When it comes to laws regarding the plentiful animals, birds, fish, and plants found in and around Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes, they can be obscure, oddly specific, and for many who spend time outside, completely unknown. However, if enjoy spending time outdoors hunting, fishing, or even just wandering around, you need to be very careful of your actions. If caught by police or park rangers, there are a wide number of seemingly small crimes against Minnesota’s flora and fauna that can land you in big trouble.
Fishing and Hunting Laws in Minnesota
When it comes to recreational hunting and fishing in Minnesota, there are a number of laws that protect the animals. Certain fish may be caught, but are required to be thrown back if they are under a certain size to protect the species. Hunting laws dictate certain hunting seasons per animal so as to not disturb crucial moments in their life cycle. Some hunting laws may even put size and gender restrictions on the animals in order to further protect them. If these are violated, they can come with a number of harsh penalties.
However, even though these laws are put in place to protect animals, if you happen to wander off of public land onto private property where they owner has not given you permission to hunt or fish, all of these regulations are thrown out and you face different and often harsher punishments for illegally hunting on private property.
Protection of Birds
There are a number of beautiful birds in Minnesota, and while it is perfectly legal to watch them providing you are on land you have permission to use, taking souvenirs is often not recommended. Many birds in Minnesota are protected by law and that means you cannot disturb their nesting or harvest items from them.
One of the most notable examples of this is the American Bald Eagle. They are majestic and the symbol of our nation. However, possessing bones, skulls, or even feathers is a major crime. This is mean to protect the species from those that seek to harvest and then sell these items. Even if you are out in the wilderness and an eagle feather falls down from the sky into your hands, if you take it out of that area and found in possession of it, you will be charged.
Protection of Plants
Like with Minnesota’s wildlife, many of the native plants found in the state also have some form of protection. While you can face punishments for digging up a plant in the wild for your home garden, you should also carefully research plant law when importing new plants for your yard.
Minnesota has some of the most specific laws in regards to plants in order to protect the state from invasive species. For example, Minnesota law prevents the transportation and planting of water hyacinths as well as many other aquatic plants in the state. These plant often shadows native plants from the sun they need to live and takes up more of the oxygen and water sources so nearby native plants are left unable to thrive. Aquatic plants may be pretty, but it is a huge threat to native Minnesotan plant species.
Fighting Against Animal, Birds, Fish and Plants Crimes
Many of the above crimes can be avoided by simply looking up what you need to know. It is always recommended to read up on hunting and fishing law before heading out for a new season, especially if changes may have been made. In terms of birds and plants, it is always better to leave nature right at home in nature to avoid large penalties.
If caught, if you have no prior offenses, there is a chance that the park ranger may go easy on you. However, you should not depend on their mercy. Instead, you should limit your risks, and if that doesn’t work, contact us today. Animal, birds, fish and plants law is very specific, but often not completely hopeless. We can help prove that you didn’t have malicious intent so that you can avoid huge fines and other punishments.