Bismarck, ND — The North Dakota Game and Fish Department says the 2020 hunting season is in jeopardy after Canadian officials announced they’re prohibiting geese from migrating across the border due to COVID-19 concerns.
The Canadian Federal Department of the Environment says their border closing applies to all Canadian citizens including geese.
“COVID-19 is a major concern right now and now is the not the time for international travel for all Canadians, including geese,” says the Canadian Minister of Migration and Travel Bob McKenzie. “All geese are prohibited from crossing the border until further notice. Should any person or goose attempt to cross our borders, the Royal Mounted Police are armed and ready to shoot on sight.”
With no indication as to when the Candian/US border may open, North Dakotans may face a year without a hunting season. However, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department says they’re looking to the southern border for an option that may appeal to some hunters.
“We’re just as frustrated as everyone else,” says ND Game and Fish Department Director of International Affairs Gunner Buckshot. “But our game wardens are looking at perhaps legalizing the hunting of Mexican Geese, which are generally smaller in size and much quicker than their Canadian counterparts. If North Dakota hunters could at least embrace this possibility, we could actually have a really successful hunting season, so we’re looking at getting as many of the birds here in North Dakota as soon as possible.”
The Mexican Goose is considered a delicacy in Latin America, as their meat is more tender and spicier than Canada’s prized goose due to its diet of jalapeno peppers. But recent immigration laws and restrictions could make it difficult to bring the Mexican Geese to North Dakota.
“There’s a lot of work being done in my office to navigate the immigration laws and ease some of the tariffs associated with Mexican Geese so we can get these birds to work in North Dakota,” says Secretary of State Alvin Jaeger. “Some parts of the border wall have already collapsed, so we’ve thought about luring the birds with some peppers through the broken parts of the wall, but we want to be ethical about this. Quite frankly, our resources are stretched thin as it is and our fax machines can barely keep up with all this extra goose work. But we’re committed to ensuring everyone can have a successful hunting season by importing the Mexican bird. We just stress it may result in delayed election results. Folks need to be comfortable with the prospect that we won’t know who our Governor is until 2023.”
As the Secretary of State’s office continues to work diplomatic channels to bring the Mexican Goose to the state, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department is wasting no time preparing for the bird’s arrival. The Mexican Goose will be featured on the cover of their upcoming monthly publication, North Dakota Outdoors.
“We want to familiarize hunters with the bird now in the event they’re not able to hunt Canadian Geese later this year,” says Buckshot. “Which is why we put the Mexican Goose on the cover of North Dakota Outdoors Magazine. We’re also working on field guides to help hunters identify the bird and plan on featuring hunting tips and recipes in North Dakota Outdoors. One of the telltale signs though you’ve got a Mexican Goose in your sights is if you see a bird wearing a sombrero. That’s a dead giveaway.”
Governor Doug Burgum says his office is working to develop both a distance learning simulation for hunters and working with the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) industry to implement a distance hunting option for outdoorsmen.
“While the border closure is disappointing, this is also an opportunity for North Dakota to be innovators,” said Burgum at his recent nine-hour long COVID-19 press briefing. “We’re working with the North Dakota Information and Technology Department to develop a virtual goose hunt game for those who can’t venture outdoors. Our state is also a leader in the unmanned aerial vehicle industry and so we’re looking at ways we can perhaps work with the private sector to develop the world’s first unmanned aerial hunting aircraft that would essentially mount a shotgun to a drone allowing outdoorsmen to travel across the border to hunt geese, all from the comfort of their Laz-Z-Boy recliner. The more we can be North Dakota Smart by staying home, the faster we can end this pandemic and get on with our lives.”
More on this story as it develops.
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