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June 07, 2007

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Discussion Topic: Should Dogs Hunt Deer?

From Virginia’s The Roanoke Times:

Standing before the board of the state Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, [Curtis] Lytle [professional bass angler sponsored by Ranger and Yamaha] told about fulfilling his dream when he purchased 160 acres of his own for bowhunting, bird watching and wildlife photography. . . .

But his dream has been spoiled by hunting clubs that send their hounds across his property to chase deer. Never mind that they are uninvited and unwanted, and violate the tranquility that Lytle believes should be his. They just come.

And what can you do? Under Virginia law, not much. It can seem to Lytle and other landowners who have been abused by hound hunters that dogs have more rights than landowners.

Check out the full story. Is this a case of a few bad apples? Or does hunting deer with dogs generally create problems?


Chris H.

I don't agree with dog hunting. I think part of what draws me to hunting is the fact that deer do get into thickets and get away from me. It is a challenge for me to watch the signs and set myself up to get close to those deer that are the hardest to find. I am also a firm believer that if someone owns a piece of property they have the right to control the property, and no I don't own but the 1/4 acre my house sits on. I pay to be in a club and I have to abide by the rules of the property owner as well as the club rules. I also know more than a few hunters that would not take kindly at all to dogs running deer on their land and have had no problems spending a round on dogs when they have. I'm not saying that is the right thing to do either. I definitely think the property owner has the right to control his land.

Chris C

Dogs should not be allowed to hunt. First of all, they haven't got the coordination to pull a trigger, and secondly, they drool all over the carcass during fiel dressing

Mike Diehl

Hunting animals with dogs isn't my cup of coffee. Doesn't strike me as "hunting" at all if the dog does all the finding and tracking and exhausts the game for you.

That said, I think if people want to do it, it should be allowed, as long as the deer popul'n is not adversely affected.

In this case the fellow should post his land or else put up a good fence. He should also keep some domestic chickens around, and sue the hunt club for vast amounts of money if the chickens get annoyed. Also sue for some reasonable fee (say, seven thousand dollars per hour) that he spends picking up dog poop.


Heck no these aren't a few bad apples. Were having the exact same problem at our place in Alabama. Trust me theres not many people that love dogs more than me. However as soom as the game warden told me I could I started shooting everyone I saw. I even carry buckshot in my turkey vest. I have also seen these dogs feasting on the remains of a fawn. On my way to a treestand I had a walker come out of nowhere and started snapping at me. He found out what a 44mag. feelslike.


why not make a specal pemit for meat hunters, and requir an education and ethics class much like firearms safety?




It seems to me that dog hunting is not the issue. It is should dogs be allowed to trespass on private property to hunt. I don't think there is a rational answer other than no. These hunters ought to be liable for their animals. (i.e. they get a ticket for trespassing if there dogs go on private property) Out of curosity if anyone knows could a private property owner just shoot a dog there if it is on his land?

Grant B

Deer hunting with dogs is an honorable american tradition. Yes, some deer hounds make their way onto private property, but Dogs CANT READ! These dogs aren't hurting anything. The problem is that people like to complain and lay blame on things that they don't understand. The issue is private property rights, but no one has mentioned the legions of hunters without dogs that trespass every year. That is a much larger problem.

Also, I guarantee that dog hunters spend more time and money training, raising, and working with their hounds than non-dog hunters. The reason that hunting with hounds is on the decline has a lot to do with the fact that it is a year round commitment and with today's fast paced lifestyle very few take the time to carry on this tradition.

In conclusion, studies have shown that dog hunting doesn't negatively impact deer populations, and the fact is that it isn't any different than rabbit hunting or bird hunting with dogs. Deer hunting with dogs does take place with larger game, dogs, and a larger geographical area. However, it can't be called unethical unless all dog hunting is given the same label. Stop complaining about something you have never done and don't understand.

Grant B.

Mike Diehl

Where I grew up and hunted it was generally understood that if you owned a large property and it wasn't posted, hunters had implicit access for hunting. Everyone got along fine with that. And that was in New England where people can for other reasons get as uppity as anyone about property rights. It was also understood that when hunting you weren't loud and obnoxious (which dog hunters are, by virtue of their dogs) and you stayed well away from any structures (both as a matter of law, and as a matter of courtesy).

It was in effect alot like the "open range" laws of the American West.

Hunters w/o dogs who are on unposted private land are doing nothing wrong IMO. Hunters with dogs are rude, again IMO. But I would not outlaw it.

The thing is, if you're running dogs on someone else's property, that person is more likely to post their land, where they probably wouldn't have given a toot about a local hunter w/o dogs pursuing game in the back forty.


First. Using dogs to hunt is wrong if you consider yourself to be a trophy hunter. Hang the antlers on the dog house. Understand? I don't care if the deer is running when you take your irresponsible shot. Second, if your a meat hunter we all know how good deer meat is after the animal ran a ways before it died. Don't we? And in response to the person who is arguing in favor of the great tradition, if you use a dog to get a duck out of the water, thats one thing, but to use a dog to do all the dirty work for you to get a deer; sorry buddy - not a chance of comparison. Get off your tail, scout yourself, push yourself and quit giving all your meat away to charity to justify killing to quench your sick thirst. Eat what you kill. If you want to contribute to charity, buy some canned goods.


I forgot something. I am obviously against using dogs to hunt deer. But I also have a problem with people shooting dogs. The dogs are breaking the law because their ''neck'' owners have no respect for their neighbors. A ''neck'' that says ''I don't fence my dogs'' is really saying I don't care if my dog bites you, defecates in your yard, attacks your pets or ruins your hunt. Nice freaking attitude.
Just plain lazy. Nothing more, nothing less. And quit that crap about training the dogs too Grant.
Train yourself.


I forgot another sore spot. My family owns land in Jacksonville NC and I will only hunt it in bow and muzzleloader season because once rifle season starts every bit of land sports guys with beers and guns sitting on their freaking tailgates listening for their dogs. I thought there was a law about not firing a gun within 60 yards of a public right of way.
Also many times I see them within a few feet of the highway coming into Magnolia and also within a few feet of people' homes. I can't remember the last time I saw a guy in a tree stand within a few yards of someone's house. Score another one for the non-dog hunters. ALSO. ISN'T IT LOP-SIDED ENOUGH IN OUR FAVOR WITH THE GUN AND OUR BRAINS. Leave your dog out of the hunting. Let him retrieve a lost deer or ducks, thats admirable training too Grant.


One more thing. I know this is about dogs and deer, but am I the only one who is absolutely disgusted and ashamed of my race when I see a show with a bunch of guys and dogs standing around a tree and a totally defenseless cougar? I bet when these guys go tell people about ''the big cougar hunt'' ''oohh scary'' they leave the part out where they shoot the thing out of a tree using their buddy's shoulder for a rest while he pops a beer. Good job! One less beautiful apex predator for our children to behold, and our ecosystems to benefit from. Hunt for meat, not ego, Chet or Biff or Hank. And I know, but you guys ready to make up some story about a tough cougar hunt...save it, your no better than the guy who uses a dog for a totally defenseless deer. Grow some stones and hunt yourself. And the next time you lose a dog hunting for whatever reason, do me and the rest of the world a favor and slap yourself in the face.


So then, lets sum it all up. You can either hunt deep in the woods out of sight out of mind in a stand or blind - or - you can run dogs all over the place scaring everything in the county, pissing off your neighbors and ruining the meat you plan to donate to your favorite charity. Seems easy enough to me.
You can abide by laws and stay away from roads and houses - or -you can fire from roads and near peoples homes while getting a felony firearm posession charge for the budweiser tucked under the gun case in the back of your pick-up.
Again, pretty easy.
You can have a beautiful rack on your wall that you really earned - or you can hang it on Fido's house out back to save some face in front of anyone who ever truly hunted.
''You use dogs? Hell, he earned the rack didn't he?''
Sound familiar?
You can teach your children a lesson in patience while watching the woods and its inhabitants as they exist when you aren't there, if your good - or you can teach them that everything must be obtained as fast as possible and damx the consequences.
You decide.


this is still for the time being a free country and if you want to hunt with dogs legally which i do you should be able to.WHY does everybody who doesnt like something someone else does always act so superior because they have a different point of view

Grant B.

Obviously, Tom is spreading stereotypes that can be made of the whole hunting community. These accusations of drinking, trespassing, and shooting near houses are commonly made by the anti-hunting community, and all hunters know these are by far the minority in our ranks. All hunters are often given this image. The insinuation that dog hunters (as a group) are rude, outlaws is simply false. Tom, hunters need to stick together. I don't hear you complaining about baiting deer and shooting them over corn like cows coming to the feed trough. You sound like an anti-hunter instead of someone concerned with ethics.

Also, it is understandable that many hunters aren't familiar with the work that goes into dog hunting because most hunters have no experience in this arena. I bow hunt and muzzleloader hunt from stands as well as dog hunt in the modern gun season. 99% of dogs aren't born knowing how to follow a scent trail, and it takes much more time to train these animals than it does to find a deer trail and hang a stand. Also, dogs don't tree deer, and deer don't run from dogs into the arms of hunters. It takes much scouting and pre-hunt planning to place standers in a location where they might get a shot.

It should also be made clear that when deer are being pushed by deer they will run and make frequent stops to gauge where the dogs are. These are the shot opportunities. Deer are much faster than the average dog, and most of the time the dogs are a good distance behind. Deer hunting with dogs is the same concept as making deer drives with people pushing the animals. Nobody is complaining about that. The dogs are used because the large tracts of thickets and pines hunted throughout much of the south are too thick and expansive for human drives.

Some of you should keep an open mind before forming an opinion when you are not familiar with a certain form of hunting

Grant B.

Furthermore, I eat the deer I kill. I don't know how you got the idea that I am a sick individual who gives all the meat away. At the same time, I do not think it is dishonorable to donate meat to charity to help people who are having hard times. Tom, you are not only opposed to dog hunting, you are also opposed to hunters donating venison to the needy. You must be an anti-hunter.


Grant B. (a real hunter)

Mike Diehl

"Obviously, Tom is spreading stereotypes that can be made of the whole hunting community."

We all got that.

"The insinuation that dog hunters (as a group) are rude, outlaws is simply false."

It's a matter of expectations and noise. There's no denying that a bunch of baying hounds are intrusive. A landowner subjected to that would likely think it rude, where they would have no concerns about some fellow just hunting off on some corner of their property. I know I would view it that way. I just wouldn't *ever* want someone hunting with a bunch of dogs on my land.

"99% of dogs aren't born knowing how to follow a scent trail, and it takes much more time to train these animals than it does to find a deer trail and hang a stand."

Sure it's work. So's earning up enough to buy a quad. But it's not hunting if you're just cruising from a quad looking for a deer to shoot, nor is it hunting if you're running deer with dogs. IMO.

That said, I won't tell you not to do it in general, nor would I outlaw it, but wouldn't want anyone doing it on my land. And on public land I'd view dog hunters as a nuisance. Even more so if they spooked a deer I was stalking.

"Deer hunting with dogs is the same concept as making deer drives with people pushing the animals."

Eh? Using a bunch of people driving deer with beaters & noise makers is illegal in every state in which I've hunted. There's a huge difference between having a few people in key positions in a wood than having dogs, which are *much* faster than people, directly follow a scent trail, all the while baying & frightening the deer, & pursuing it to exhaustion.

That's why "dogged pursuit" is a literary cliche. The capability for dogs to run down their prey through exhaustion is pretty well established.

"The dogs are used because the large tracts of thickets and pines hunted throughout much of the south are too thick and expansive for human drives."

Whatever happened to doing it yourself without dogs or a bunch of drivers? Good heavens! You might return empty handed occasionally!


I'm anxious to see Tom go coon hunting without a hound. He probably doesn't even need a flashlight.

Gary from Gary In.

I just love it when dogs are hunting deer!! They are such a wonderful target to shoot at when your not seeing deer! I really like the way they yelp and yelp until they die when you gut shoot them. Heck ya put more dogs out hunting deer for me!!!

Grant B

Gary, you're pathetic.

Everyone who reads this blog will easily see that the unethical people who give hunting a bad name are not the dog men. You people pass judgement on people who hunt differently as rude and unsportsmanlike, but you find it appealing to kill dogs (someone's private property) for fun.

Basically, FU

Grant B.


Right on Grant.

Thanks for telling it like it is. These anti-dog idiots are an embarassment to hunters everywhere.


the two guys above me are right dog hunting is a tradition where i live in South Carolina and yes every now and then a few dogs get on private land but we talk to the owners and we settle it all in a sensible way instead of fighting about it the biggest majority of hunters and non hunters against dog hunting live in the north where hunting is completely different personally im tired of hearing them complain about something theyve never seen or been around hunting with dogs isnt easy its extremely difficult the dogs chase the deer and you try to shoot the deer while its running at 30 miles an hour its not easy and its a very productive way of hunting we have very few complaints of dogs being on other peoples private property if you ask me dont be against something thats not around you i respect your opinion but if it doesnt affect you dont bother trying to stop it


dogs on my property?
while I havent had any deer hunting dogs ramble by, I have had a few feral dogs and 1 or 2 dogs that belonged to irresponsible neighbors...nasty beasts, too.
Two words for anyone with dog trouble....Conibear 330.

Dr. Ralph

Hunting deer with dogs generally creates problems. It is loud, the dogs do not stay on their property, you are almost always shooting at a running deer, and the dogs don't like to come home when you decide the hunt is over. Fortunately it is not legal here.

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