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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 5, 2016 10:33 AM
From: Senator Mario M. Scavello
To: All Senate members
Subject: Leashed Tracking Dogs
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce legislation (formerly SB 1115 of 2015-16) amending the Pennsylvania Game Code, providing an exemption to allow for the use of a leashed tracking dog to track white-tailed deer to assist in recovering an animal which has been legally harvested or wounded.

Currently under the Pennsylvania Game Code, it is unlawful for any person to make use of a dog in any manner to hunt or take big game, other than wild turkey during the fall season, or to permit a dog under a person’s ownership or control to pursue big game. It is important to note that this legislation would not change this prohibition, rather it would assist in the tracking of the harvested game.

As sportsmen know, it can sometimes be very difficult to track a wounded or harvested deer that may have traveled some distance, especially in areas of varied terrain or when weather conditions are poor. 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 white-tailed deer unrecovered in our Commonwealth’s woods and wild lands. This simple and humane proposed change in the law will be of great benefit to both our sporting community and one of our most valued natural resources, the white-tailed deer.

The use of leashed tracking dogs are allowed in approximately 35 states, six of which surround Pennsylvania. Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation which allows Pennsylvania hunters access to the same ethical game recovery tool that most of the nation’s hunters already have.

If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Christine Zubeck in my office at 717-787-6123 or czubeck@pasen.gov. Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as SB135