opulations of migratory geese tend to rise and fall dependent on breeding conditions in the far north and the number of adults that return in the spring. Michigan’s resident giant Canada goose population is relatively stable compared with the migratory population. That’s one reason why resource managers design Michigan’s goose seasons to take advantage of the abundance of residence geese. Migratory geese are an added bonus.
Ideally, biologists like to control the number of resident Canada geese in Michigan at 175,000 to 225,000 birds, and recent expanded goose hunting Michigan seasons have done just that. From a glut of more than 325,000 geese just 10 years ago, hunting harvest not only has kept the local geese numbers in check but also reduced their numbers to the low end of population goals. However, good nesting success and regulations that are slightly more restrictive has the resident giant Canada goose population booming again. Biologists estimated the 2006 spring population at 186,000 birds. The number jumped to 219,000 last spring and is likely to be close to ideal population goals by spring.