House Bill (HB) 881 was introduced in March 2011. This bill would provide deer hunters a remarkable tool to aid in the recovery of their deer. HB 881 would allow the use of leashed tracking dogs for the recovery of wounded deer in Pa.
These dogs have been featured in many hunting magazines and outdoor T. V. shows. Studies show them to be highly effective in recovery of mortally wounded deer that the hunter was unable to find himself. This method of finding a down deer is legal in 33 states. Some outfitters in those states will use a tracking dog on every shot, to provide an efficient way to find a deer that is not observed to go down. This is very important to disabled or color blind hunters. This protects their herd from waste, is less disruptive to other hunters and provides valuable information as to whether the animal is mortally hit.
Representative Doyle Heffley is on the Game & Fisheries Committee in Harrisburg. Deer hunters in should contact his office to ask why a method (HB 881) that was surveyed to be 97 percent favorable among Pa deer hunters across the state, is supported by the NWTF, The PA Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, United Bowhunters of Pa and the PA Game Commission, was not on the agenda for the June committee meeting.
We can use trained dogs to aid and recover various small game in Pa. Is that wildlife any more important than whitetail deer?