by Natalia Marshall
The topic of outlawing running dogs has been brought to the table this year at the beginning of the hunting season. A hunting dog can be a beagle, a hound, or any other dog that is bred to hunt. There are two seasons for running dogs: raccoon hunting and deer hunting. The dogs have tracking collars on them and the hunter holds a GPS which shows where the dog is going.
Normally there are groups of dogs, not just one or two, when they are set loose for a drive. After the dogs are set loose, the hunter sits back and waits for the dog to jump a deer. Once the deer is jumped the chase is on. Then the hunter has to get into a position where they can harvest the deer.
That is the gist of how hunting with dogs works. There are always going to be people who disagree with hunting dogs. Most people just don’t like it when the dogs go onto their property, which is understandable. But there are some people who have decided to take action against the situation and shoot the hunting dogs on purpose.
Hunting dogs are not cheap nowadays and shooting a dog is ridiculous. It is not understandable why some people think that is the rational way to go about their disagreement, but that is what’s happening. The people may think that talking won’t do anything, so they take it to another level. This has caused many hunters to get angry about the situation and make Facebook posts and other posts on social media about it to get the word out.
Since the discussion began about outlawing using hunting dogs, there was a protest in Richmond, Va. Hundreds of hunters gathered outside of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries while there was a meeting going on. The reasoning for this rally was because the Virginia Landowners association had expressed their disapproval on the topic. There was no vote during the meeting.
If they were to take away hunting with dogs, then fox hunts might also be questioned Fox hunting is basically the same concept as hunting with dogs because you use the dogs to find the prey.
The dog hunting world is mostly made up of good people, but there is a minority of people who don’t obey the laws. People pay attention to the few who mess up and do what they want. That is where the bad looks come from about people that hunt with dogs.
Everything in this world has a good and bad side. If the majority of people hunting with dogs are following the law, then that is what should be noticed and pronounced. The people who don’t follow the law get punished for what they do if they get caught.
Hunting is more of a heritage than just a way to pass time on the weekends. The hunters are actually doing the economy as a whole a favor by keeping the deer population under control. Instead of the counties having to hire “professionals” to come and harvest the deer, the county gets it done for free.
There is also a certain amount of deer hunters can take each year. On the hunting license that people receive they can only harvest 3 antlerless and 3 antlered deer. Most people have grown up with it and their fathers and grandfathers have or still do it. So by taking that away from them critics are taking part of their history away as well.The hunting community would not go easy if the government tried to outlaw it. For some people taking away hunting is like taking away Christmas from a little kid.
Hunter Marshall, a 2013 graduate of Albemarle High School, is an active dog hunter. Hunter deer hunts and raccoon hunts with dogs.
He said, “ I would be upset if they had outlawed hunting with dogs because it has become a part of my life and has been a part of generations before me.”
“I obey all the laws and don’t do anything illegal, so they would have no right to take it away from me. Some of the people who are a part of the board aren’t even hunters, so they wouldn’t know what it feels like in the first place.”