WEST virginia legislature
2020 regular session
House Bill 4116
By Delegates Steele and Pack
[Introduced January 13, 2020; Referred to the Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §20-2-5j; and amend and reenact §20-2-16 of said code, all relating to the permitting the tracking of wounded or injured deer or bear with leashed dogs; and providing that if the owner of a dog that has been used to hunt or chase deer cannot be ascertained, the natural resources police officer is to deliver the dog to the appropriate county humane officer or facility.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 2. WILDLIFE RESOURCES.
§20-2-5j. Leashed dogs for tracking mortally wounded deer or bear.
(a) Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, a person who is legally hunting and reasonably believes he or she has mortally wounded a deer or bear may either personally, or by engaging a dog handler, use a leashed dog to track and locate the mortally wounded deer or bear. The hunter or the dog handler shall maintain physical control of the leashed dog at all times.
(b) The tracking dog shall be on a leash no longer than 30 feet nor less than 10 feet controlled by the handler for control and safety purposes.
(c) The hunter and the dog handler shall possess a valid West Virginia hunting license and all required stamps or permits. Only the hunter may kill a mortally wounded deer or bear, and the deer or bear shall count toward the bag limit of the hunter.
§20-2-16. Dogs chasing deer.
No person may permit or
use his or her dog to hunt or chase deer. A natural resources police
officer shall take into possession any dog known to have hunted or chased deer.
and the director shall advertise that the dog is in his or her possession,
giving a description of the dog and stating the circumstances under which it
was taken. The notice shall be published as a Class I legal advertisement in
compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this
code, and the publication area for the publication is the county. He or she
shall hold the dog for a period of ten days after the date of the publication.
If, within ten days, the owner does not claim the dog, the director shall
destroy it. In this event the cost of keeping and advertising shall be paid by
the director. If, within ten days, the owner claims the dog, he or she may
repossess it on the payment of costs of advertising and the cost of keep, not
exceeding 50¢ per day. A natural resources police officer, or any officer or
employee of the director authorized to enforce the provisions of this section,
after a bona fide but unsuccessful effort to capture dogs detected chasing or
pursuing deer, may kill the dogs If the owner of the dog can be ascertained,
the dog shall be returned to the owner. If the owner of the dog cannot be
ascertained, the natural resources police officer shall deliver the dog to the
appropriate county humane officer or facility consistent with the provisions of
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to permit the tracking of wounded or injured deer or bear with leashed dogs. The bill provides that if the owner of a dog that has been used to hunt or chase deer cannot be ascertained, the natural resources police officer shall deliver the dog to the appropriate county humane officer or facility.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.