A fowl mess: Hillsdale takes aim at geese with city-sponsored hunt


HILLSDALE, Mich. (WLNS) — Wildlife adds a lot to our natural surroundings.

But animals often leave behind a mess that’s pretty unpleasant to be around or step in.

6 News is looking into how one mid-Michigan community is hunting down that very problem.

It’s a beautiful park, set on Baw Beese Lake in Hillsdale.

But some frequent visitors aren’t always considerate.

“There are large amounts of fecal matter that ends up on the sand, in the beach area, and on our sidewalks. No one wants to step in that when they’re barefooted,” said City of Hillsdale Public Services Director Jake Hammel.

Hammel says over the years hundreds of Canada geese have moved in and that’s created a stinky mess.

“We have no problem sharing our park with wildlife. We just can’t let the wildlife take over the whole park system,” Hammel said.

Days are numbered for some geese in the Baw Beese Lake Park System.

Next month, the city is launching a special hunt that aims to wipe out nearly 100 geese.

Hammel says the city police department will screen hunters and help secure the park when bullets start to fly.

“We’re anticipating closing down the park system and the walking path from Sept. 15 to Sept. 30, only in the mornings, and on weekdays. So on the weekend, the park will remain open. I think 100 geese out of the park system would be a good goal for this year,” Hammel said.

He says the city-sponsored goose hunt was recommended by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to help control the population.

“At this point in time, I have not received and negative feedback from members of the community,” Hammel said.

The park is the center of outdoor fun for the Hillsdale area.

So Hammel says they want to make sure everyone can enjoy it without any unpleasant surprises.

“I don’t think people want the geese to be exterminated, just maintain a level that we can all live with and share the facility together,” Hammel said.

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