Hooked goose rescued in Pine River

Good Samaritans went out of their way to save a goose from an ugly end

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Barry Borman, of Backus, and Charles Wurm, of Pine River, work together to free a goose from a bass plug Sept. 1, 2022, in Pine River.
Contributed / Cheryl Kopperud
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PINE RIVER — The last day of August in Pine River, motorists noticed a young goose behaving erratically off Fifth Street near the Pine River. Little did they know, the goose was in dire straits.

Barry Borman, of Backus, noticed the goose acting strangely on the side of the road while going about his business.

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On Sept. 1, 2022, good Samaritans worked together to remove this bass plug from a goose seen acting oddly near the road in Pine River.
Contributed / Cheryl Kopperud

"He was by the road and people were looking at him," Borman said. "That's why I thought he might have gotten hit (by a car). The next morning when I went back to help my brother-in-law he was in the same place. I thought that was kind of odd."

I called the DNR and they said sometimes you have to let nature take its course. But that's not nature.
Barry Borman

The next day, Sept. 1, Borman decided to figure out what was wrong.

"I noticed something green under him, and I saw the bass plug," Borman said. "I called the DNR and they said sometimes you have to let nature take its course. But that's not nature."


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This goose, rescued Sept. 1, 2022, in Pine River, took a stretch after rescuers removed a lure from both feet and then removed it from the net they used to catch it.
Contributed / Cheryl Kopperud

At the time, Borman said it looked like string or some other material wrapped around the goose's feet. He knew it was stuck because of something man-made, so he approached Charles Wurm, who lives on Fifth Street.

"Earlier in the week we'd seen a distressed goose in the water, but we didn't think much about it until the morning Barry walked into the yard to see if we had a net," Wurm said.

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Cheryl Kopperud, Charles Wurm and Barry Borman stepped into action Sept. 1, 2022, when they noticed a goose acting strangely, likely saving its life by removing a fishing lure from both feet.
Contributed / Cheryl Kopperud

They didn't, so Borman left and returned with a net, climbed into Wurm's kayak and tried to corral the goose back to where he could be netted. He managed to corner it. They netted it and covered it to keep it calm.

When they got it back onto solid ground they found that the treble hooks from a bass plug had basically shackled both of the goose's feet together. Together with Wurm and neighbor Cheryl Kopperud they held the goose still and worked to release it.

It made my day. Any time you can do something positive like that, it's all worth it.
Charles Wurm

"We put a sheet over his head and he stayed pretty calm. We got all the hooks out of him and let him go," Borman said. "He kind of took a few steps, looked at us, honked, waddled back to the water, honked again and that was it."

"(It feels) good," Borman said. "I hate to see anybody or anything suffer. It's just part of my nature to do things like that. I'm glad we got to let him go and he will be able to live his life. He was a younger goose."

"It made my day," Wurm said. "Any time you can do something positive like that, it's all worth it."

Travis Grimler is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper in Pequot Lakes/Pine River. He may be reached at 218-855-5853 or

Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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