Great news for Virginia hunters who can now legally use tracking dogs to recover wounded deer and bear. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries recently anounced on their website:
"Tracking Dogs Recent legislation allows:
Tracking dogs maintained and controlled on a lead may be used to find a wounded or dead bear or deer statewide during any archery, muzzleloader, or firearm bear or deer hunting season, or within 24 hours of the end of such season, provided that those who are involved in the retrieval effort have permission to hunt on or to access the land being searched and do not have any weapons in their possession."
We would have loved if the legistlators were a bit more flexible and allowed guns to be carried during a sortie, but just passing the law is a good start. Trackers in Virginia get ready and start training your dogs. Besides dog training you will have to learn primitive combat methods like spear throwing, how to lasso deer with a rope, and one one one combat with a deer or bear. That's what some trackers do in other states where no guns are allowed to be carried when tracking.
Regardless of its limitations, the new amendment in Virginia's legistlation seems so promising and exciting for Blood Tracking as a sport throughout the United States. We see that more and more states, after much support and lobbying, are realizing that such a sport does not harm wildlife. On the contrary, the use of leashed tracking dogs to recover wounded big game goes side by side with the American tradition of preservation and sustainable hunting.
Hope more states will follow!