NJ is again this year going to issue a special Wildlife Management Permit for the investigation of the feasibility of the use of leashed blood tracking dogs for finding unrecovered deer for hunters. The permit will allow trackers listed on the permit to use their dogs to help hunters recover their deer that they have been unable to recover themselves. There will be about 10 trackers across the state on the permit this year. A tracker can get on the permit one of two ways. Either he will have to have been on one of the previous permits issued the last 2 years or if new to the program, the tracker must pass a basic test of ability with his dog. All applicants must also be free of any wildlife code violation for the last 10 years.
On August 19th, two NJ handlers took a test offered by the United Blood Trackers organization near Hamburg PA. The United Blood trackers evaluation, the UBT-I, meets the NJ permit criteria to allow a handler on the permit. One of the two dogs taking the evaluation passed. Rich Stollery and his 1 1/2 year old bitch, November, passed with flying colors. I had the pleasure of judging this well coordinated team and treated them and anyone else within earshot to an instrumental announcement of their success in the finest European tradition.
Next week several more NJ trackers will be taking the UBT-I evaluation in hopes of getting on the permit. It is hoped that perhaps in the next year or two with the data collected on this permit, leashed blood tracking dogs will be legalized for any NJ hunter who would like to use one.
|Andy Bensing and Rich Stollery with "Ember"|