John E. from Georgia writes to ask about dog hunting for deer. “I know that dog hunting for deer is an old tradition, but dogs keep spoiling my treestand bowhunts. Over the past few years there seems to be more and more problems. What’s going on?”
Dr. Dave Samuel
John, my guess is that the amount of dog hunting for deer isn’t increasing. In fact, we know that in Georgia there are fewer counties that allow dog hunting today then there were 30 years ago. Complaints are up about dog hunting, not only in Georgia, but everywhere dogs are used to hunt deer. That’s because more and more property is posted today, and probably because there are more bowhunters than there used to be, and they want some peace and quiet while they hunt.
Regardless of the reason, complaints are up and state game agencies are being forced to deal with the problem. As citizens complain, political pressure will lead to the request for regulations to eliminate dog hunting for deer county-by-county. In some counties in Georgia, studies show that as many as 80 percent of landowners are opposed to dog hunting for deer. In addition, 51 percent of hunters oppose it.
Watch for more and more regulations to follow where dogs must stay on properties that are permitted for dog hunting. If the rules are followed, things will be fine, but if not, there will be more restrictions.
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Dr. Dave writes a weekly column for sportsmansguide.com. If you have a question for Dr. Dave, e-mail your question to Dr. Dave in care of Tom Kacheroski, senior editor of www.sportsmansguide.com‘s content at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Dave studied deer for 30 years as a wildlife management professor at West Virginia University. In addition he has been a bowhunter for over 40 years, with deer being his main prey. He’s also an outdoor writer and has been with “Bowhunter” magazine for 31 years.