What is deer dogging?
When hunting deer with dogs, hunters or standers are placed on roads, in fields and other areas around a block of woods. They will usually try to surround an area and space the standers accordingly in hopes that the deer will pass within shooting range. Then they release the dogs into the area and wait for the dogs to find the deer then chase them out in front of the standers where they are taken by shotgun. The problem is the dogs do not know where the property lines are. If a deer crosses on a neighboring property, the dogs are going with it regardless if the hunters have permission to do so. The dogs can very quickly travel for miles crossing many different properties, roads and even rivers and lakes in the process.
Legislative Update: H 3372 - More protection for hunting dogs
H 3372 is a bill that if put into law would make removing or destroying a dogs collar punishable by up to $500 and 10 days in jail for a first offense and $1,000 and 30 days in jail for the second offense. Do landowners have this kind of protection for their property?
There are laws already on the books against theft however this law is intended to protect trespassing dogs. Ask yourself this. If a dog is on a property where it is supposed to be why would someone remove or destroy its collar? The answer is they wouldnít. While we agree that no one should remove a dogs collar that does not belong to them we have to wonder why this new law was asked for by the South Carolina coon hunters association and why it was written and on its first request and is moving so quickly through the legislature? Landowners have been asking for more than twenty years for tough laws regarding trespassing dogs and all we have to show for it is the Renegade Hunter Act which does not work. The dog hunters ask and their bill gets written immediately. Again we are not opposed to protecting a personís property in the form of a dog if another personís property in the form of land is protected equally. Why choose to protect one over the other. Please contact your legislators and ask them not to pass this bill to protect dog owners until they protect landowners just as much.
The Renegade Hunter Act of 2010
The Renegade Hunt Act was passed into law with much opposition in the
summer of 2010. It is very weak, almost impossible to enforce and (based
on information from many landowners and hunters) has done little to solve
the problems associated with hunting deer with dogs. The new law is being
interpreted such that as long as you are not directly facing a property
to which you have no hunting rights (literally, you stand there with your
back to your dogs as they cross the property line), then you are not in
violation of the law and you can run as many dogs on that property as
you'd like. The only solution is to ban the sport.
More Info »
Does the new law work? A landownerís perspective
I thought I would share my recent conversation w/ a Captain out of the Florence DNR office, who gave me their interpretation and instructions that are currently being passed down out of HQ regarding the enforcement of this law:
This conversation came about as a result of a meeting with the dog hunting club adjacent to my property ďThe Sportsmenís ClubĒ, in which the local game warden informed their club members that in a situation where their dogs had crossed over into property that they didnít have permission to hunt, they could remain on the boundary area with loaded guns IF they still had dogs running on their side of the boundary on the property they were able to hunt as LONG as they were facing in the direction of the property they had permission to hunt. Not sure about your reaction to this interpretation, but mine was disbelief, hence the call to the Captain, who then confirmed this interpretation. In my opinion, this essentially negated the intent of this law. The Captain explained that they were focusing primarily on boundaries that shared a common roadway, to which they could easily determine if dog hunters were illegally hunting land they didnít have permission to run dogs on, by standing on roads which were common boundaries and facing in the direction of the property they could not hunt. I chuckled and said this didnít do anything to help the landowner who has boundaries not marked by roadways and furthermore, as a landowner, how was I supposed to effectively utilize this law to protect my rights, when I see this club standing my boundary while their dogs are running on my property? He stated that I would have to take video evidence of the people hunting, if I couldnít get the game warden to witness the act. It seems that I wonít be able to hunt my property in peace, unless Iím fortunate enough to not have dogs running on my property, which is rare, so I will be spending my time chasing down dogs and hunters to try and enforce this law.
Considering this effort, I have begun to document each intrusion of unwanted dogs, by taking pictures of captured dogs, their tags with the dog owner name and contact info visible, taking a picture of the owner when they pick up their dog, having the owner sign a log that I returned the dog in good health, the date, what club he represents and that the dog was caught on my property.
If anyone else has recommendations, I would welcome your input.
~ SC Landowner
Is this sporting? Is this fair to the animal? This is deer dogging.