South Dakotans are one step closer to being able to use their trained dogs to find wounded or dead big game animals like deer while hunting. Members of the Senate Ag committee passed House Bill 1093 Tuesday morning. The bill requires dogs tracking big game to be on leashes, and also allows dogs to hunt mountain lions during established hunting seasons. Tony Leif with the Game, Fish and Parks Department spoke in favor of the legislation.
“This past summer we had a gentleman who contacted our department with an interest in creating an allowance to help hunters who had wounded big game retrieve those animals using dogs. It’s an allowance that’s used in many other states. We had discussed some initial concerns, I believe those concerns have been put to rest, in particular the provision of the bill that requires that dog be on a leash. That’s a key component I think in making this thing work. We are here, comfortable supporting this bill to make that allowance,” Leif says.
Leif says hunters who use unleashed dogs will face penalties. Members of the committee passed the measure unopposed. It now heads to the Senate floor.