Tags: Gun Control | Virginia | hunting | dogs

Hunting in Virginia: Regulations for Hunting With Dogs

By    |   Friday, 05 Jun 2015 05:32 PM

Hunting in Virginia is among the state's time-honored traditions, and using dogs is considered part of that tradition. The Virginia Dog Hunting Alliance notes there are more than 190,000 hunting dogs in the state. The state actively regulates dog hunting, including how and when dogs can be used.

Here are three things dog owners should know about hunting with dogs in Virginia.

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1. When Dogs Can Be Used
Dogs are permitted to be used for hunting birds or mammals when it is not specifically prohibited, according to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. However, the use of dogs during archery season, for any species, is unlawful. Sunday hunting of bear or dear with a dog is also prohibited.

When using dogs, upon treeing or otherwise containing an animal in a manner that offers the animal no route of escape, the hunter must either harvest the animal (if within a legal take season) or terminate the chase by retrieving the dogs and allowing the animal to escape.

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2. Retrieving Dogs
Dog owners are permitted to retrieve their dogs from private lands without the threat of trespass charges, but cannot hunt in the process of retrieving the dogs or carry weapons onto those lands. Hunters retrieving dogs on private land must identify themselves to landowners upon request.

3. Training Laws
Most of the state's dog hunting regulations regarding the use of dogs while hunting address dog training in the field. For example, it is illegal to dislodge an animal from a tree to continue a hunt for the sole purpose of training dogs. Dogs may be trained on National Forest lands only during seasons where such activity is authorized and permitted. Dog training is considered a version of live hunting; therefore, the trainer must be in possession of a valid hunting license when training dogs. Using dogs to chase animals that have been baited, for the purpose of hunting or training, is illegal.

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

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Hunting in Virginia is among the state's time-honored traditions, and using dogs is considered part of that tradition. The Virginia Dog Hunting Alliance notes there are more than 190,000 hunting dogs in the state.
Virginia, hunting, dogs
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2015-32-05
Friday, 05 Jun 2015 05:32 PM
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