Conservation Department Addresses Questions About Dog Hunting

A recent decision by the Conservation Advisory Board to adopt a measure regulating the use of dogs for hunting should help to address persistent problems expressed by landowners with hunting dogs on their properties without permission. Most hunters will still be allowed to use dogs to hunt as before.

The proposed regulation makes two important stipulations relating to hunting with dogs:

·        Each dog must have a collar or tag that legibly displays the name and address of the owner.

·        Dog hunters would be legally responsible for the presence of their dogs pursuing wildlife on the lands of another and must have written permission from the landowner or lessee.

According to Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Enforcement Chief Allan Andress, “The regulation does not prohibit training or running dogs in field trials during the closed gun season as already allowed by law or regulation. In addition, the written permission requirement does not apply to fox, raccoon or opossum hunters hunting at night with dogs only.”

The penalty for violating the dog hunting regulation would carry a maximum fine of $500. However, a more usual and customary fine would be closer to $50 plus court costs, except in the most aggravated circumstances or in the case of repeat offenders.

This resolution was adopted by the Conservation Advisory Board at the May 17, 2003, public meeting at Lakepoint Resort State Park.

Questions about using dogs for hunting can be addressed to the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Enforcement Section, 64 North Union St., Montgomery, AL 36130; 334-242-3467.