OK folks, the title of the thread is definitely supposed to be "tongue in cheek," and in response to some changes occurring now in other states. Let me start with my list of disclaimers. The first being, that I am not the authority on blood tracking, and certainly not on law making. Like everyone, I have an opinion, and tend to think it is right...even when it is not, my wife reminds me. I also have a pretty conservative libertarian (Small "L", not crazy Gary Johnson big "L" Libertarian. Didn't I say I had an opinion?) view of lawmaking and governance. In general terms, I think that constantly adding new rules to try to keep us, the unruly masses, in line is generally not necessary, and sometimes harmful. It is even worse when done by the central bureaucracy. In that vain, I am glad to see blood tracking left up to individual states, and I agree that each state should be able to mandate the rules governing that state and its wildlife, whether I like them or not. As to my limited qualifications, I have blood tracked rather extensively for the past 7 years. During that time I have trained or assisted in the training of over a dozen dogs of various breeds. I have owned 4 blood tracking dogs of my own. I have tracked around 250 deer with a dog, in 3 different states, and recovered roughly a third of those. I had no part in passing the Missouri blood tracking bill, but played a small role in the legalization in KS, as well as assisting some of the persons pushing the current Oklahoma changes. I am also a member of the United Blood Trackers, and have many more accomplished and experienced tracking friends across the country who add a wealth of knowledge to my own experiences. This is where I draw my opinions, and sometimes qualified facts, from when I make my recommendations. As I said above, the title was meant to be hyperbole, as I do not think that there is a one size fits all law. There are, however, many inconsistencies in the current laws that can be frustrating, or even dangerous that would be best to avoid in future laws. I will speak primarily of the KS and MO laws, as I am more intimately familiar with them. In both states, leashed blood tracking is the law. This means that the tracking dog must be maintained on a leash, and remain under the control of the handler at all times. I like this part of the law. In some Southern states (primarily where dog driven deer hunts were in the culture) dogs can track off lead. I have no real problem with this except that there is no ability to keep the dog confined within a property line, even by well meaning trackers. Again, this doesn't seem to be a problem in states where this is part of the culture, but would pose a serious problem in most states. In fact, this is the biggest hang up with state legislators in passing any blood tracking legislation. Many legislators and hunters are fearful of tracking dogs running deer during the season. Leashed tracking essentially eliminates this concern to those who are open to the facts. Leashed tracking is no longer an experiment in the US. We have decades of experience and success to support its use. Abuses are nearly unheard of in those states that have implemented it. Is there a chance that someone could try to use this as an opportunity to poach? Of course there is. The same could be said of suppressors (which I am in favor of), or even being able to drive dirt roads with a rifle in your truck rack. Cheaters will cheat, and law breakers will break the law. Adding layers of regulations will do nothing to prevent that from happening. However, there is no evidence to support any increase in illegal deer harvest due to the use of leashed tracking dogs. Conversely, the natural resources are protected. When a mortally wounded deer is not recovered, the hunter is under no obligation to surrender his tag, and will likely pursue additional game. When a dog is used, and the deer is recovered, the hunter's tag is used on the recovered animal, protecting the resource. In Missouri, a conservation officer (game warden) has to be contacted when a deer is being tracked with a dog. I do this routinely, and have found it to be very little hassle over the past few years as the officers have become more accustomed to this. In fact, most of the time, I leave a message on their phone with a call back number, and never hear from them. Occasionally I run into an over zealous officer who runs me through 20 questions, but it's uncommon these days. My only beef with this process is the inconsistency of the rule. It seems a bit ridiculous to me that I have to let a warden know when I am attempting to recover an animal, but don't need to call them for any other activities including running hounds for coyotes or night hunting raccoons. The other issue I have with this part of the statute is that it leaves a lot to the interpretation of the individual officers. I respect law enforcement, and make an effort to abide by laws even when I don't like them, but I don't like inconsistencies or too much left to the interpretation of the person potentially writing me a ticket. I would get rid of this in my "perfect law." In Kansas, a warden does not have to be contacted, but each tracker must have a "hunting license." Again, on the surface I have no problem with that part of the law. My problem is in the details. The statute doesn't say anything about having a Kansas license or what type of hunting license is required, simply "a hunting license." I have spoken to a few different agents, and have not come to a consistent answer. Some say a small game license would suffice, others are less sure. Would a valid Missouri license suffice? I don't know. Since out of state deer permits are quite expensive, requiring a valid deer permit would limit the trackers in the state. Currently there is only one listed with the United Blood Trackers who actually lives in Kansas. Brushpile and myself do the majority of tracking there. I know what kind of license I have, but don't know what he carries. It's a vague law, and I am unsure of its purpose, so I would eliminate it from my perfect law. If revenue is the issue, then having a specific, inexpensive permit for trackers would make more sense. Others have suggested that trackers be mandated to take a class and get a permit for tracking in the states in which they track. Like the permit issue and the "must call the warden" issue noted above, my primary disagreements with the suggestion is one of principle. Why would a person who is trying to recover game be required to take a class when the hunter himself is not required to take a specific class to hunt that game. Hunter's education is required for some in certain states, but should there be an additional requirement for trackers? If so, then why aren't other houndsmen subjected to the same? There is an incongruence that doesn't settle well with me. If there were evidence to support that poachers were using the law as a common way of illegally taking game or there were frequent problems with trackers breaking the law then I would be more open to that argument. At this time, the argument is only one of fear and emotion. There have been no major problems associated with leashed tracking in any of the states where blood tracking is legal, that I am aware of.