LINCOLN - It isn't every day that hunting can be considered a civic duty. But three men on Wednesday were doing their part to help reduce goose droppings on Brownlee Lake beaches and docks.
The effort has been spearheaded by 20-year-old Jim Nolan of Lincoln. In September, he approached Mayor Phil Jordan with a proposal to legally shoot geese. He also spoke to the Department of Natural Resources and talked to local residents. His efforts were discussed at local council meetings, and he regularly lets people know what he is doing.
"There had been complaints in the past, because nobody knew who the hunters were," said Nolan, who is self-employed. "But Phil knew we were doing everything by the book."
So far, Nolan and friends Ryan MacKinnon of Spruce and Dan Stewart of Harrisville have shot 12 geese and numerous ducks during several trips to the lake. To lessen their impact on the community, they keep gunfire to a minimum, wear camouflage and face paint, and converse in quiet tones.
Their effort usually starts on a weekday morning, when many residents are rising to go to work. The three move their boats, goose decoys and three yellow labs quietly past the mayor's home, and motor to a far edge of the lake where hunting is allowed. Shooting is limited by law to a half hour after sunrise and a half hour before sunset, Nolan said.
Using goose calls, they lure passing birds in. Once downed, dogs Remi, Cabella and Rowan retrieve the waterfowl, and fetch decoys on command when it's time to go home.
"We usually eat them about as fast as we can shoot them," Stewart said.
Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Betsy on Twitter @bl_alpenanews.