University of Illinois Extension

Controlling Nuisance Canada Geese

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) provides federal legal protection for Canada geese. Protection under this act extends to bird feathers and other body parts, eggs and nests. Canada geese are also protected by Illinois laws. Non-lethal control such as repellents and frightening devices should be tried before a permit for removal will be issued. The Directory of Illinois Wildlife provides information on how to prevent and solve problems with Canada geese.

Do I need a permit to:

Disturb or Destroy a Canada Goose Nest:

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources may issue a permit to destroy Canada geese eggs or nests in some situations. Destroying eggs or nests without a permit is a Federal and State offense.

Remove Canada Geese:

In Urban Areas:

Removal of Canada geese in urban areas is generally not allowed unless there is an immediate and direct threat of physical harm to humans.

For more information about Canada goose removal permits, contact Roy Domazlicky, Urban Waterfowl Project Manager, Illinois Department of Natural Resources at (847) 608-3100 x2031.

In Rural Areas:
During Hunting Season

Yes, control via hunting (where allowed) requires a hunting license, state and federal waterfowl stamps, and a Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration. Follow all current regulations.

For a hunting license, visit the IDNR Hunting License Sales website or call 1-800-705-4164.

To register with HIP visit the Harvest Information Program website or call 1-888-673-7648 and ask for the 901 HIP Certification.

IDNR Waterfowl Hunting Information

Outside the Hunting Season

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources may issue a permit for Canada goose removal in agricultural damage situations.

Contact an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist in agricultural damage situations.

Alter Canada Geese Habitat:

A permit is not needed on land you own. Wetlands cannot be destroyed in order to deter geese without proper authorization.