NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Burns Park geese have a reprieve for now, but the hunters who qualified for the hunt are still required to attend an orientation training course in case it's rescheduled.
Dozens of hunters asked questions about the hunt at a meeting at the North Little Rock Community Center Tuesday night. Park Ranger Kate Finefield says the goose hunt plan is in place if it ever hatches.
Potential goose hunters received their assigned hunting zones on a map divided into four to six other hunters per group. A lot of questions were raised about the logistics of the hunt. Finefield warned hunters they may encounter protesters the morning of the hunts, if it's rescheduled, but not to engage them.
More than half of the 104 hunters selected to bag two Burns Park Canada Geese each asked questions about the rules and requirements for the postponed 3-day hunt. Hunters are required to wear brightly colored clothing, not camouflage, and won't be allowed to shoot at geese on the ground or in the water. A warning shot will startle the geese into the air.
Some hunters who attended the orientation meeting say they're disappointed the hunt has been called off, and challenge protesters to come up with a better population reduction solution. North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Hays says that's what he's hoping for. He wants the community to come up with alternative suggestions to controlling the goose population.
The second orientation training class is Thursday, December 15th at the North Little Rock Community Center at 6:30 p.m. Those opposed to the hunt have until noon that day to turn in their alternative suggestions to the mayor. The mayor will then hold a public hearing later that afternoon with the parks department and members of Arkansas Game and Fish to come up with a new plan.
If the new plan includes a hunt, hunters will get at least three days' notice.