers using the telephone will receive a temporary authorization number in lieu of the permit until it can be mailed to the applicant. Customers using the Internet will be able to print their own permit when completing the transaction and will not receive a permit by mail. Although the permits are free there is a $2.50 application fee to cover the cost of issuing the permit. No other license, stamp or permit is required to participate.
Species Permitted: Light geese include lesser snow geese (Anser caeruleescens caerulescens) and Ross' geese (Anser rossii). Blue geese are the same species as lesser snow geese and may be taken. No other species of waterfowl may be taken.
Do not shoot swans. All swans are protected in Minnesota and penalties for shooting a swan can be severe. Be sure of your target. In previous springs, most light geese passed through Minnesota in southwestern and west-central areas of the state, generally west of a line extending from Mankato to Fergus Falls. Swans may be found statewide in the spring, and you should become familiar with this identification advice prior to heading out in the field. There is no excuse for mistaking a swan for a goose!
Dates and Shooting Hours: Light geese may be taken from Feb. 18 to April 30, from a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset.
Bag Limit: There are no daily or possession bag limits. One fully feathered wing must remain attached to all light geese while being transported from the field to one's home.
Regulations: All state and federal restrictions that apply during normal waterfowl hunting seasons are also in effect during the conservation order except that use of unplugged shotguns and electronic calls is allowed. Details of state and federal restrictions can be found in the Minnesota waterfowl hunting regulations supplement. Some key points:
- Only approved non-toxic shot may be possessed and used.
- Federal baiting regulations apply during the conservation order.
- Prohibited methods include use of rifles, pistols, or shotguns larger than 10-gauge, live decoys, or sinkboxes.
- Light geese may not be taken (1) from or by means, aid, or use of any motor vehicle or aircraft of any kind, (2) from or by means of any motorboat or other craft having a motor attached, or any sailboat, unless the motor has been shut off and the sails furled. A craft under power may be used only to retrieve dead or crippled birds; however, the craft may not be used under power to shoot crippled birds, (3) by means or aid of any motor-driven land, water, or air conveyance, or any sailboat used for the purpose of concentrating, driving, rallying, or stirring up of light geese.
- All refuges closed to normal waterfowl hunting are also closed during the conservation order. This includes the Lac qui Parle Game Refuge and duck and goose refuges that are posted with signs as closed during fall waterfowl seasons.
- Participants may not sell or offer for sale light geese or their plumage, but may possess, transport and otherwise properly use them.
Trespass: State trespass regulations apply during the conservation order.
Reporting: All participants will be mailed a questionnaire after the end of the conservation order.