Authorities to use boom cannons to scare away geese in northern Sioux Falls

File photo.

If you hear a loud “boom” in northern Sioux Falls, it is likely part of an effort to scare geese away from the airport area.

The animals tend to congregate around the airport and Elmwood Golf Course, which can create a safety hazard for aircraft, according to Sioux Falls Animal Control Officer Julie DeJong.

Sioux Falls Animal Control and the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks will soon begin “hazing” the geese. DeJong said hazing simply means scaring the animals away, and not harming them in any way.

Beginning Tuesday, crews will use propane sound cannons to chase off the birds from the quarry ponds east of the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds and at the Elmwood Golf Course.

DeJong said people near or driving by the areas should not be alarmed if they hear the sound cannons. The cannons will go off several times during the day and will not be used at night.

Geese live in the Sioux Falls area throughout the year, but tend to congregate during the winter as portions of the Big Sioux River remain open all year. DeJong said there are usually around 1,000 geese in the city area, but that number increases to 6,000-8,000 during the winter.

Animal Control began using boom cannons last year, DeJong said.