What States Allow Deer Hunting With Dogs

Both highs and lows come with deer hunting. The peaks are fantastic. The lows, though, aren’t. When you shoot a deer and can’t find it, that is one such low. hours of looking Grid-searched and scoured through acres of land. If you don’t (or can’t) deploy a dog, it could all be for nothing. They are priceless in such a circumstance. We truly can’t compare to a nose that has 300 million olfactory receptors, which is 100 times more than our own. Unfortunately, not all states let people use this resource. This subject was recently covered by the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) in the 2019 Whitetail Report.

According to QDMA, it might be terrible for a hunter to not be able to find an injured game animal.

Regardless of skill level, most hunters will experience this problem at least once during their hunting careers. These unfavorable circumstances may be influenced by rain, terrain, and a number of other variables. Whatever the reason, hunters and policymakers have a moral and ethical obligation to take all reasonable measures to ensure that every injured animal is rescued.

In order to find out whether tracking dogs are authorized to locate wounded game and, if they are, whether they must be on a leash, QDMA added, “we surveyed state and provincial wildlife authorities.

They are used in every state in the Southeast to nearly half of the states in the West. In total, tracking dogs are permitted in 35 of the 48 states (73%) and are required to be on a leash in 25 of those states (74%) at least occasionally. A few points to remember are that Maine requires a permit to employ a tracking dog, whereas South Carolina requires a leash in certain places but not others, and that all of Texas save for 10 counties allows tracking dogs.

Utah, Arizona, Nebraska, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, and Delaware are among the states that allow the use of tracking dogs.

California, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine are among the states that allow the use of a leashed tracking dog.

Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island are among the states that forbid the employment of tracking dogs.

It’s unfortunate that there are still certain states that forbid dogs from following the blood of injured wildlife. Anything that improves our morals ought to be allowed. Please get in touch with your legislators if you hunt in a state that does not permit this moral activity. Speak to your wildlife organization. Change something.

Can a dog accompany you on a deer hunt?

11 states still permit dog-assisted deer hunting today. The employment of dogs to hunt axis, blacktail, and mule deer is strictly regulated by state wildlife management officials in two of the states since those states, California and Hawaii, do not have any whitetail populations.

Can a dog shoot a deer it’s chasing?

It is prohibited to hunt or trail deer with a dog. It is prohibited to take, harm, or kill any protected animals. Any person who kills or hurts protected animals without authorization is accountable to the state for the animal’s value and could face criminal charges.

Can a dog be used to hunt deer in California?

Bill to Outlaw Dogs Used in Deer Hunting Introduced, 39 Other States Have Previously Banned the Cruel Practice; California to Join Them

As the final species of game mammal still permitted to be hunted with dogs in the state, SB 1041, the Hunting Deer with Dogs Prohibition Act, supported by the animal rights group SCIL, will make California the 40th state to outlaw the practice.

Can a person use dogs to hunt deer in Texas?

Observation: This item is older than eight years. Please remember that any date references should be viewed in light of the publication date.

According to a regulation modification granted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, hunters will be permitted to use up to two dogs solely to trail a wounded deer in 12 additional counties in East Texas for the 2013–14 deer season.

The rule modification does not make it acceptable to use dogs to hunt, chase, or take deer; this activity is still prohibited in Texas on a state-wide basis. In all but 10 Texas counties, hunters are permitted to employ a maximum of two dogs only for the purpose of pursuing a wounded deer. The following counties continue to forbid the practice of using dogs to trail injured deer: Angelina, Hardin, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, and Tyler.

Why are dogs not permitted for deer hunting?

Even if some of the reasons you’ll hear are anti-hunting, there are legitimate complaints from other hunters that everyone should be aware of.

Interfering with Other Hunters

The noisy and furious nature of this hunting technique is frequently mentioned as a source of worry among other hunters. Other hunters in hunting blinds and tree stands may have their hunting trip wrecked when dog hunters are in a certain region with their dogs forcing deer into standers. The local deer population has practically been wiped out, maybe for the duration of the entire season, as any deer that haven’t been shot or chased by the hounds will have felt the danger and fled the area.

Canines Might Cross Property Lines

Trespassing is a serious issue that is raised by dog deer hunting. Hunting responsibly requires an understanding of and respect for property lines, particularly when entering someone else’s property without permission. Hunting 101 states that you must first request permission to hunt on private property.

Unfortunately, dogs are unable to recognize or comprehend property lines and will follow deer wherever they may flee. The owner is liable in law if the dogs trespass and attack deer on someone else’s land. In many areas, any harm done to nearby wildlife or property is also the owner’s legal responsibility. The majority of states in the US have banned dog hunting because of trespassing and property damage issues.

Potential Risks to Safety

When dog deer hunting, it might be difficult to always stay safe because you’re travelling from one location to another in a car while keeping loaded weapons at the ready. Guns have frequently been mistakenly pointed at dog cages or other hunters during attention lapses and intense periods, posing a safety concern.

Possible meat harm

The risk for meat damage when using dogs for hunting is a disadvantage. Poorly trained dogs can swarm the dead deer and harm the carcass before you have a chance to field dress it since they typically locate the wounded deer before you do. Dogs frequently attack the softest sections of the animal first, which puts them at risk of puncturing the gut sack and contaminating the edible flesh with bodily fluids and pathogens. Training your dog to stick by your side while tracking is one approach to reduce this risk. If your dog goes after the entrails, you should also master the gutless quartering method of field dressing to get the most out of your downed deer.

It’s Hard to Hit a Moving Target

Hunters with experience know that the only way to kill an animal as humanely as possible is to use the best and most accurate shot they can. When an animal is injured, it causes needless suffering and places the hunter in charge of finding it and killing it; failing to do so is typically against the law.

It’s harder to hit a moving target than a still one. The possibilities of missing the vitals and hurting the animal are always higher during dog deer hunting since standers are expected to hit a fast-moving target when the deer are flushed out of concealment. Dog deer standers frequently need to use numerous bullets to kill the animal; one-shot kills are uncommon. If the terrain is appropriate, standers can increase their accuracy with experience and by spending money on a high-quality hunting blind like the GhostBlind Runner, a low-profile blind that hides you from detection and tempts the deer to come closer so you can take a precise shot. You may shoot from behind the blind rather than over thanks to the multiple ports, which gives you more time to do so.

Labrador Retriever

Most people agree that labs make the finest duck hunters. But did you know they’re also great at hunting deer? The Labrador Retriever is a hardy breed that thrives in practically any climate and is incredibly intelligent. When it comes to finding and bringing back the kill, these puppies are willing to go above and beyond. Be sure to have a Lab by your side if you intend to search around bodies of water or on chilly days.

American Foxhound

The American Foxhound is a superior deer hunting dog and was the first president of the United States’ pet dog. This breed is a fantastic choice for daytime deer drives because of their power, endurance, and keen sense of smell. The American Foxhound will pursue a deer until it is worn out, whether they are working alone or in a pack. American Foxhounds are classified as “running hounds” rather than “treeing hounds” because of their fondness of running.

This breed enjoys spending time with the family at home and gets along well with kids and other pets.

Treeing Walker Hound

The Treeing Walker Hound has a high prey drive and the ability to pursue down practically anything, making it an excellent hunting partner for deer, bear, coyotes, and raccoon. This hunting breed was developed in the US, and it enjoys running and chasing. The unusual call of this hound will let you know exactly where the deer is. Both short-duration hunts and all-day hunting events are excellent uses for Treeing Walker Hounds.

Bluetick Coonhound

Any deer that it encounters will be the target of this scent hound’s attention. Even mountain lions and cougars have been known to be chased by Bluetick Coonhounds! You can feel secure knowing that this dog has your back if you ever find yourself cornered by a large cat. This outstanding sniffer, which weighs between 45 and 80 pounds, can be rather talkative when not seeking the prey. For busy families, this breed makes a great house pet.

German Shorthair Pointer

Deer hunting demands a lot of endurance and scent-power. The German Shorthair Pointer thankfully possesses both! This pointing breed can effectively hunt down game in any terrain and outsmart even the most elusive deer. The German Shorthair Pointer is a wonderful family companion and was given official recognition by the AKC in 1930.

English Setter

The English Setter is a stunning canine with a silky coat and a big head who is praised for his speed and pointing abilities. Until it’s time to leave for work, this breed will gladly walk alongside you. The dog will then run off and locate almost any game with ease.


This tiny pup is a great deer hunter despite its diminutive size. You’ll be able to find the dog and the deer with ease thanks to the dog’s constant baying. The brightly colored Beagle is extremely simple to recognize and has one of the best hunting noses.

Beagles also make wonderful family pets for people who live in cities, suburbs, and rural areas.

Plott Hounds

The Plott Hound is a fantastic deer hunting companion because it is athletic and agile. This hardy, perceptive, and tenacious breed is an expert at picking up and holding scents. When the dog is pursuing you, you can easily follow it thanks to its choppy, loud bark. These dogs can readily maneuver through deep wooded areas to find deer that are hidden. The Plott Hound, who was recognized by the AKC in 2006, is a wonderful family pet.

Mountain Cur

To hunt raccoons and squirrels, the Mountain Cur was initially developed in Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia. Due to their stamina, speed, and sense of smell, they now make excellent deer hunters.

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is a beloved family dog breed and an excellent hunting companion. This very intelligent canine can find its way between the forest and the water with equal ease. The Golden loves to run and chase and is intelligent, robust, and sturdy. It will swiftly assist you in finding and killing a deer, and it will follow directions.

In Pennsylvania, is it permissible to shoot a dog that is chasing a deer?

The Australian shepherd-pointer mix, which was a present from her family and spouse for Easter last year, was affectionate and vivacious.

According to Quales, who resides in Kempton, a rural part of Berks County, “her personality matched her brindle.”

Lilly, a 10-month-old, was playing at Quales’ mother’s house on November 9 when she ventured into the nearby woods.

Quales received a call three hours later notifying her that a bowhunter had shot her dog.

She did suffer, and Quales stated that she didn’t deserve it. “I don’t want to guess on what happened,” Quales added.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is looking into the situation. Last week, no formal information about that probe was available.

Others said that the hunter either disregarded a fundamental hunting safety rule—requiring hunters to positively identify their targets before firing—or purposefully murdered a household pet without justification.

According to Pennsylvania law, it is possible to shoot dogs that are roaming loose, but such cases are uncommon, according to Keith Mohler, the Humane Society police officer for the Pennsylvania SPCA in Lancaster County.

It’s a pretty small window, he declared. You cannot simply shoot a strange dog that enters your land without permission.

Quales took Lilly to her parents’ place so there would be companionship because she works days and her husband, Joseph, works nights.

She prefers to be around people, according to Quales. Additionally, she enjoys roaming around my parents’ goats’ pen.

Lilly accompanied her mother and brothers outside somewhere around 5 o’clock, according to Quales.

Lilly was called and searched for by several members of the Quales family, but she never came back.

Quales claimed she received a call from her parents’ neighbor at around 7:30 p.m. without knowing Lilly was even missing.

According to Lilly’s collar, the man obtained Quales’ phone information, and after learning that her dog had been shot and died on his land, he called Quales to inform her.

According to Quales, the guy claimed to have learned from two hunters that other hunters had shot and killed the dog with a crossbow arrow. The homeowner permits sportsmen to hunt on his property.

Quales and her family visited the scene of the dog’s shooting early the following morning after the landowner provided a description of the location.

They went back to where they thought Lilly had been shot after following a blood trail.

Quales remarked, “It’s right outside our property.” It’s not like she traveled far from home,

Quales was particularly troubled by the idea that Lilly had run a distance before she passed away.

She remarked, “I understand that we had to restrain her. This would not have occurred if the woman had been wearing a leash.

She’s having trouble comprehending how her brown and white puppy, who had a jingling collar, could have been shot and killed after being mistaken for a coyote by a bowhunter.

We aren’t wanting for anyone to be held accountable, but if someone would come forward and tell us what actually occurred, she said, “I think we could find some peace and closure.”

If Lilly’s shot was truly an error, Quales said, she hopes the publicity surrounding it will serve as a warning to other hunters to always double-check their targets before firing.

I want to encourage hunters to recall their instruction and recognize their prey, she said.

There is no clause in our rule that, in Jason Raup’s words, “allows you to shoot a dog in mistake for any game animal as a legally justifiable mistake,” according to the Game Commission’s associate counsel.

Raup did say, however, that Game Commission officials would look at the details of a dog shooting to decide whether a hunter acted carelessly or intentionally.

He gave the example of a hunter who might sincerely mistake a dog for a coyote.

Before deciding whether to press charges, considerations like the dog’s appearance, the shooting distance, and the lighting would be taken into account.

It’s how people are shot, therefore we take this identifying game extremely seriously, he said.

Dogs may be shot “by any person when the dog is determined to be in the act of assaulting a big game animal,” according to the state Game & Wildlife Code.

A Game Commission officer is the only person who has the authority to shoot and kill a dog that is only chasing deer, turkeys, or bears.

According to Mohler, people have the right to shoot dogs if they are being attacked, see someone else being attacked, or if their own property or other animals are being attacked.

“Just because a dog is outside in the woods doesn’t make it okay to shoot the dog,” he said.

On the other hand, it is against the law for owners to let their dogs go uncontrolled in Pennsylvania, according to state law.

They simply need to be within command range and under the owner’s immediate supervision, which can entail being let loose.

According to Stephen Mohr, a Conoy Township supervisor, dog-law enforcement officer for Conoy and East Donegal townships, Marietta Borough, and a former Game Commission board member, owners frequently let their dogs run uncontrolled in rural regions.

He observed that “an awful lot of folks, farmers especially, just let their dogs go and roam.”

A few years back, Mohr claimed to have picked up a dog three times from its farm home, 2.5, 3 and 4 miles away.

According to Mohr, the dog’s owner asked that it always remain on his front porch.

For a dog that spends all of its time on the front porch, he commented, “it really did a lot of wandering.”

Over the course of his thirty years of employment, Mohler can recall numerous instances of dogs being shot in Lancaster County.

A farmer west of Ephrata once shot and killed a dog that wandered into his cow pasture.

He claimed the dog was chasing his cows, but the trial revealed that the dog had already been chasing his cows for a year and that his cows had not even been in the pasture when the dog was shot.

Additionally, a dog was once seen chasing a deer close to Washington Boro by a guy.

In the process of searching for the dog, the man drove around and shot and killed another dog.

He wasn’t authorized to shoot a dog for first pursuing deer, so either way, it was illegal, the man claimed.

Dog owners need to understand that even if someone does something idiotic and shoots their dog while it’s roaming loose and they get arrested for it, it won’t bring the dog back, he said.