Thursday, October 30, 2008

Norm MacDonald Notwithstanding ...

Hat tip to Patrick for pointing us to this blog about blood tracking with teckels, aka Dachshunds As God Intended Them.

Blood tracking with dogs is illegal in Pennsylvania. That's the cause of an ongoing tragedy -- the wasted lives of deer that are shot and not recovered. We are one of the premier deer-hunting states, and the ranks of Pennsylvania hunters include what I will guess is a greater-than-average number of weekend warriors -- guys who do not possess the woodcraft to visually track under difficult circumstances.

Vermont and New York have programs to enable handlers with leashed, trained dogs to track big game. Why not Pennsylvania?

There was a bill introduced a few years ago to allow it; I wrote to the sponsor to inquire about it, but never heard back.

When I mention this idea to other hunters, what I hear back is that it is unsportsmanlike to hunt deer with dogs.

I'm inclined to agree. But tracking a wounded animal is not "hunting." It is recovering what has already been hunted, and in some cases, it is a humane imperative. Bambi is not going to go on to become King of the Forest with an arrow in his belly.

I've got an underemployed shoulda-been SAR dog here. We had to withdraw Moe from the work he was born to because there are days when he just can't do it. Chronic Lyme disease has taken it out of his hide. While on his good days he is very good, on a bad day, he's camped out in the closet, or literally does not get out of bed. (Yesterday was a bad day, cold and wet and snotty with squalls, which is a problem for him, and his baby sister had to step up and help me with farm chores that are normally his.) A SAR dog, responsible for human lives, can't be chronically indisposed when the pagers go off.

But blood tracking? Oh yeah -- he could be good for that. Not every day. But often enough to be of service.


  1. I don't know how the election is going on your side of the state, but it's pretty hot over here and the politicos are falling all over themselves to be nice to me (which is good, since the developer I'm having to deal with is being a jerk).

    This is a long way of saying that if you have a copy of the law that you like (pick whichever state's appeals to you), have a few copies in hand and with Moe in tow, hand them out if the local politicos are walking around town asking for votes.

    Most state reps/senators have either local offices or days when they are in town. E-mail a copy of the law to their staff (I've been very impressed with the quality of the STAFF of PA politicans) and tell them you'd like to stop by with Moe to discuess the law.

    If you do most of the work for them (ie, wording on the bill, getting a few other dog/hunter folks to e-mail support) and give them a good photo-op (is there a better looking dog than Moe? -- I'm seriously in doubt), I think you can get this going. It looks good as "constitent service", it looks like the policto has actually done something for the district and it just isn't controversial (like say, raw milk! ;-))

    Besides, here in Southeastern PA, we want those deer dead, preferably eaten, and definated picked up after!


  2. The last dog I had was a dachshund. We got him while I was in high school and my parents kept him. Even though my mother was nervous whenever April was around, Liebchen was very gentle with her. My parents used to feed him Kibbles and Bits and he would only eat about half the food--picking out all the parts he liked. But he would eat everything out of (then toddler) April's hand very politely. She would pick the pieces out of his bowl and put her hand out to him and he would delicately eat whatever was in her hand. He died about 13 years ago.


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