Pennsylvania House Bill 881 was introduced in March. This bill would provide deer hunters with a remarkable tool to aid in the recovery of their deer. HB 881 would allow the use of leashed tracking dogs for the recovery of wounded deer in Pennsylvania.
These dogs have been featured in many hunting magazines and outdoor TV shows. Studies show them to be highly effective at recovery of mortally wounded deer the hunter was unable to find himself. This method of finding a down deer is legal in 33 states.
Some outfitters in those states will use a tracking dog on every shot, to provide an efficient way to find a deer that is not observed to go down. This is very important to disabled or color blind hunters. This protects their herd from waste, is less disruptive to other hunters, and provides valuable information as to whether the animal is mortally hit.
State Rep. Mark Keller sits on the House Game and Fisheries Committee in Harrisburg. Deer hunters in his district should contact his office to ask why this method -- surveyed to be 97 percent favorable among deer hunters across the state, and supported by the NWTF, the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, United Bowhunters of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Game Commission -- was not on the agenda for the June committee meeting.
We can use trained dogs to aid and recover various small game in Pennsylvania. Is that wildlife any more important than whitetail deer?
|Susan Edwards with her beagle at Trackfest 2008 in Pennsylvania|