Regional Reports-East

Susquehanna River

Resident Canada geese numbers keep going up, and this year hunters have more time to hunt the big birds than ever before-all the reason you need to spend additional days afield this time of year. Concentrate on agricultural areas near the Susquehanna River in the central part of the state. As long as the big waterway remains unfrozen, it is a magnet for the overabundant resident geese populations. The key to bagging the big birds in winter involves scouting and securing permission to hunt farms where geese have been seen feeding. More often than not, farmers are happy to have responsible hunters attempt to remove some of the geese that do so much damage to crops throughout the year. Large decoy spreads, good calling and concealment are all necessary to fool these wary birds, which have already been hunted off and on since Labor Day. Particularly productive areas are the western edges of Montour and Northumberland counties. For those who prefer public land, the best bet is to stick to the series of large islands that line the river between Sunbury and Harrisburg. A couple of good ones are Hoover and Sweigart's islands, which are also known as State Game Lands 233 and 258, respectively. Contact: Pennsylvania Game Commission (2001 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg, PA 17110; 717-787-4250).