CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - TWRA is banding some of the resident goose population to track and obtain data to be used to determine early season impact, if any, on the overall resident goose population.

As written by TWRA " Since the early 1980's, special resident Canada goose seasons have been held in Middle and East Tennessee to provide recreational hunting and to control the growth of established populations. Areas hunted were regulated by a harvest check-in or a hunter quota system, which used kill tags that were required to be attached to the dead birds immediately upon retrieving. 

Beginning in 1986, some areas in south central and southeast Tennessee were opened to limited hunting with no harvest controls except limited days. The TWRA expanded the harvest check-in system statewide in 1993 to monitor the harvest of all Canada geese during the regular season.

Estimated harvests have ranged from 220 in 1980/81 at Old Hickory to nearly 3,750 for the 1993season which included 70 of the state's 95 counties. Presently, these counties have seasons directed exclusively towards giant Canada geese including September seasons.

Weighted band recoveries show that 57% of Tennessee's total Canada goose harvest is from giants of which 44% are Tennessee birds.

The TWRA recognizes the giant Canada goose as a valuable wildlife resource for hunting and viewing and has set goals to maintain viable goose populations for the future'. According to TWRA biologist Ben Layton the resident goose population for 2012 in Tennessee now exceeds 60,000 birds.