Appreciate the hazards of discarded fishing line

A few weeks ago my good friend, Todd Rost of Faribault, Minnesota, was kayaking down the Cannon River when he came upon an unusual sight.   From a distance he could tell that fishing line had entangled some object just skimming the water’s surface, yet it took a closer inspection to reveal how a bird of prey—likely a Red-tailed Hawk—had become a victim of some fisherman’s improperly discarded waste.

IMG_4814Rost speculated how some angler was probably fishing from a nearby bridge when an errant cast got caught up on the river’s brushy shoreline.   Rather than make a shoreline effort to carefully dislodge the lure, it was apparent a 20+ foot length of fishing line was simply discarded either on purpose or by snapping the line.

Chances are good the naive angler figured no further misfortune would probably result of their action.   After all, what dangers could be posed by some monofilament caught up in the brush?IMG_4819

Well, as you can see, fishing line is capable of catching more than just fish.   Albeit, the circumstances how this hawk actually became twisted up in the line is quite odd.   Nevertheless, it occurs and sometimes those of us who are anglers need to be reminded of the potential devastating results to emphasize the importance of proper fishing line removal.

IMG_4845Quite honestly I debated whether or not I should publish these pictures out of concern groups like PETA would use them as part of their deplorable backlash against fishing effort.   I chose to show them anyway because most anglers are responsible sportsmen who can learn from mistakes made by others within our ranks.   Perhaps by showing the visual results of what happened to one angler’s improperly discarded line…it will prompt other fishermen to use greater care in the future.   Well, that is my hope, anyway…by posting this message.

©2010 Jim Braaten.  All Rights Reserved.  No Reproduction without Prior Permission.

VIDEO: How To Remove A Fishing Hook

Here’s a quick video link showing a nifty technique on how to remove an impaled fish hook.   This sort of advice is something everyone should know before heading out on the waters for your next angling adventure. 

©2010 Jim Braaten.  All Rights Reserved.  No Reproduction without Prior Permission.

Court Decides: Crow Wing Co. landowner can keep black bear carcass

If a big black bear dies in the woods on private property, who gets the carcass?


Today, the Minnesota Appellate Court found that a landowner who had found a dead bear on his property was entitled to the ownership of the carcass (which died of natural causes).   The Minnesota DNR had originally confiscated the carcass and issued the landowner a warning stating that the State of Minnesota owns the animal and it's possession was a violation of state law.

So, how could this ruling impact the future enforcement of poaching statutes in Minnesota?   No doubt about it, the court ruling could significantly change the ballgame in terms who claims legitimate ownership of a dead wild animal.   Precedence has now been set that an animal possessed dying naturally on private land can be legally claimed by that landowner without a hunting, fishing or trapping license or having registered the animal.

Expect much more to come on this issue…

©2010 Jim Braaten.  All Rights Reserved.  No Reproduction without Prior