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Thread: Tracking a wounded deer with a dog

  1. #1
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    Default Tracking a wounded deer with a dog

    So I spent last weekend down at Prado working the shorthair. While standing around shooting the sh!t, I told the guys that I had saved both of my whole bodied deer capes from last season. I let them know that whenever they were ready, I would pull them out of the freezer and bring them out to do some training on blood tracking. Well, that discussion opened up a can of worms. Some of the guys were under the impression that using a dog to track a wounded deer in California was against the law. Personally, I had never heard of it. Over the last 15 years we have brought out dogs on quite a few occasions to look for a wounded or dead deer. One time was during rifle the season, and the other two were during bow season. So instead of arguing, I decided to due some research for myself. So here's what I found....

    265. Use of Dogs for Pursuit/Take of Mammals or for Dog Training.
    (a) Prohibitions on the Use of dogs. The use of dogs for the pursuit/take of mammals or for dog training is prohibited as follows:
    (1) The use of dogs is prohibited during the archery seasons for deer or bear.

    (D) Southern California Dog Control Zone: Those portions of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties within the Los Padres and Angeles National Forests; and those portions of San Bernardino County within the San Bernardino and Angeles National Forests.
    (b) Authorized Use of Dogs. The use of dogs for the pursuit/take of mammals or for dog training is authorized as follows:
    (1) Dog Control Zones. The use of dogs for the pursuit/take of mammals or for dog training is permitted in the dog control zones described in subsections 265(a)(4)(A), (B), (C) and (D) from the opening day of the general deer season through the first Friday in April.

    So here's how I interpret it....I can use a dog to look for a wounded deer during the general rifle season, but not during archery season. Is this true? Is there a difference between the definition of Pursuit/Take and Retrieve? Does the law that states that you must make every reasonable effort to retrieve a lost or wounded animal supersede the use of a dog during archery season for blood tracking; even when the print states that it's illegal. If anyone knows the definition of the law, please speak up. Apparently, if this is true, I've been guilty a few times of trying to track down a blood trail with a dog during the AO and A31 season.
    Last edited by Farmerdoug; 05-25-2012 at 02:32 PM.
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    Be very careful, as it seems the laws are being changed about the use of dogs.
    I know that some folks use dogs for retrieval of big game but they are not OK to use the dogs for pursuit of big game.
    Stop Global Whining...

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    Good question for Carrie Wilson.
    Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

    The U.S. city with the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, Washington, D.C., has the highest murder rate at 24 per 100,000. The state with the most unrestrictive gun regulations, Vermont, has the lowest murder rate at 0.48 per 100,000.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmerdoug View Post
    So I spent last weekend down at Prado working the shorthair. While standing around shooting the sh!t, I told the guys that I had saved both of my whole bodied deer capes from last season. I let them know that whenever they were ready, I would pull them out of the freezer and bring them out to do some training on blood tracking. Well, that discussion opened up a can of worms. Some of the guys were under the impression that using a dog to track a wounded deer in California was against the law. Personally, I had never heard of it. Over the last 15 years we have brought out dogs on quite a few occasions to look for a wounded or dead deer. One time was during rifle the season, and the other two were during bow season. So instead of arguing, I decided to due some research for myself. So here's what I found....

    265. Use of Dogs for Pursuit/Take of Mammals or for Dog Training.
    (a) Prohibitions on the Use of dogs. The use of dogs for the pursuit/take of mammals or for dog training is prohibited as follows:
    (1) The use of dogs is prohibited during the archery seasons for deer or bear.

    (D) Southern California Dog Control Zone: Those portions of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties within the Los Padres and Angeles National Forests; and those portions of San Bernardino County within the San Bernardino and Angeles National Forests.
    (b) Authorized Use of Dogs. The use of dogs for the pursuit/take of mammals or for dog training is authorized as follows:
    (1) Dog Control Zones. The use of dogs for the pursuit/take of mammals or for dog training is permitted in the dog control zones described in subsections 265(a)(4)(A), (B), (C) and (D) from the opening day of the general deer season through the first Friday in April.

    So here's how I interpret it....I can use a dog to look for a wounded deer during the general rifle season, but not during archery season. Is this true? Is there a difference between the definition of Pursuit/Take and Retrieve? Does the law that states that you must make every reasonable effort to retrieve a lost or wounded animal supersede the use of a dog during archery season for blood tracking; even when the print states that it's illegal. If anyone knows the definition of the law, please speak up. Apparently, if this is true, I've been guilty a few times of trying to track down a blood trail with a dog during the AO and A31 season.
    Question #1 - Yes, it's legal during the general deer season but not the archery season. Only one dog per licensed hunter (current hunting license and valid deer tag for that particular zone for each hunter using a dog) may be used. If you're using an AO tag during the general season, one dog/licensed hunter is allowed. It's not the type of equipment that is being regulated here. It's the dates that are important.

    Q #2 - No. As far as section 86 of the F&G Code, "pursuit" and "retrieve" are the same thing.

    Q #3 - No. There are no exceptions to the archery "no dog" rule, including "reasonable effort to retrieve game". "Reasonable effort" means a legal effort to reasonably retrieve game.

    Don't be too hard on yourself. I've encounter several dozen AO hunters (during the archery season) violating this section as well as a good share of general season hunters (too many dogs, not enough licensed hunters). Usually, the first violation was on me but I did take down each hunter's name (noted on my Daily Activity Report or DAR) with the understanding that they had been warned. A second violation would have result in a citation. FYI - I never had to write a ticket for this violation.
    "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." George Orwell, English novelist

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    Thanks for the clarification. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever believe I was breaking the law. In fact, over the years (and even on this site) I've encouraged hunters to use a dog(s) for tracking a lost or wounded animal. I guess we learn something every day. Just out of curiosity, why would a dog be legal during rifle season but not archery season? To me, it seams that having a dog with you during archery season would be a major hindrance; Even more so than general rifle season. To me, it would make more sense for dogs to be legal for archery, and not for rifle. Either way, I'm not all that pleased that there is not a stipulation for the use of a dog for retrieval. I've been, and helped others, who have encountered a situation where you might have a heavy blood trail for about a hundred yards, and then, all of a sudden you might get a spot here and there for the the next hundred. Not a good feeling. What's the chances of law "265" having a small grammar addition that would read in fine print " Except for the purpose of retrieval of a lost or wounded animal"? Personally, that seems like a reasonable and ethical alternative. I know, I know....Never in a million years. But it doesn't hurt to ask.............
    http://rockyhillriders.yolasite.com/
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    "No," replied Johnny. "How could he, with just two worms."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmerdoug View Post
    Thanks for the clarification. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever believe I was breaking the law. In fact, over the years (and even on this site) I've encouraged hunters to use a dog(s) for tracking a lost or wounded animal. I guess we learn something every day. Just out of curiosity, why would a dog be legal during rifle season but not archery season? To me, it seams that having a dog with you during archery season would be a major hindrance; Even more so than general rifle season. To me, it would make more sense for dogs to be legal for archery, and not for rifle. Either way, I'm not all that pleased that there is not a stipulation for the use of a dog for retrieval. I've been, and helped others, who have encountered a situation where you might have a heavy blood trail for about a hundred yards, and then, all of a sudden you might get a spot here and there for the the next hundred. Not a good feeling. What's the chances of law "265" having a small grammar addition that would read in fine print " Except for the purpose of retrieval of a lost or wounded animal"? Personally, that seems like a reasonable and ethical alternative. I know, I know....Never in a million years. But it doesn't hurt to ask.............
    The problem becomes one of enforcement. Did the hunters only use the dogs for "retrieval" or for "pursuit?" How do you tell after the fact?
    Well, there was a bump, a thump, a cloud of dust, and the smell of turnips wafting through the air...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob P. View Post
    The problem becomes one of enforcement. Did the hunters only use the dogs for "retrieval" or for "pursuit?" How do you tell after the fact?


    It's irrelevant as they are considered one in the same, as #1predator pointed out.

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    Isn't Carrie Wilson actually a marine biologist?

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