Geese vs. coyotes

Katie Casper, Staff Reporter

Coyotes are hunting geese on campus.

The overpopulation of geese on IU Southeast’s campus has become such a problem that the maintenance and construction department move around four cutout shaped coyotes to control the geese.

If you walk around the IU Southeast campus, you will probably notice the population of many geese.

More recently though you might have noticed fewer geese and four coyote-shaped cutouts. The IUS maintenance and construction department handle these.

Earl Toepfert, maintenance manager, has worked for the IU Southeast Physical Plant for five years.

Toepfert said they turned to the Department of Natural Resources website for information on finding a solution for the geese on campus.

Toepfert and Curd said the amount of geese on campus has been growing over the last few years.

Curd said the growing amount of geese have begun to cause problems such as the intimidation of students and the residue they leave behind on the campus’ paths and walkways.

Mike Curd has worked for IU Southeast in the construction department full-time and part-time for a total of 30.

Curd handles the daily, morning moving of the new cutouts that have appeared on campus grounds.

The cutouts are shaped as coyotes. To save money, they were made of scrap metal that was not being used.

“There are four coyote cutouts. Two are brown, and the other two are black,” Curd said.

Two cutouts are placed various places in the front half of campus and the other two in the back side of campus.

“The cutouts are always kept in pairs when placed to make them look more realistic,” Curd said.

Wesley Clark, mechanical engineering junior at IU Southeast and Purdue College of Technology, has been a grounds and maintenance keeper for two years.

Clark is not a fan of the geese on campus and said that every time he encounters them they hiss at him.

“I did not think the coyotes would work, I thought the geese were smarter than that since they were flat and stationary cut outs,” Clark said.

Clark said they move the coyotes weekly and he now thinks they are working. Clark also said the geese have been staying away from both ponds and are not crowding near the Physical Plant.

“The geese population has moved to nearby parks such as Community Park,” Curd said.

Dakota Hendricks, secondary education junior, is a seasonal grounds crew worker on campus. Hendricks occasionally helped move the fake coyotes around campus over the summer.

“We would move coyotes early every morning to fool the geese into thinking they were real animals and not just fake cutouts,” Hendricks said.

Hendricks said he thought the cutouts worked to an extent and that he noticed, toward the middle of the summer, the geese were not in the way as often.

He said the grounds crew noticed the geese were keeping away from the campus and started hanging around the back pond behind the maintenance building.

“I know the coyote cutouts have helped with the geese being around campus. There are only about 20 geese on campus compared to a few months ago,” Curd said.

Curd said the plan to move the coyote cutouts will continue for the foreseeable semesters and that the IU Southeast Physical Plant plans on getting additional coyote cutouts made due to the positive impact they are having on the geese population.