Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conferences


Date of this Version

September 1989


Damage and nuisance problems caused by Canada geese (Branta canadensis) are difficult to control with current abatement technology. We tested the efficacy of a goose call-activated switch as a modification for propane exploders (gas cannons), using recorded Canada goose calls and live goose trials. We recorded a 30 m range for the switch and found that it was activated by a range of non-target sounds. The development of this device and the technology involved are discussed. The call-activated switch is not a useful tool in reducing Canada goose damage in crop fields.

Canada geese frequently feed on agricultural crops (Craven and Hunt 1984) resulting in unacceptable levels of damage (Hunt 1984). Crop damage has been a major management concern near Horicon National Wildlife Refuge (HNWR) for 28 years (Hunt and Bell 1973) and available abatement techniques are often ineffective (Conover and Chasko 1985).

Propane exploders are a common abatement tool (Besser 1985). They ignite a measured amount of propane at 20-30 minute intervals. The resulting explosion is intended to frighten geese away from the field. About 1,000 exploders are deployed near HNWR each fall to protect crop fields.