Minnesota's first conservation season for snow geese has begun.
The season marks the first time the state's hunters can shoot snow geese in the spring, when they are on their way to the Arctic to nest.
The snow geese population has gotten too big, said David Rave, a geese specialist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. He said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants Minnesota hunters with permits to shoot as many as they can.
"They completely denude the vegetation from large areas," Rave said. "And then once it becomes mud because there's no grass anymore, then there's big erosion problems. And so they're really worried about them destroying habitat that's necessary for things like -- there's numerous shore birds and other species of geese that nest up on the tundra."
The snow geese have either a white body with black wing tips, or a dark blue body with a white head. The conservation season runs through April 30.