Goose Season Sept. 1
Inside the Outdoors, August 10
, 2012

Someone once said, after July 4th, summer will come to an end quickly and we will be into the cooler months. For many of us, we don’t want to hear those words, for the hotter months are bliss to us. We can swim, bask in the sun or take refreshing walks in the evenings.

But now that we are in August, September is just around the corner, and that means one thing – hunting season is upon us. And first to arrive is early Canadian goose and dove seasons.

Dove hunters will have the opportunity to participate in a triple-split season. The first season runs Sept. 1-29, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Hunting will start at noon and close at sunset daily.

The early statewide season for resident Canada geese will open the same date as doves, and continue through September 25. The early season retails a daily bag limit of eight geese and possession limit of 16. These limits are restricted to certain areas.

The daily bag limit for dove is 15 with the possession of 30.

Young Pennsylvania hunters will be provided with two days of special waterfowl hunting on Saturday, Sept 15 and 22. The Youth Waterfowl Days, which previously were limited to one day, are open to those 12 to 15 years old who hold a junior hunting license. To participate, a youngster must be accompanied by an adult, who may assist the youth in calling, duck identification and other aspects of the hunt. During these special two days of the hunting, youth can harvest ducks, mergansers, coots and moorhens.


Talk about geese, a Pittsburgh resident sent me an email containing an unusual find. He thought what he had from the document could be of interest to my readers as well as yours truly.

It so happens that a professor at the University of Montana Tech came upon something that was a unique discovery if there ever was one. It seems that the fecal of snow geese can pull 90% of heavy metals out of the water.

In 1995, a colleague made Andrea Stierle a present of a piece of wood with green slime on it. Indeed, this sort of gifts made the faculty affiliate very happy. For the past 26 years, slimy, moldy fungi and bacteria – and most importantly, the compounds they produce – have been the subject of Stierle’s work in Butte. But this slime was different. The wood is grew on had been fished from the Berkeley Pit, the gigantic former open-pit mine in Butte now filled with acidic, heavy-metal-laden water.

“No one thought anything could live in the pit,” says Stierle. “In the fall of 1995, 342 snow geese landed on that water and died.” But the simplest tests of the first water sample she received yield three microbes. Stierlie knew that meant there were more. Today, the counters of the lab are stacked with petri dishes – a happy family of approximately 132 Berkeley Pit microbes, it was stated.

Here is the part that gets really interesting.

Another slime in the pits also holds promise. It’s actually a yeast that pulls 90 percent of heavy metals out of water. Most organic materials can pull only 10 or 15 percent. It’s possible that, in the future, the yeast could help with cleanup of the pits and sites like it.

“The only place it was ever isolated before,” Stierle says, peering into a beaker of the liquid, "“as in the rectums of geese. Geese tend to poop when they are taking off from water. We call this little yeast the gift of the snow geese."

Now, if we only could do something of positive nature with that the Canadian geese leave on our sidewalks and other places we walk, we’d have a real business going!


Mark your calendars now! Any resident who possesses a rod and reel (or stick and line, as far as that goes) accompanied with a hook and bait, may fish “free” in any of the state waters. Since this is Labor Day, what better way to introduce a friend to fishing than to invite him out to one of our lakes or streams to wet a line. The date is Sept 3, 2012. Contact friends and relatives now.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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