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January 07, 2008

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Discussion Topic: Running Dogs For Deer

From Virginia’s Times-Dispatch:
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries says it is increasingly hearing complaints, often from people new to rural life, about noisy hounds straying onto their land, often followed by [deer] hunters retrieving their dogs. . . .

So the department, assisted by Virginia Tech researchers, is conducting a study to determine how serious the problem is and possibly to suggest solutions . . . .

The study has some hound lovers howling.

Kirby Burch of Powhatan County, who led Virginia's parks agency under Republican Gov. George Allen, believes Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, a Democrat, is pressuring the game department to restrict or ban hunting with dogs.

"Our worst-case scenario is . . . they are going to end hound hunting within five years in Virginia," said Burch, who represents a group called the Virginia Hunting Dog Alliance.

Check out the full story and tell us your reaction.



Pretty sorry dude that would shoot a dog that aint vicious and dangerous.

Tommy S.

I know - I have nver understood the thinking behind shooting a dog because it "ruined your hunt".
Pretty damx shallow in my book.

Tommy S.


People out my way will shoot any dog or cat, people's pets! Because they say it "ruins their hunts".
Now a pack of dogs running all over raising cane that will not leave for an hour - maybe, but one pet that the deer smell all the time anyways! Heck No! They are used to pet dogs. Most folks pet dogs get tired of chasing deer and squirrels anyway - after they learn they will never catch one!


As far as hunting deer with dogs, if you don't know the lay of the land, it's a waste of time because you don't have any idea which way the deer will go!
All those I've ever know that run deer with dogs would set up stands, knowing where the deer will likely go. Problem is, most of the shooting is at moving, if not running deer. Difficult, if not impossible shooting! Ergo: buckshot! re: little, if any blood trail!
The hog hunters in my area, run their dogs until the hog goes to ground, then approach the dogs with care. They might get one or two hogs, but that's no more than you can get as a target of opportunity during normal hunting seasons. Running them (hogs) with dogs only causes the pigs to go nocturnal and harder to "harvest"!
I have seen dogs baying at deer while other deer watched from a distance. Once they felt the coast was clear, they hightailed it in the opposite direction. Then, the entire local deer population is on "RED" alert, making them much more difficult to hunt from a stand, almost impossible to still hunt. (stalk)
I'm with Tommy & Greg, I don't like shooting the dogs! IT AIN'T THE DOG'S FAULT!!!!!
Some of you guys are right. If we can't come to some sort of agreement, we're opening ourselves up to "divide and conquer" mentality.
Maybe the answer is not running deer with dogs unless on at least a 1,000 acre plot!
I've often wished for a trail dog for wounded deer, working them off a leash!
Just wish the folks that want to run dogs would wise up and realize that it ain't like it "used" to be, they can't just go anywhere!
You know, there was a time when fences didn't mean a whole lot, just be safe and you could hunt most anywhere. With today's litigation happy society, that's all over.


Tommy S.

Right-on Bubba,

Unless of course, you talk to your neighbors. A little conversation, understanding and cooperation could sure ease alot of those complaining phone calls.
And probably open up hunting to alot of dog hunters and stand hunters alike.
I hunt my neighbors property. They don't even hunt!!!!!!
But now they have a good bit of meat from two deer I took there this season!!!!!
Just speaking from experience.
I can'twait to go back there next season. There are several persimmons trees on the property - and early summer bow-hunters know what that means - yes they do!!!!!!!!!!!


Tommy S.

Just so ya know. I always offer half the deer meat when I ask for permission to hunt someone's piece of property.

And don't you know it - if they are not hunters, they almost always JUMP at the chance to have some venison the easy way - and then everybodys happy!


I think a major point of this issus has been overlooked.

"neighbors complaining about the noise"... If they can ban running hounds due to the disruption of the peace and quiet of the country how long until they ban shotguns and rifles which can be heard and are far less natural!

I have seen housing developments go up right next door to a long standing drag strip and skeet range. The skeet range went first the dragstrip held on for a few more years!

Sportsmen can howl all they want about other different hunters making "us" look bad and how we need to mend our ways but I beleive we are simply feeding and strengthening the wolf when we throw someone else to him!

your freind afield


I don't think some of you are making the connection here. You want the houndsmen to amend their ways. What makes you any better than them that they should change to suit your tastes? Paraphrasing badly here but first they came for the houndsmen and I said nothing because I don't own hounds. Then they came for the archers and I said nothing because I didn't have a bow. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak up for me. Wise up guys, you're playing right into the hands of The Humane Society, PETA, etc.

Tommy S.

Bravo - the fear tactic thing.

I think if you will read carefully over the above posts, you will see no one calling for an all out ban on hound hunting for deer. In fact, the above posters seemed to agree that banning any form of hunting is as you say..."...playing right into the hands of The Humane Society, PETA, etc."


They are making their own beds.

I stress - I am not calling for a ban, nor is Bubba, Greg or anyone else that is tired of feeling like they cannot even sit on their own property, they PAY FOR and take care of, and not be overrun by YOUR DOGS.
Keep your dogs under control, or don't run them at all.
Everyone has hunting restrictions!!!!!!!
I live on 5 acres, and I bow hunt it. I will not rifle hunt it because it isn't safe.

And if you think they will, or that it could even maybe cause a problem...what is the neighborly/christian thing to do??????????!!!!!?!?!?!?!!?!?

What say you to that?


Do you really believe that this will all stop with "reasonable restrictions"? Does this sound like gun control to anyone else? Today it's deer hounds, tomorrow it's beagles, bird dogs, etc. "Just give us the deer/coon/bear hounds and we'll go away and leave everyone else alone". Sure, for a short while, then it's back for another, bigger bite, probably affecting all of those that were so willing to give up their dog-running brethren. Sounds exactly to me like the gun-control fertilizer that has been piled upon us beginning with the gun control act of '68. I wouldn't dream of carrying a cross bow or and inline muzzle loader into the woods but so long as you're doing so legally I will support your right to do so and ask nothing more or less from you.

Tommy S.


I said nothing about any restrictions at all!

You are mssing the point!!!

And if I carry a crossbow or a muzzleloader into the woods - please tell me how it will affect the outcome of your hunting on an adjacent peice of property?????


That is the point.
The only thing I have suggested is for dog hunters to police themselves. The ones I have run into do not, they don't give a rats axx about how they DIRECTLY AFFECT my hunting on MY property.
And from the way it sounds - others have the exact same experience.
That is why this is being discussed again, and why it is looking bad for dog hunters again.

Perhaps if I could hunt the family land I have in Jacksonville, NC...AT ALL WITHOUT BEER DRINKING JACKASSES TRESPASSING, WITH THEIR GUNS, TO GET THEIR DOGS OFF MY FAMILY'S PROPERTY...I might feel different.

Imagine driving 3 hours to hunt one day, and spending the entire time dealing with dog chasing trespassers.

I tried 2 years in a row, and it was a gigantic waste of time and money.
Good luck.

John R

I've been on both sides of the issue. I still hunt (not meaning I continue to hunt) from a tree stand and prefer the quiet. I do occasionally like to hear the hounds when they catch scent. I have dog hunted with my buddy's dad who uses seveal beagles and it was fun. I have also seen the other side of dog hunting where altercations between the less respectful (or renegade) dog hunters and landowners almost resulted in a brawl.
I also believe everyone has a right to live wherever they wish with one caveat. If one moves to a new location then I assume that one moved there because they like the area in toto. I have no patience for those who move near me and then start attending board meetings complaining about the things they don't like...DUH then why did you move here? Not everyone, but some will complain about deer hunting with dogs until it's prohibited, then complain that people hunt too close to their house and that they heard bullets hit the house (yes, I have heard this said) and something needs to be done about hunting in a particular area or we need to ban rifles and on and on. As it was stated above, suburbia is spreading out and with it come all those who grew up watching Bambi.
Greg mentioned buckshot. I don't want to stir the pot, but when I hunt back in the swamp or the edge of it I use # 4 buck in my 10 guage BPS Stalker. I am hunting from a climbing tree stand and if I get a shot its no farther than 25 or 30 yards. I have never had a deer run that I have shot with buckshot. Just curious since I have never had a problem using buckshot.


Bird dogs normally cast close to the hunter/handler.
Squirrel dogs also cast near the hunter/handler.
Rabbit dogs are normally slower and don't run extreme distances.
(Rac)Coon hounds, the game trees normally (?) and the dogs don't normally run great (?) distances.
Bear dogs run their game to ground/tree.
The dogs used to run deer, coyotes, and hogs, don't know when to stop, going on and on...



Tommy, if I turn my dogs loose a mile away from your property line, how do you propose for me to control them when they get to your boundary? Limiting how, when, where, etc, the houndsman can hunt is indeed restrictions. I really don't mean to be rude or unkind in our exchange but several points remain in both of our points of view and all are valid. There are some real idiots out there, both on your side of the fence and mine, who don't respect anybody or anything else. We see it every year around home, "deer hunters" (and I use the term loosely) that are too frigging lazy to get out of the vehicle and hunt, instead choosing to road hunt and patrol our fields, despite the posted signs, or run all over you and have the balls to tell you that you don't know where your own lines are (happened to my son and me on our land the first day of spring gobbler). How would you like it if you owned hounds, spent years training them, lots of $ in food, equipment, vet costs, etc. and are hunting the national forest, legal as can be, when some "deer hunter" (same class of a--hole as mentioned above) who apparently lays claim to this national forest, and objects to your dogs being in "his" space and opens fire on them. Now who's the bad guy? Does that mean that they and you are the same creature? Obviously not. So please don't paint all dog hunters with the same broad brush. Just for the record, I have never hunted deer with hounds but would like very much to try it. I am a bear and coon hunter and have reached the point in my life where another bear rug holds little interest for me, I would much rather take pictures and see and hear my plott hounds do well. I still go armed, but with no plan of using said weapon. My point remains that we as hunters need to stick together, quit this infighting and police our ranks instead of trying to legislate the other guy out of business, and face the real enemy, those that are watching this debate with unbridled glee, plotting the next assault on our hunting heritage and our 2nd amendment rights. Maybe you should walk a mile in my Rockies before you judge all of us alike. Best regards and good hunting.


Do Southern deer seasons and bear seasons overlap? In Michigan, we have a bear season for baiters, then a bear season for hounds. I believe that this is all through before deer hunters start archery season. You sure can tell the bear hound season. Trucks with all kinds of aerials all over the place. Dogs running here and there but because of the time, I never here much complaining. Up here there are very large federal and state forests. Also, most of the private land is owned by either timber companies or deer rifle hunters. Grouse season has started but there's too many leaves.

Tommy S.

I have never had anyone come across my property in Wake, Chatham, Boone or Jacksonville counties hunting/trespassing; except for dog hunters.

Not a single person ever, unless they were after their dogs.

And I do not go to any town meetings telling anybody that I want anything changed.
But, that would not matter.
That logic is totally incorrect.
So you are saying a person that moves to any property, country or city, must totally conform, and not have any say in any matter that could DIRECTLY AFFECT THEM.
That is so stupid I do not know where to begin!
So I guess we are all doing the same things the native americans did then?


When (semi)intelligent conversations erode into name-calling, it is obvious that there is nothing left to say. I wish you luck when your preferred way of enjoying His creation comes under attack, as it surely will one day with thought processes like these, and you have no one to stand with you since they've already been sacraficed on the alter of "I don't do it so it can go". Until another topic, adios.

Tommy S.

I didn't say it could go.
I didn't say to ban anything.

And I certainly wouldn't want anyone tellng me I have NO say in activities, THAT DIRECTLY AFFECT ME, where I live and pay taxes, because I haven't lived there as long as someone else.

That is just plain ridiculous.

Sorry for the moron comment - but please - seriously think of what that means in other applications.

I guess if folks are shooting each others dogs - I have to deal with it.
F - THAT - Somebody shoots my non-hunting dog and they will deal with me - like it or not - no matter how long I have lived there.

I guess if folks liked dumping their f-ing garbage in my woods, like they did when my house was vacant, before I moved in, I have to let them continue - so their lazy axxes don't have to go to the dump.
F-THAT. I took care of that quite creatively as well. NO MORE DUMPING WITNESSED AFTER A FEW ALTERCATIONS.

And I guess if folks like to ride their atvs through others property, JUST BECAUSE THE PREVIOUS OWNER WAS TOO OLD TO PREVENT IT, I have to allow that too huh? Cuz I just moved in huh?
F-THAT - My neighbor had that problem and eventually, after tracking the constant trespassers down, that would never stop when they came outside, they agreed that if the people that were coming through would simply wear helmets it would be ok. And that they would prefer the riders not come through at dusk or dawn, or at night. That was just a neighborly thing for someone to respect anyway, and they just couldn't.
Very similar to the dog hunting problem.


Tommy S.

And my boxer and rat terrier are house dogs. We have a fenced in yard they get to play in for excercise. If one was to get out and get shot, because someone thought they had ruined their hunt - as I have stated before - I might lose my freedom over that one.
You don't shoot people's dogs folks, unless they attack you.

John R

Tommy S.
No offense taken if some of your last post was in response to me. My comments weren't directed at anyone in particular and especially not at anyone here. I still stand by my opinion in my earlier statement and will attempt to define it better.
I certainly agree with the democratic process and encourage everyone to be involved in their communities.
I agree that every tax paying member of a town or county should have a say so in any matter that directly affects them.
My earlier opinion is based upon situations that are occurring more frequently and are not just endemic to my locale. As many here are aware urban sprawl is spreading and people are moving from urban areas to the "country" in larger numbers. Some, not all of them also bring with them the anti-hunting and anti-gun baggage they grew up with in the urban area. First, I have to ask myself why do these people move to an area fully knowing that the area they are moving to has a rich tradition of hunting and the shooting sports. Maybe they just want to try country living or just enjoy a less crowded environment (can't blame them for that) and that is fine with me, but why would someone move to an area that supports hunting and the shooting sports knowing full well beforehand that it will cause them a conflict of conscience at some point in time. That is the part I have trouble wrapping my mind around.
Personally I welcome constructive change. I do however resist change when it conflicts with my second amendment rights or hunting privleges. I am not so naive as to realize that there may come a time when a formerly rural area grows and develops to the point where hunting becomes a safety issue. In that scenario, I may have to make a decision that it may be time to move on to a new place where I can enjoy my hobbies. I am currently dealing with this issue in one county where I hunt which has in the last two decades changed from large farms to subdivisions.
A far as dog hunting is concerned, I spent the first 17 years of my life in a northern state where it is illegal to run deer with dogs. I moved to my present location many years ago when dog hunting was still popular and I accepted it as a local tradition. I prefer to stand hunt and admit that sometimes it may be irritating to sit in a stand for 3 hours and here come a bunch of hounds running through and driving the deer away for the day. On the other hand I have shot deer that were escaping dogs from somewhere else so I suppose one could say that it all balances out. Dog hunting has been on the decline here because there are very few large enough tracts of land to practice it. I hate to see a traditional hunting method lost, but sometimes it is inevitable.
I hope this better defines my earlier statement.

Tommy S.

I think you make some good points, but,
Most folks don't go in to buying a house thinking they need to see if there is a "rich tradition of hunting and the shooting sports".
Nor should they have to.

Furthermore, I too have had dogs run deer to me, in Roxboro, NC. I shot them both, 2 does, heard and saw the dogs come up a few moments later, and have regretted it ever since.


I keep hearing about dogs being the reason deer go nocturnal bow hunt and by black powder season I have seen a big change in deer habits. I have owned dogs and still hunt with dogs. I also enjoy bow / black powder /small game /ducks and bird hunting. I my time afield I have seen people hunt to close to my blinds, stand hunt across property lines, and yes some turn dogs out where they should not. I also know that if 10 percent of the people get a speeding ticket we don’t call for the closing of all roads. The problem is more than dogs it is a way of thinking. I own water front property that I can no longer hunt for ducks because some people moved in and feed ducks on the creek so I ask why do there rights to feed the ducks take away my right to hunt my land? The answer is simple to all problems when you buy property in the middle land that is and always has been legally hunted with dogs or without you should not expect the people to change there ways for yours maybe you should look for a place that is more in your style instead of wanting everybody there to change. The dogs will sometimes cross your land but they should not be turned out on your land without your okay but just like you don’t want anyone to tell you what or how to hunt your land don’t try to tell others how to hunt there land.

Finnon Flowers

Tommy S.,

Hello. I have read every one of these pointed comments. First off, I am a dog/hound hunter. Now for the important stuff. First off. I do not approve of turning loose on anyone else's property. You are exactly right. You pay for that property and take care of it. You deserve the respect of your boundaries. I will though re-visit the concept of a dog's inability to read, and your stereotypical description of dog/hound hunters. A dog does not know where he is going and the MAJORITY of dog/hound hunters try their damndest to keep running dogs off of other peoples' property. Sometimes the result is inevitable. Now on the issue of causing the deer to go nocturnal. I am fairly certain that I have a few deer on my wall that any hunter would be proud to have bagged, and this coming from a parish(Louisiana) that is not well known for big bucks being harvested out of. Of course I haven't killed any of them in front of dogs, but I have continued to see bucks after dog season has began and even killed one of them during dog season out of a climbing stand on a tract of property that the dogs had run through the evening before. I was sitting there with my handheld radio waiting for the first race of the morning when he showed up. Next, to the infringenment of my "land-owners/holders rights". We have the rights through lease or ownership of approximately 2,000 acres. Not a lot of land when it comes to a hunting club, but we respect our boundaries and the land owners/holders around us. I can't count the times in my short hunting time (I am 25 years old and have been hunting since I was about 8.) that someone on the borders of my hunting club has either put a stand up either right on the inside of my property line or cut a shooting lane into it. Of course if it was actually on our property I have (very cordially mind you) asked them to move their stands, but what about the ones(strictly stil hunters) who were hunting my property lines, and most likely shooting deer across that line that my family has owned for the last century? Am I to go to the edge of that property and shoot all evening? Maybe I could could just go whoop hell out of 'em.(I am about 6'0' 240 pounds) Obviously this is the wrong answer for a plethora of reasons. I also live on a lake approxiamtely 100 miles from the property that I OWN and hunt on. I love to fish. What about the times that I am fishing in a no-wake zone and some jet-ski rider comes flying through? Should I call lake patrol or start a confrontation? I think that is a resounding no. Yeah the guy is being a jerk, but is it really all that important? Is this a matter of life and death? The answer is no. Not to mention that the guy,although he has oversteped his boundaries a bit" has rights to that lake just as well as I do". I love deer hunting more than anyone I know. I spend hundreds of hours each year to give myself the best chance of taking the best animal that is available to me, but in the end it is a priviledge that I am proud to still be afforded. No-one can fight the argument anymore that it is solely for the meat. There are governement programs that will give you the meat for just as cheap. This is a hobby and something that is supposed to be fun. Like golf, or poker, or sewing, but it is so much more than that because it is a way of life for so many different people. Don't let your preferences infringe on other peoples' traditions or passions simply because you can not find another excuse for not being able to kill the monster buck that you have been hunting for the last half-decade. It happens to the best of us. That is why this sport is so popular. Support all types of hunting and attempt to get along with your neighbor regardless of how un-intelligent you percieve them to be. Un-educated does not always translate into a lack of intelligence and maybe if you would give these folks a chance you would walk away with a different point of view.

Good luck on the ongoing deer season.



its a bunch of bullshit. i don t hunt with a dog but i think only a jackass would ban it

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