Plenty of shooting on the wing

Specklebellies typically don’t arrive in Mississippi until the latter parts of the season.

For waterfowlers who just don’t want to wait for the duck season to get a little wet and muddy, there’s the regular goose season that starts well in advance of duck season this fall.

The season opens statewide on Nov. 9, and the first segment runs through Nov. 25. From that point, the goose season is consistent with the duck season — Nov. 30-Dec. 2 and Dec. 5-Jan. 25.

“Opening goose season that early doesn’t really affect us that much in the Delta,” said Riley Barnes of Greenville, “unless you’ve got access to some areas with a strong population of local Canada geese. I know the feds don’t like us to call them resident Canadas, but let’s face it, that’s what they are. They may migrate across the road, or maybe across the county line, but migrating from the north … nope. They live here all year.”

The early goose season isn’t lost on Tony Weeks of Jackson, who makes use of it to take a few Canada geese from the upper area of Barnett Reservoir and a few spots on the main lake.

“The Rez is covered up in local Canadas, and you can shoot a few every time you go for a week or two,” Weeks said. “Once the shooting starts heavy, like with duck hunters later in November, a lot of the geese will just fly to the lower end of the lake where hunting isn’t allowed. I bet those parks and neighborhoods down there get even more crowded with the danged things.

“Before they go, it’s pretty easy pickings, just like it was in early September during the early Canada season. They’re kind of tame and used to seeing bass boats all the time. Unless you charge right at them, they’ll just swim around you or fly right by you. It was kind of tough the first week of September because the alligator hunters were all up there. After they left, though, for about two weeks, we slayed those black-headed dumb birds. Then they got wise and moved to other areas.”

Neither Barnes nor Weeks killed other goose species in November last year, when the season opened Nov. 10.

“The light geese (snows, blues and Ross’) are around in the Delta, but they’re in the middle of the fields, and there’s so much grain, and it’s usually just too hot to deal with the mud and all that,” Barnes said. “I’d do it for a specklebelly, but we don’t usually get specklebellies until much later, like December.”

Added Weeks: “I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve seen any other type of goose on Barnett Reservoir but a Canadian, and that’s at any time.”

Mississippi goose seasons

All seasons statewide

Dates: Nov. 9-Nov. 25; Nov. 30-Dec. 2, and Dec. 5-Jan. 27.

Daily limits: 3 Canada geese; 3 white-fronted geese; 1 Brant goose; and an aggregate total of 20 snow, blue, and Ross’ geese.

Possession limits: Three times the daily limit on Canada, white-fronted and Brant geese; no possession limit on snow, blue and Ross’ geese.

Light goose conservation order: Special season on light geese, including snow, blue and Ross’ geese opened in October and ends Nov. 8; reopens Jan. 28 through Feb. 1; reopens Feb. 3 and ends March 31. There is no limit.

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Bobby Cleveland
About Bobby Cleveland 1331 Articles
Bobby Cleveland has covered sports in Mississippi for over 40 years. A native of Hattiesburg and graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, Cleveland lives on Ross Barnett Reservoir near Jackson with his wife Pam.

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