Golf course considers shooting geese who have become a nuisance - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Golf course considers shooting geese who have become a nuisance

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ELIZABETHTOWN, KY. (WDRB) -- Unwanted guests refuse to pay course fees on an Elizabethtown golf course -- and it's making the owners desperate enough to kill.

Heartland Golf Club is coming back to life -- fresh off of foreclosure, the new owners hope to bring national tournaments back to Hardin County.

There's potential with 18 holes nestled among tall trees and five lakes -- but there's just one problem.  Geese, about of hundred of them, are clogging the course and they seem as if they're there to stay.

"I'll show you right here, here, here, tuffs everyplace," says Neal Brashear, partial owner of Heartland Golf Club.  "They're eating our greens and our t-boxes, creating a mess for the members out here."

Brashear took his complaint to the Elizabethtown City Council, saying each goose eats four pounds of grass a day and leaves three of it behind.

He's trying to get permission to shoot and kill some of the geese.  But he admits there's a big hurdle to clear: "We have an ordinance in the city that you can't discharge a firearm in city limits."

The Canada goose is protected by the federal Migratory Birds Act of 1918.  Injuring or harming one of them could lead to a $10,000 fine per goose!

The fear is that golfers will not have enough grass to hit off of by the end of summer.

But one golfer, Connie Reed, says, "I think they should be released somewhere for somebody else's enjoyment or maybe sell them, but I don't believe in killing them."

Brashear says, "I know it, and we don't want to do that, we really don't want to, but we're open for other suggestions."

As the course searches for those other suggestions, Mother Goose's children continue their convention on the fourth green, exercising their squatters rights.

The owners say even if the golf course got an exemption allowing it to shoot the birds, it would only be allowed to kill 10 percent of them.  They're considering setting off fireworks to scare the rest away.

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