Geese are quite the nuisance at McNary Golf Course. (File photo)

Of the Keizertimes

The latest efforts to rid McNary Golf Club of geese have gone off with a bang.

The 150 or so acres of short grass, plenty of food – along with Claggett Creek and a pond – have proven terribly attractive to geese, said Manager Rich Brown. The course’s website talks up excellent drainage and being among the northwest’s most playable courses during the winter.
Those early winter months are also when the geese come around the most, Brown said.

“They eat the grass, they defecate every 10 seconds, it seems like,” Brown said. “They just create a horrible mess; it’s kind of a health hazard. They do damage to the greens, fairways and what have you. Just kind of a general nuisance.”

The latest technique – and the loud booms that come with it – have been effective so far, Brown said. The golf club recently resorted to using a propane cannon to scare off the geese.

“Real effective,” Brown said.

A propane cannon looks a lot like a potato gun, except a propane tank is attached to one end. The sound is “probably just as loud or louder than a shotgun,” Brown said.

The geese aren’t as numerous in this particular time of year, but Brown said the nuisance has gotten worse through the years.

“When it first started – having a few geese out there – it wasn’t bad, added a little ambience,” Brown said. “It goes up every year, and makes it difficult to play in a good environment… But it’s gotten a lot better.”

The golf course has tried all sorts of remedies: They had a dog for a while, but “he got too old and couldn’t do the job anymore,” Brown said. Besides, the course is too spread out for one dog to cover all the territory, he said.

Then they tried black swans; that proved ineffective. They strung fishing line over the ponds, but no dice.

They even tried agricultural fireworks, but their permit was revoked by the state, Brown said.