Cross-border cooperation between goose hunters 2nd April 2020

Nordic goose hunters are sharing their advice on how to hunt geese in a sustainable and ethical way with anyone willing to spend time with them. At the same time, they are delivering on some of the key actions of an international flyway agreement by helping to reach the agreed population size while minimizing the crippling rate.

By Iben Hove Sørensen, Waterfowlers' Network
Photo and video by Christian Lang Jensen, Danish Hunters' Association

Danish hunter Jonas Gade Løgsted and his two Norwegian friends have been hunting together for three years. A favourite hunting object is the Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus, and the trio follows the geese on their migration from Norway to Denmark during the autumn and winter. When the season ends in Norway, it is just starting in Denmark. Along the way, they are hoping to create a renewed interest in goose hunting by teaching other hunters how to hunt effectively and responsibly.

The goal of the AEWA International Single Species Management Plan for the Svalbard population of the Pink-footed Goose is to maintain the favourable conservation status of the population while taking into account economic and recreational interests. A key action of the plan is to keep the population at an agreed target of around 60.000 birds. Any hunting must be sustainable, and actions must be taken to ensure that crippling rates are kept at a minimum level.

Jonas and his friends take this very seriously, even though they enjoy shooting many geese. On a day in January, they were hunting in North Jutland, Denmark, with some local hunters. In the early morning, while it was still dark, they set up almost 500 decoys along with some hides. Supplied by a well-used goose call, the first geese quickly started to appear. And they kept coming. In fact, so many geese were present, that not a single shot was fired. The group just laid back and enjoyed the thousands of geese. Later, when the flock size had been significantly reduced, they decided to start shooting. A great experience in the field – and around 30 geese bagged.

The experience was filmed by Christian Lang Jensen from the Danish Hunters’ Association. Enjoy the spectacle.