“Booming” to save crops in western Placer County

Published on Feb. 9, 2023

Residents in western Placer County may have heard loud ‘booming’ sounds recently, especially in the evenings. The sound is made by a device used to protect developing crops from feeding geese.

According to the Placer County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, farmers in western Placer County are using a device known as a Zon gun to scare geese away from oat hay fields.

A Zon gun produces a single pressure-regulated sonic blast to frighten and disorient pest birds and wildlife. Other than giving a startling scare, the device is harmless. 

These devices, powered by propane, have been used in orchards, vineyards, row crop fields and even airports, since 1942. 

“Geese feed at night and may cause thousands of dollars of crop damage each night,” said Placer County Agricultural Commissioner Josh Huntsinger. “It’s important to know that Zon devices do not shoot any type of projectile or harm geese in any way.”

The Agricultural Commissioner’s Office is available to field calls from the public if they have specific questions or concerns.

The Placer County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office can be reached at 530-889-7372.