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Canada Goose Update

Canada Goose Bag Limit Increases

Hoosier hunters can look forward to an expanded bag limit for Canada geese this fall.

Since 2016, the bag limit for dark geese (Canada geese, white-fronted geese, and brant) has been limited to five. Only three of those harvested geese could be Canada geese, except during September when all five could be Canadas. This fall, the daily bag limit for dark geese (Canada geese, white-fronted geese, and brant) is five, in aggregate, for the entire season. This means that hunters can harvest any combination of the three species as long as the total does not exceed five.

States where harvest of brant and white-fronted geese are low were allowed this aggregate bag limit. At the time of the original decision, both brant and white-fronted geese were rare in Indiana. In recent years, white-fronted geese have become more common wintertime visitors.

“For now, harvest of white-fronts has remained low enough in Indiana that we are able to keep the aggregate bag,” said Adam Phelps, DNR waterfowl biologist. “However, if harvest of that species continues to increase over the coming years, we may need to go back to having a separate bag limit or even season for that species. Harvest of brant, a mainly coastal species, is expected to remain very low.”

This is the fifth liberalization of Canada goose seasons in Indiana since 2005. Estimates of Canada goose harvest in Indiana, provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through the Harvest Information Program (HIP), have continued to drop. Indiana’s breeding Canada goose population has remained stable and above DNR’s state goal of 80,000 during the same 15-year period. Analyses predict that this bag limit increase is unlikely to negatively affect the population that breeds in Indiana or the long-distance migrants that breed in northern latitudes and use Indiana during fall and winter.