Hunting With Dogs
The New York State Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) allows hunting with dogs throughout the state. Hunting dogs improve your chances of finding and recovering game, but the true advantage of having a hunting dog is having a companion in the field. The bond between hunter and dog is a friendship unlike any other — one that teaches patience, devotion, and allows for serenity in the outdoors. People who hunt with dogs are guided by several important rules and considerations:
- Get permission of all landowners in the area you plan to hunt before heading afield.
- A hunter may not go on posted property, even to retrieve a dog, without landowner permission.
- It is not lawful for a hunter to knowingly release a dog on posted lands.
- In general, dogs are not allowed to run “at large” on lands occupied by deer, but as long as a dog is being used to hunt small game species (this includes game birds as well as raccoons, foxes, bobcats, and coyotes) during an open season under the control of a licensed hunter, it is not considered at-large.
- Some forms of hunting with dogs involve traveling long distances. In these cases, the dogs do not need to be within sight of the hunter, but hunters should avoid releasing the dogs in areas where they may run onto private land on which you do not have permission. Hunters may use radio tracking devices to help them follow their dog.
Hunters should remember that every time you go afield, you are an ambassador of the hunting community:
- Respect our natural resources and be considerate of both the hunting and non-hunting public by obeying all hunting laws and regulations.
- Respect private property owners. Some species, like coyotes, foxes, and raccoons, can travel large distances when being pursued. Get permission from all landowners in any area where your dogs may travel.
- Be a good steward of the resource — information you provide through surveys and harvest reporting is essential for sound game management.