Harrisburg – Legislation sponsored by Senator Mario Scavello (R-40) to allow the use of a leashed tracking dog to track big game which has been legally harvested or wounded was approved by the House of Representatives and is headed to the Governor for enactment.
Senate Bill 135 was unanimously approved by the Senate last year and received unanimous approval by the House on Monday.
Under the current Pennsylvania Game Code, it is unlawful for any person to use a dog in any manner to hunt, pursue or take big game. It is permitted only for wild turkey during the fall season. This legislation would not change the prohibition, rather, it would assist hunters in tracking the harvested game, including deer, bear and elk.
“The use of properly trained and controlled tracking dogs can prove instrumental in recovering a mortally wounded animal, and greatly decrease the chances of leaving deceased animals unrecovered,” said Scavello. “This simple and humane change in the law will be of great benefit to both our sporting community and our most valued natural resources, white-tailed deer, black bears and elk.”
The use of leashed tracking dogs is allowed in approximately 35 states, six of which surround Pennsylvania.
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