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Council seeks special geese hunting permit

| Monday, Feb. 18, 2002

There are going to be a lot of geese to cook if a controlled hunt takes place at the new Emsworth baseball field.

Paul Getz, vice president of the Emsworth Borough Council, said the geese are destroying the grass and becoming a nuisance in the area.

Game officials said the geese most likely are Canada geese.

"Evidently, they really like the fresh grass down there," Getz said.

He said Gary Fujak, a wildlife conservation officer, surveyed the site and made recommendations to the borough.

Getz said dogs, firecrackers and scarecrow-like devices all can be tried to scare geese away from the site, which sits beneath the former Dixmont State Hospital.

"In (Fujak's) opinion, the best option is to hunt them," Getz said.

While the hunting season for geese is over, Getz said, the borough can apply to the state Game Commission for a special nuisance geese permit, which would allow year-round discretionary hunting on the site.

"They would be controlled hunters, usually from hunting clubs," he said. "(The field) falls outside of all the safety zones in that area."

The field is near a community park and a residential neighborhood. Geese would be hunted with shotguns, not rifles.

Rob Bennett, a borough councilman, stressed that the hunt would be a "last-ditch" effort to control the geese.

Getz said the borough should apply for the permit now because it takes time to obtain.

"If we don't need it, we don't use it," he said.

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