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halfbreed
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« on: May 27, 2013, 08:57:33 am »



   Leggett: State mulls new dog rules for trailing wounded deer


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State mulls new dog rules for trailing wounded deer photo

Mike Leggett/2011 photo/AMERICAN-STATESMAN/This young blue tick puppy probably grew up to be a coon hound but for generations in Texas he likely would have served two purposes by running coons and deer in East Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife is considering allowing some counties to resume using dogs to track wounded deer.



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State mulls new dog rules for trailing wounded deer photo

Mike Leggett/2011 photo/AMERICAN-STATESMAN/Walker hounds like this — photographed at a dog show — were used for many years as chase dogs for white-tailed deer in East Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife totally banned the use of any dogs in East Texas in 1990 but is considering allowing hunters to use dogs to trail wounded deer in some of those counties.

By Mike Leggett

American-Statesman Staff


I grew up on hounds running foxes and squirrels in the creek bottoms and deer along the rivers. There were coarse-mouthed blue ticks, black and tans, yippy beagles and weird mixes.

That was a fun time, especially for a kid and later a teenager. On good days, you could sit against a giant white oak and listen to a chase come boiling up out of the thickets down below.

If you were lucky, they’d be chasing a deer, and the deer would hold a line that would carry the chase right past you. And then, if you were really lucky, that deer would be a buck, and you would get a clean 40-yard shot with a 12 gauge load of Double Aught buck shot, 9 pellets per load.

That’s pretty much the play for the first deer I ever killed. It was Friday, Nov. 25, 1966, at about 8:30 in the morning.

My friends got there a little while after that, along with a pickup load of guys I didn’t know who were claiming their dogs were running the deer, and they therefore were entitled to half the meat.

I couldn’t have cared less but my friends’ dad, Clenton LaGrone, arrived and shooed them away. He wasn’t going to let anyone take a kid’s first buck.

As the years passed, I moved on to rifles and tree stands, and Texas moved on from dogs. In the late-1980s, the state banned the use of dogs to chase deer in 35 East Texas counties. Changing times and smaller landholdings, fencing disputes and sometimes drunken silliness left the parks and wildlife commission no choice but to make that change.

Dog guys came from all over the Pineywoods to complain about losing the last rights to hunt deer with dogs. And there was no Faulknerian refinement about their arguments either. Many were drunk and belligerent, even at a 9 a.m. meeting.

I remember their basic argument in these terms: “What am I supposed to do with my dogs? Kill ‘em? I love them dogs more’n I do my wife.”

The commission held firm, even through some rough times that followed. There was a series of mysterious timber and house fires, nails in sand roads and game warden confrontations over in East Texas. Slowly, the use of dogs diminished.

Today it seems illegal dog hunting to chase and move deer around the big woods in East Texas has virtually disappeared to the point that department biologists and wardens have suggested to parks and wildlife commissioners that hunters be allowed to use trained trailing dogs under owner control to help track wounded deer in some of those counties.

Twelve counties were removed from the prohibited list by 2005. Those counties were Bowie, Camp, Fannin, Franklin, Lamar, Morris, Red River, Rockwall, Titus, Hunt, Washington and Wood. Now it appears another 12 could be removed later this year. The department will publish rules in the Texas Register and then receive public comment on them. Commissioners will vote on the issue later this year.

The list of counties that could be removed shocks me. They make up the epicenter of old-time dog hunting for white-tailed deer and places I honestly never thought would evolve past that ancient practice.

And actually, they probably haven’t completely, since in its proposal last week to commissioners for permission to publish the new rules, department staff noted that illegal hunting with dogs “is no longer widespread or problematic.”

These counties are: Harris, Harrison, Houston, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery, Panola, Polk, Rusk, San Jacinto, Trinity, and Walker. The emphasis here should be on Harrison, Panola, Rusk and Liberty counties.

I’m not saying folks there are doing anything illegal but if a hog dog or a trailing dog were to get loose a few days a year and run a deer down through the Sabine River bottom … let’s just say it wouldn’t surprise me.

I hope the commission does this anyway. Just seems right.

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hattak at ofi piso

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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2013, 09:59:23 am »

This is great news to hear. I read about it some time last week but this is the most detailed information I have read regarding the possible changes in the laws. Mr. Whitten do you have any idea why Hardin and Jasper counties were left out this round? I live in and grew up in Jefferson county my entire life and I know as much as anyone that a good tracking dog would and has helped many a hunter retrieve wounded game in this county, its just sad that it has to be a under the table event and a hush hush ordeal to help a hunter retrieve his game. I really hope this law pushes through and passes opening up the idea to completely wipe out these old outdated laws governing the use of tracking dogs to retrieve game that otherwise more often than not is left in the woods to waste away much to the dismay of the hunter. Thanks for posting this and please let me know if there is anything I can do as an individual to help in this cause.

Justin Corbell
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2013, 12:24:52 pm »

Justin.   I know jasper county has always had an issue with people running deer dogs in the past. This could be the same reason why Hardin was left out also?
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Easttex91
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2013, 03:11:12 pm »

Newton County is out too
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halfbreed
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2013, 09:41:25 am »

 yep it all boils down to the county commissioners and the amount of poaching still going strong in those county's . it was so bad in some of those countys that you couldn't have or be caught with a shotgun in your truck at the same time you were hauling dogs . the corn pile deer hunters are a strong force and have a lot of pull in texas .
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2013, 11:21:07 am »

yep it all boils down to the county commissioners and the amount of poaching still going strong in those county's . it was so bad in some of those countys that you couldn't have or be caught with a shotgun in your truck at the same time you were hauling dogs . the corn pile deer hunters are a strong force and have a lot of pull in texas .

and the big reasons why the deer hunters have lots of stroke...because they pay big money to land owners to kill a deer...and they pay for deer feeders, corn, deer blinds and all the gadgets that can be sold and camo clothing etc...etc...and all the small towns fill up their motels and restaurants as well as all the small town stores sell lots of beer, groceries, ice and gas...did I leave something out???

For the most part the hog doggers don't contribute much income if any other than just kill off some of the hogs for the ranchers and farmers...

money talks and bullchit walks...
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2013, 02:55:12 pm »

Newton County is out too
Yes Newton County is just as bad as Jasper


Genetics are the foundation for everything. Without it you have
 nothing to start with.
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boone823
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2013, 02:56:20 pm »

yep it all boils down to the county commissioners and the amount of poaching still going strong in those county's . it was so bad in some of those countys that you couldn't have or be caught with a shotgun in your truck at the same time you were hauling dogs . the corn pile deer hunters are a strong force and have a lot of pull in texas .
Agreed and still the same today


Genetics are the foundation for everything. Without it you have
 nothing to start with.
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Easttex91
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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2013, 03:05:55 pm »

Newton County is out too
Yes Newton County is just as bad as Jasper


Genetics are the foundation for everything. Without it you have
 nothing to start with.

I've heard Newton is worst in the state...might have been Justin that told me that I think
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