Food is a powerful force on all migratory birds, and an adequate supply is absolutely necessary if birds are to remain in an area. Together, "Food and Sanctuary" are the cornerstones of waterfowl management in migration and wintering areas of North America.
Historically, adequate food for geese has not been considered a problem in Kansas due to the abundance of green wheat and waste corn and milo. However, recent improvements in the efficiency of harvesting equipment have reduced the amount of waste grain from 5 percent in the 1970’s to about 2 percent today. Design engineers of farm harvesting equipment expect to further reduce waste grain losses to 1 percent in the near future. This increased harvesting efficiency, combined with record numbers of ducks, geese and cranes, has resulted in documented declines in body condition of birds in Nebraska from as recently as the 1970’s. Cranes and geese are required to fly further from refuge and roosting areas to feed and they must feed longer to obtain necessary energy to maintain body condition. This trend of declining food supplies could result in geese moving to other areas or states to find locations where they can obtain the required units of energy required to maintain or improve body condition.
Goose management activities by KDWP are aimed at providing the food and sanctuary requirements of geese. Management activities take place on public lands, while most hunting opportunity and harvest occurs on nearby private areas. Without management directed at geese on our public lands there would be little harvest or viewing opportunities in our state.