'Geese Guys' team clears golf courses and more of unwanted visitors.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Kristen Grompone and Fish are part of the Geese Guys team. The King City business helps remove geese from golf courses, business complexes and other place where they are not wanted.  James Kuri started Geese Guys out of desperation in 2010: An avid golfer, he became frustrated by all the goose poop covering the Portland-area golf courses where he plays.

“Playing golf was more like an excursion through a huge litter box,” he said. “The greens and fairways were covered in oily, disgusting land mines. My friend and I got tired of cleaning poop off our shoes and clubs and clothes.

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“My friend was a contractor who had gotten laid off. I started doing research, and on the East Coast, there are dozens of companies that use border collies to humanely remove geese, but it wasn’t common out here. The light bulb went off.”

Kuri and his friend put together a business plan, and Kuri purchased 1.5-year-old Daze, a border collie trained to control geese. “We launched a website and were ready to start the business, and my friend got a really good job,” Kuri said.

Kuri has owned American Family Insurance in King City since 1999, so at that point, he had two jobs.

“I would get up at 6 a.m. and chase geese before coming to the office,” he said. “The Summerfield Golf Course was one of my first accounts, and then I got Red Tail Golf Course and Parkrose High School. I did everything for two and a half years.

“Dogs are trained to herd, not hurt, geese. Daze also is trained to herd sheep and cattle but primarily geese. She will pick out one goose, go into a stance and focus on it while ignoring ducks. She actually prefers to stalk geese rather than to chase them, and the geese perceive the dogs are predators.”

Kuri explained that the term “Canada geese” refers to North American geese, which are federally protected and never harmed during efforts to relocate them to areas where they won’t interact with people.

“Golf courses are actually dangerous for them,” he said. “They can ingest pesticides or get hit by golf balls.”

New clients receive two or three visits per day “until we see fewer geese and less poop,” Kuri said. The initial phase is followed by random, less-frequent visits to make sure the geese stay away, although the whole process can take a couple of years, according to Kuri.

“Geese tend to return to where they are born,” he added. “Geese are kind of lazy. They don’t like to relocate, but they can be persuaded otherwise.”

Other Geese Guys clients include the Charbonneau Golf Course plus Valley Catholic as well as Franklin and Madison high schools. “And we have several shopping centers and condominium communities,” Kuri said.

Businesses along Tigard’s Sequoia Parkway, which is bordered by grass and ponds that are inviting to geese, also hire Geese Guys to keep them away.

“Red Tail and Summerfield had thousands of geese, and now they just have a few stragglers,” Kuri said. “They love us at Summerfield.”

And Kuri probably knows more about geese than the average person would ever want to know, rattling off the facts he knows by heart: Geese can live up to 30 years, they can weigh up to 40 pounds, and they mate for life.

A female can produce up to 80 offspring in her life, and their numbers are increasing every year by 10 percent. They eat grass seed, “and their poop isn’t a fertilizer — it actually is poisonous to grass,” Kuri said. “An adult goose can produce two to three pounds of poop per day, and 25 percent of goose poop contains E coli and other bacteria. It’s quite hazardous.”

Kuri recently hired two female employees or geese police. One is Liz Clune, and the other is Kristin Grompone, who was operations manager at a local pet store and has been training dogs for herding, fly ball and agility as well as basic obedience and tricks since she was 11 years old. Even better, she owned two border collies and has a degree in wildlife ecology.

She is now Kuri’s operations manager, and he has plans to expand in the future. “We want to start rescuing border collies at some point,” he said. “We’re getting calls from too far away — Vancouver to Salem to Mount Hood to Hood River — to be able to service them. So we could rescue dogs and match them up with handlers in those areas — that’s kind of the master plan.”

In the meantime, “we were the first game in town, and we’re the premier goose-control company in the Portland area,” he said.

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