Best Management Practices and Current Status of Dog-Deer Hunting in the Southeastern United States

Hunting white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) with dogs (herein, dog-deer hunting) has been steeped in tradition and controversy. Today in the United States, dog-deer hunting for white-tailed deer only occurs in nine states of the Southeast. We reviewed hunting regulations and primary literature, interviewed state-agency biologists, and simulated deer movements on national forests to investigate the current status of dog-deer hunting and develop recommendations for best practices to manage methods associated with the tradition. We recommend: 1) developing plans for consistent communication among agencies and stakeholders, 2) allowing dog-deer hunting where the practice is accepted culturally, 3) developing and enforcing permit systems to ensure hunter accountability, and 4) encouraging or requiring tracking and correction collars on dogs to reduce trespass.

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