Proposed Oklahoma rule changes on tracking dogs.

Discussion in 'Deer Tracking Dogs' started by OkieKubota, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. OkieKubota

    OkieKubota Moderator Staff Member

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    TITLE 800. DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE CONSERVATION


    CHAPTER 25. WILDLIFE RULES

    RULEMAKING ACTION:

    Notice of proposed PERMANENT rulemaking

    PROPOSED RULES:

    Chapter 25. Wildlife Rules [AMENDED]

    SUMMARY:

    The proposed rule amendments are to adjust regulations on several Corps of Engineers properties

    around Lake Texoma for safety, clarification of acres and to add hunter opportunity. Allow deer hunters


    the use of a leashed tracking dog to help locate wounded deer.
    Restrict peregrine take by non-resident

    falconers to no more than 50% of the number allowed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Establish dates

    for open access to Hunt Areas #4 and 6, and adjust season dates for spring turkey and gate closing times

    on Camp Gruber Training Center. Close squirrel, common snipe and woodcock during first nine days of

    deer gun season on Fobb Bottom WMA. Close predator/furbearer calling during the first nine days of

    deer gun season and open deer archery season same as statewide season dates on Hickory Creek WMA

    and Love Valley WMA. Add new rules, regulations, and definitions specific to lands leased under the

    Oklahoma Land Access program (OLAP) including providing exemption from written permission for

    hunting antelope and elk on actively enrolled Oklahoma Land Access Program properties. Add rules to

    allow landowners and their designees to shoot feral hogs at night.

    STATUTORY AUTHORITY:

    Title 29 O.S., Section 3-103, 4-136, 5-401; Article XXVI, Section 1 and 3 of the Constitution of

    Oklahoma; Department of Wildlife Conservation Commission.

    COMMENT PERIOD:

    Persons wishing to present their views in writing may do so on or before 4:30 p.m., January 12, 2017,

    at the following address: Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, 2145 NE 36th Street,

    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73111 or online at www.wildlifedepartment.com.


    PUBLIC HEARINGS:

    Date: January 5, 2017

    Time: 7:00 p.m.

    Oklahoma City - OK Department of Wildlife Conservation, 2145 NE 36th Street,


    Oklahoma City, OK 73111

    Date: January 10, 2017

    Time: 7:00 p.m.

    Northeast Technology Center Auditorium

    Afton Campus

    19901 US-69

    Afton, OK 74331

    REQUEST FOR COMMENTS FROM BUSINESS ENTITIES:
     
  2. wbpdeer

    wbpdeer Well-Known Member

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    Kubota,

    Passing this law would be an improvement for recovering deer in your state. If I have followed correctly, it would eliminate having to contact a game warden / conversation officer.

    I am guessing you favor this change?

    Wayne
     
  3. OkieKubota

    OkieKubota Moderator Staff Member

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    I am in favor - Dog must be leashed at all times and no weapon may be carried. Would certainly help with the wasted deer each year...
     
  4. GonHuntin

    GonHuntin Active Member

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    I am in favor of the rule change if it is strictly controlled. I'm not big on new laws and regulations, but unless they require a license to do this, it will be abused.

    Until they put a new rule in writing and publish it, it means nothing.
     
  5. Brushpile

    Brushpile Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    There is no way to abuse tracking deer on a leash! Also weapons should be allowed on the track. I killed two deer with a pocket knife this season alone and Elkie found 4 live deer. This buck has a broken shoulder and 9 points... he's suffering and dangerous......... now what?
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. GonHuntin

    GonHuntin Active Member

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    If you don't think this could be abused, you have never hunted deer in SE Oklahoma!

    I can see it now......bubba's favorite deer hound chasing deer while dragging a short leash attached to his collar......if caught Bubba claims the dog "got away from him while tracking a wounded deer"! If you allow the "trackers" to carry weapons the abuse will be worse. If weapons are allowed, will it be legal to kill a deer that is not mortally wounded?? If the deer is not mortally wounded, then it is not a recovery, it is a pursuit.

    If a license is required to use a recovery dog, then I wouldn't have a problem with only the licensed tracker carrying a weapon.

    Again, I'm all for the rule change as long as it is strictly controlled......you may not agree, but that does not make my opinion less valid.
     
  7. GonHuntin

    GonHuntin Active Member

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    Here is the proposed rule change from the wildlife dept. website:

    (i) Dogs may be used in taking all game species in these rules except bear, deer, elk, antelope and turkey. Exceptions to this rule would be the use of a leashed dog to track downed game after obtaining game warden permission and having no means of take on person while tracking. Use of an unleashed dog to track is prohibited.
     
  8. Doctorbrady

    Doctorbrady Well-Known Member

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    Laws don't keep lawbreakers from breaking MORE laws. They are by nature law breakers. I have hounds illegally running my property on a nearly daily basis. Though it is illegal to run deer with hounds, you can not charge a hound (or their owner) with trespassing in Missouri if the hound is on your property. Even video evidence of dogs running deer (which is illegal) will not get the owner a ticket or even a visit from the warden here because the owner can say his dogs are just running to run and he is not INTENTIONALLY running deer with his dogs. No law is going to keep a poacher who is inclined to break the law from breaking the law. You would think the gun control freaks have proven this.
    Leashed tracking has ZERO to do with running deer with dogs. There is also ZERO evidence to support that argument despite the fact that leashed tracking has been legal in some states for about 2 decades.
    As far as weapons go, tracking a wounded animal without a weapon is dangerous. I have personally been struck full on in the chest by a button buck that was wounded. It felt like a linebacker had planted his helmet in my sternum. If it would have been an antlered deer I would likely have died. My dogs have also been placed in jeopardy on more than one occasion. The law is what it is, but it should be changed. Anyone who has tracked much would agree. A bad event will eventually occur if you track enough. Having a weapon that is legal for the season or having the tracker be able to carry a weapon makes good sense. Again, a leashed dog gives the tracker (or a would be hunter) no advantage.
     
  9. backnwhack

    backnwhack New Member

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    I would like to jump in here a little and address a couple of things brought up in this thread. First off, tracking has been and is being allowed in OK this fall under the restrictions outlined above that will be in the written "exception" in the 2017 regs and to my knowledge there have been no problems-only positive response.
    As to The problem mentioned with a deer dog running loose dragging a leash under the pretense of tracking, remember he has to check in with a warden with hunter info and location prior to tracking.
    The "no weapons" aspect is not perfect, but remember this is a section 800 "exception" to the statute, the statute is not being changed. There can be no pretense of hunting-strictly recovery. I will/would not allow a hunter to carry a weapon behind me while tracking-trackers get shot-happened this year. While I would like to carry a weapon for protection, that is something to work on in the future. Right now, this rule will take us from "illegal" to legal. I'm betting there's not a tracker in MO or elsewhere that would prefer tracking be outlawed, rather than not being permitted to carry a weapon.
    Oh and please go online at wildlife department.com and take the survey on the new regs. A positive response on #10 will help.
     
  10. GonHuntin

    GonHuntin Active Member

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    I am completely aware that lawbreakers will break the law regardless, that's why I think we need to get this right!

    I will ask again, if, as you wish, people were allowed to carry weapons while tracking with dogs, should it be legal to shoot a deer that is not mortally wounded?? If so, you are no longer "recovering a downed animal", you are pursuing an animal.

    You trackers are looking at this as if YOU were doing the tracking.....I'm not suggesting YOU would violate the regulation.....you aren't the people I'm concerned about. I have hunted deer in SE Oklahoma and I have run hogs with dogs down there......it is a different world.

    I AM FOR using dogs to recover deer, I just want to make sure we get it right. We have a permitting process for Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators in Oklahoma, something similar could be done for people offering tracking dog services.

    Again, we may disagree, but my opinion is as valid as yours.
     
  11. Doctorbrady

    Doctorbrady Well-Known Member

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    Gonhuntin, I am not trying to discount your opinion nor validate my own. However, the argument that you make is not substantiated by fact in the states where tracking is practiced, including those where weapons are allowed. New York State, arguably one of the most liberal states in our nation, was also one of the first to adopt legalization of leashed tracking dogs. They also allow a weapon to be carried by the tracker. If it increased poaching you can bet they would shut it down. I have no issues with someone getting licensed to track except that it sets up a whole new beurocracy with more hoops to jump through (and more cost to the taxpayer) and likely doesn't help the process.
    I assure you that right now in your state there are people who take their untrained dogs on "walks through the woods" off leash when they lose a deer, in hopes of finding it. A leashed tracking dog does not jeopardize healthy game in any way if it is controlled. Having a tracker who is stomping through the woods talking to his dog and conversing with the Hunter also does not increase one's odds of illegally taking game. Just the opposite, you spook game from the area. I used to hog hunt with dogs some as well. Can you imagine your hog dog dragging a 30 ft rope through the briars and tangles? You would spend more time trying to find your dog and free him from the tangles than chasing hogs.
    As to your question about shooting non-fatally wounded deer, it is almost never a problem that a tracker is faced with due to the speed (or lack thereof) of the tracking process. Healthy deer simply out run or out maneuver the tracking team. The one exception is a deer with a leg blown off. Theoretically these are non-fatal hits, but many will die of infection or be torn apart by coyotes if not put down.
    I hope my tone is not such that you feel that I am slighting your questions or opinions. Yours are questions that are asked be every legislative body prior to legalizing blood tracking dogs. They are reasonable concerns, but concerns which should be alleviated by decades worth of experiences in other states. In the end, there are a lot of ways to illegally take game for those so inclined. Taking game illegally behind a leashed tracking dog would not be in my first 20 choices if I was inclined to poach, due to the difficulty it presents.
     
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  12. OkieKubota

    OkieKubota Moderator Staff Member

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    Being on the track of a deer once like this I can assure you that I would have had a much better chance of killing a deer by just easing through the woods on a blood trail and kicked up leaves than I would with a tracker and dog around...

    I have a question. If you have read any of my land tour thread you know I have huge issues with feral dogs and neighbors dogs chasing deer all throughout our property. I don't condone it in anyway and hate it with a passion but IF I was sitting on my place and these dogs came roaming through and ran 1 of my target deer past me and I shot it I suppose I would be breaking the law since I shot a deer being pursued by dogs? I have never been in this situation and my first inclination when I hear the dogs running on our place is to get down and try to catch them so that is what I have done but without any luck. Fortunately I believe our rifle season and high hunter numbers all around our property must have done something to the dogs because I haven't heard a dog running in about 3 weeks now and haven't seen sign of any dogs or any pictures of dogs...it's been great!
     
  13. GonHuntin

    GonHuntin Active Member

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    Doctor Brady........this is the kind of thing I'm talking about.......it's an article about problems with people running deer in SE Oklahoma.



    Again, I'm NOT concerned with people who do this "right"......I'm concerned that it will give lawbreakers another excuse for using dogs to run deer. I had absolutely no doubt that a dog on a 20' lead that was being held by the tracker would not be a problem and would certainly not run deer......that's not what concerns me. You asked about dogs tangling while running........I have never owned hounds (I have hunted hogs, rabbits and coons behind a few) but I have spent many hours behind bird dogs and many times we used a short lead (and sometimes a piece of tow chain) on fresh dogs to slow them down, tangling wasn't much of an issue. A short (6-8') smooth leather lead slips through brush very easily and isn't bad about tangling, the exception to the law that is being considered does not specify the length or type of leash used nor does it define what is required as far as the "tracker" actually holding the leash and controlling the dog.

    I have been through a Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator certification class in Oklahoma. I had no interest in doing it for money, I went through the class because, at the time, it was required for those who wanted to use conibear type traps for controlling beaver (even for landowners on private property). Yes, taking the class was a slight imposition, but the class taught exactly what was legally required to use these traps.......a similar program could be established for those wishing to provide a tracking service. In my opinion, a person who went through such certification should be allowed to carry a firearm to dispatch a wounded deer. At the time I took the class, The Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator certification was not a license, it was a permit, and there was no cost for the permit, requiring such a certification would not keep someone from violating the law, but it could put some teeth in the law to punish those who are caught doing it illegally. I also don't think a "certified tracker" should need to contact a game warden for permission to track. Okie can tell you it is almost impossible to contact or get a reply from a game warden during deer season unless you are reporting a game violation.


    Okie

    I suppose you would be breaking the law if you shot a deer being chased by dogs......I have read of your problems, won't tell you what to do, but I would give a pass to any hunting dog or cattle dog that may have gotten away from the owner.......others, not so much.

     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
  14. wbpdeer

    wbpdeer Well-Known Member

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    I am not a tracker but believe it would be great fun. If I was a tracker I would not want a hunter behind me with a firearm in a recover situation. Two reasons why: me and my tracking dog.

    I would want the law written to allow only the tracker to carry a weapon. I see it as a safety issue.

    An injured animal deserves to be dispatched humanly IMO.

    Law violators will always be around - it is the nature of some humans to be weak and defiant - not all. Prosecution is part of the remedy for those violators.

    Improving the dog tracking law in OK is a step in the right direction. Hope it gets done.
     
  15. Doctorbrady

    Doctorbrady Well-Known Member

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    GonHuntin, I definitely understand the concern about loose dogs running deer. I am absolutely plagued on my own property by loose hounds that chase deer year round. The owner of the 30+ hounds fancies himself the breeder of a "super hound/ cur," and likes that his hounds are "gamey." Because he doesn't shoot deer in front of his dogs, he cannot be prosecuted or even ticketed. I have contacted local and state authorities to no avail. Each has said "We can't advise you what to do, but most people take care of these kind of problems on their own." We are not talking about a couple of loose dogs that could be discreetly relocated. We are talking about DOZENS of dogs from an unscrupulous breeder/owner who lives in a virtual junk yard. Many mornings I have had hunts destroyed as dogs ran deer across my entire property, focused heavily on my sanctuary area. It is infuriating. I feel like a captive on my own property. Here the law is of no help. It is illegal to run deer with dogs, but even video evidence is ignored because the owner didn't shoot a deer. On the contrary, I can be ticketed if I shoot a deer his dogs push on my place.
    I guess I' he just become a little more of a conservative liberty minded guy in my beliefs over the past several years. I do not believe that adding additional laws on top of existing laws does anything to protect our rights, including our hunting rights. I am not sure why I should have to take a class to track with a dog, but I don't need a class to track a deer (carrying a weapon) with 3 of my buddies. Having a leashed dog does not make me more likely to Poach a deer any more than carrying a concealed pistol makes me more likely to shoot someone in the mall. The key is in prosecuting those who commit a crime, not in adding rule upon rule to keep from tempting someone into an illegal act. A poacher should be held responsible for his act, but treating all trackers as if they are going to be poaching deer is not the answer. Furthermore, thinking that having someone attend a half day course is going to prevent that same person from poaching is illogical in my opinion.
    In any regard, I am glad that Oklahoma is loosening the reigns a bit. It makes sense, as it means less of the natural resource is wasted.
    Interestingly, I used to guide hog hunts in the Broken Bow area (Kiamichi Ranch) while in college. No dogs on those hunts. Fantastic, diverse ecosystem with quality bucks, lots of turkeys, tons of hogs, and the occasional mountain lion! I miss that country.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
  16. GonHuntin

    GonHuntin Active Member

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    One more time......I'm not worried about those who will do this "right"........

    If a permit was required, a game warden would have grounds to prosecute someone who used the pretense of "tracking" to dump a "leashed" dog out on a deer trail. Yes, I understand that a dog on a leash that is being held by the tracker isn't going to be running deer, that is the guy doing it right.

    If I was writing the regulation, I'd require a permit to track with dogs, it would be free of charge. A person holding the permit would not be required to contact a game warden prior to tracking but would be required to keep records of hunter's name, location and outcome of the effort. For safety reasons, the person holding the permit, and only that person, would be allowed to carry a weapon to dispatch the deer.

    As far as comparing this to carrying a concealed weapon or gun control in general......you are barking up the wrong tree! I'm definitely not for additional laws, especially when they don't accomplish anything other than restricting the good guys. I have been a licensed concealed carry instructor in Oklahoma since the beginning, I took the classes and got the certification to teach the course BEFORE the law actually went into effect. I start every class by telling folks I don't think anyone should have to get a permit to exercise this constitutional right......but this discussion isn't about constitutional rights. We don't have a constitutional right to track wounded deer with dogs. It isn't the same thing, period!

    Remember, we aren't discussing adding new laws here, Oklahoma ALREADY has a long existing law AGAINST using dogs to track deer......we are talking about the best way to loosen up that law so that deer aren't wasted.

    I may be reading you wrong, but you seem to want to just abolish the law entirely........I'm saying let's think about this and make sure we do things right so we don't have unintended consequences.
     
  17. Doctorbrady

    Doctorbrady Well-Known Member

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    You are definitely reading me wrong. I find it unfortunate that all states don't have legalized tracking with dogs. It doesn't make logical sense. At this point we are not talking about theory. This isn't my opinion. We have decades of evidence that shows that your concerns (the same concerns argued by every opponent to legalized tracking) do not play out in real life, at least not in any significant way. You can argue the same concerns time and time again, but there are no facts to support it. The facts support the opposite. I understand that some can not be swayed by the facts, but prefer to rely on fear and emotion to make their arguments. So be it. I can not have a serious discussion when evidence is irrelevant as we will just argue in circles.
    Any loosening of the current law is likely to be a plus. Relying on each conservation agent to decide whether or not they want to allow it is less than ideal. It is similar to allowing the Sherrifs in "may issue" states decide whether or not to allow concealed carry. I disagree in part that being able to track your legally taken game is not a Constitutional right. The Constitution protects Life, Liberty, and Property (or pursuit of happiness, if you like). The Bill of Rights was felt to be unnecessary by many of the framers as the government (at least Federal) had very limited powers. However, some wanted to be extra sure that some of those imdividual liberties were not stomped upon by the Federal government. Those rights are in no way the only rights or freedoms that we are due. Even at that, concealed carry is not expressly covered by the bill of rights. So though you want that liberty extended to you because it protects "the good guys" you continue to want to limit trackers. I guess they are not the good guys? Much of my frustration in this argument is not directed at you, GonHuntin. It is my general frustration with people that want liberties with those things that affect them, but want others to be highly regulated. It is always a hypocritical and circular argument.
    In truth, I am not seriously opposed to taking a brief class related to tracking in Oklahoma. What it will do is limit tracker involvement. There are currently about 6 serious trackers for the entire state of Missouri, and only one listed on the United Blood Trackers website who resides in Ks. If you want more than one or two for your state, tightening the regulations and requirements is not going to get you there.
    As far as carrying a weapon goes, it is a safety issue for the tracker and his dog, as well as the Hunter. It is that simple. I make due with the regulations we have currently, but they are not ideal.
    I wish all of you in Oklahoma the best of luck with your changes. I will refrain from additional posts on this subject as it only seems a source of contention.
     
  18. OkieKubota

    OkieKubota Moderator Staff Member

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    Please don't refrain from further post on thus. I am learning a great deal from what you have written!

    I have felt like I was held hostage here on our place by neighborhood dogs running deer everywhere but it has been quiet as of late...some of those shots I heard May not have been at deer ;)
     
  19. GonHuntin

    GonHuntin Active Member

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    If I am reading you wrong......how? My understanding of your position on deer tracking dogs in Oklahoma is that our state should remove any and all restrictions.......did I miss something??

    I find many of your arguments disingenuous........you went off the rails when you claimed that we have a constitutional right to use dogs to track game, and even further when you said that the constitution doesn't expressly cover concealed carry........both of those arguments are simply ludicrous!!! There is nothing in the US Constitution that acknowledges our right to hunt, let alone use tracking dogs......period.......and "the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" absolutely addresses concealed carry, open carry, vehicle carry etc etc etc......

    I'm NOT asking for the use of tracking dogs to be "highly regulated"......IT ALREADY IS! I'm saying we need to make sure we get it right when we make exceptions to that law.

    You insinuate that I can't be swayed by the facts.......you have made claims, but you have provided no facts to support them. You insinuate that I rely on fear and emotion to make my arguments, that I consider evidence irrelevant.....that would be difficult since you haven't provided a single piece of evidence to back your claims. You insinuate that I am some kind of liberal, that I favor further restrictions on our freedom. All you have done is made claims that "decades of evidence" and "facts" support your position......but you haven't posted a single fact or piece of evidence to back up those claims. My concern isn't based on emotion or fear, I prefer to look before I leap. You are FAR from unbiased in this matter, you obviously have a vested interest in tracking dogs.......you are trying to "sell" us on your opinion, so excuse me if I don't think your opinion is objective.

    I have stated repeatedly that I am not against using dogs to recover deer......I think it's a great idea....I just want to make sure Oklahoma does it right so we avoid unintended consequences......yet you make all these insinuations and personal attacks??

    If you really want to change people's minds, you might try posting facts and evidence instead of veiled insults.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
  20. wbpdeer

    wbpdeer Well-Known Member

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    Believe it is clear that your mind is made up GonHuntin.

    Also, I just believe DoctorBrady knows that. ;)
     

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