Tags: Gun Control | Maryland | hunting | dogs

Hunting in Maryland: Regulations for Hunting with Dogs

By    |   Monday, 01 Jun 2015 06:46 PM

Dogs are used in myriad ways for hunting in Maryland, with different regulations applying to each type of use. Some dogs track and kill rabbits, quail, and other small mammals and game birds in the woods. Others retrieve ducks and other waterfowl along the Chesapeake Bay, or chase fox in organized fox hunts.

Stretching back to colonial times, Maryland has a rich history of breeding dogs for specialized performance as bird retrievers and foxhounds and also of showing off dogs’ skills in competitive field trials at sporting clubs. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is one example of a dog bred in Maryland, according to DogTime.com.

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Here are some of the key laws for hunting in Maryland for various types of game with dogs.

1. It’s legal year-round to train dogs with certain small mammals and game birds.
Under Maryland’s Title 10 laws, the permissible game includes rabbits, hares, quail, pheasants, woodcock, ruffed grouse and any imported species. A licensed hunter must accompany the dog as an attendant during training. The attendant may not carry any firearms except a handgun. It is illegal, however, for the dog attendant to allow the dog to kill any animal except during open season, according to the consolidated dog laws of Maryland.

2. Dog hunting for deer and black bear is prohibited statewide.
However, it is legal for a hunter to use a dog and dog handler to recover a deer killed or wounded during hunting, according to the dog laws. The same rules apply to black bear, notes the state Department of Natural Resources Bear Hunters’ Guide to Hunting Black Bear in Maryland.

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3. Regulations vary widely in the state.
In some parts of Maryland, a person may kill any dog found pursuing a deer. In 13 counties, dogs that are engaged in fox hunting and have broken away are exempted. Furthermore, in eight counties, people are not allowed to kill dogs that are pursuing deer, according to the dog laws. There are 24 different county governments in the state.

4. Hunt clubs must get permission to hold field trials with dogs.
A sporting club can’t hold a field trial with dogs during a closed season without the state’s permission. Field trial permission can be granted for hunting birds, rabbit, raccoon or opossum. A club or association holding a field trial during a closed season cannot shoot any game bird, mammal or protected bird.

On the other hand, game birds bred, raised, or purchased in captivity may be shot in flight immediately upon release at trials of retriever dogs. The owner or custodian of the dog must obtain a state permit before shooting these artificially reared game birds while training the dog, according to the laws. The Maryland hunting license application lists a $5 additional fee for an optional Retriever Trainer Permit.

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

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Dogs are used in myriad ways for hunting in Maryland, with different regulations applying to each type of use.
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