Michigan DNR has some ideas, but it's the people who live with them that know best exactly how to solve the goose problem in Michigan.

"Honk if you love geese" would not be a best-selling bumper sticker. The goose population has exploded in the state of Michigan, rising sharply from about 9,000 of the birds in 1970 to over 300,000 today. Most of the giant Canadian geese are in the southern third of Michigan. Those are the facts. Anecdotally, it may seem that half of those are on the golf course and the other half are on your lawn. So, how do you get rid of these noisy, aggressive, territorial, feces-making feather-covered machines?

Canada geese are federally protected in the state by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, so you can only hunt them on select dates from September through the beginning of February. (See the official Michigan DNR waterfowl hunting calendar, bag limits and legal hunting dates here.) Department of Natural Resources suggests scare tactics as a non-lethal solution. They recommend detonating firecrackers or using electronic noise systems with motion detectors to frighten the geese into moving on instead of loitering on your lawn.

For more ideas, we go to the experts on Facebook. Steve Hunter(!) asked the Gobles Now group how to get rid of geese in the yard. He observes that flocks of more than sometimes thirty at a time are congregating on his lawn. His fellow citizens jumped right in with some suggestions:

  • A fake swan or owl
  • A real dog
  • Netting
  • Firecrackers
  • Motion-activated sprinkler
  • String or clothesline suspended 3-6" off the ground (They say the geese can't lift their feet to step over it)

I'm betting a dog like a border collie is your best bet if you're serious about banishing the geese from your yard. Some say the animal statues only work for a day or two and then the geese make friends with it or poop on it. The netting, string and clothesline examples seem elaborate, cumbersome and unsightly. You can get a special kill permit from the DNR if you've tried other measures, but the most effective suggestion might make you as hated as the geese:  "throw corn in your neighbor's yard."

Michigan's Deadliest Animals & Critters

You may have even seen a few of these in your home or around the state.

SEE MORE: Animals That Are on Michigan's Endangered Species List


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