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…

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