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Hunting in Colorado: Regulations for Hunting With Dogs

By    |   Friday, 22 May 2015 08:47 PM

Hunting in Colorado can be made more enjoyable when the activity is shared with a canine companion. However, not all situations are appropriate for dogs, and certain protocols apply to dogs on hunting grounds. Hunters must follow laws for licensing, as well as abide by animal safety regulations. Additionally, hunters must select dogs based on their appropriate breed characteristics. Gun dog breeds include retrievers, hounds, setters and pointers, spaniels, terriers, curs, and dachshunds. However other breeds and mixes can become successful hunting dogs.

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  • Licensing—Laws vary by county and municipality, but most are similar to the laws in Denver, which state, “It shall be unlawful for the owner, possessor or keeper of any domestic dog (Canis Familiaris) over the age of six (6) months or domestic cat (Felis catus) over the age of six (6) months to keep, maintain, house, or have in possession within the city a dog or cat without first having obtained a license for such dog or cat.”
  • Health and Wellness—Dog owners must present proof of rabies vaccination to apply for a dog license. The license application will require a current rabies vaccination certificate; and if applicable, a spay/neuter certificate. Check with a veterinarian to determine other preventive health care measures recommended for this activity, such as heart worm medication, flea and tick control, and vaccinations that protect dogs when hunting in the field. A vet can also assess the dog’s overall health in respect to the vigorous activities that they perform as gun dogs.
  • Baiting Laws—According to the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife, it is unlawful to use dogs to bait game. The practice of using dogs to lure big game, such as bear, elk, deer, or others, is inhumane and dangerous.
  • Training—Hunters must also ensure that their dogs are under control at all times. Dogs must be protected from hunters that could mistake them for game in the brush. The dogs must also be kept from scaring off birds and other games, robbing hunters of opportunities.
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Training for field dogs is specific to the job the dog will perform. Working with an experienced trainer of gundogs is essential for safety and success in the field. Find a gundog club in your area, like the Colorado Gun Dog Association, to learn about classes and activities that prepare you and your dog for field work. Training can involve contests, known as field trials, which simulate field conditions. Dogs should also be trained to avoid snakes that inhabit the area, which can be done through a club or with a private trainer. Dog clubs often provide mentors who offer a wealth of knowledge and friendships that last a lifetime.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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Hunting in Colorado can be made more enjoyable when the activity is shared with a canine companion. However, not all situations are appropriate for dogs, and certain protocols apply to dogs on hunting grounds.
hunting, Colorado, dogs, regulations
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2015-47-22
Friday, 22 May 2015 08:47 PM
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