The Vermont Statutes Online
Vermont Fish and Wildlife Regulations
12. Leashed tracking dogs
Section 1. Definitions:
For the purposes
of this rule:
"Department" means the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife.
"Leashed tracking dog" means a dog which is used to track and find
dead, injured, or wounded big game pursuant to a license issued in accordance
with this rule. The dog must be licensed as required by subchapter 2 of chapter
193 of Title 20.
"Licensed" means a leashed tracking dog certificate issued pursuant
to this rule, authorizing use of leashed tracking dogs as specified in this
"Licensee" means a person who is the holder of a leashed tracking dog
"Physically incapacitated" means incapable of participating in the
hunt due to physical injury.
"Dispatch" means to humanely kill.
game animal" means deer and bear only.
Section 2. Prohibition:
permitted by 10 V.S.A. § 4701and section 4 of this rule, no person may use a
dog to track dead, wounded or injured big game. Law enforcement officials
acting in the performance of their official duties are exempt from the
provisions of this rule.
Section 3. Leashed tracking dog license:
tracking dog license issued by the Department entitles the licensee to:
(a) Use leashed
tracking dogs, during the day or at night to track and find dead, wounded or
injured big game during all big game seasons and the 24 hour period immediately
following the last day of a big game season.
wounded or injured big game animals which have been tracked and found in
accordance with and pursuant to the conditions of such license.
possess a big game animal which has been dispatched by the licensee, or reduced
to possession by the licensee, until lawfully tagged or until delivered to a
State Game Warden pursuant to the conditions of the license.
Section 4. Leashed tracking dog license;
(a) A big game
hunter who has killed, wounded or injured, or reasonably believes he or she has
killed, wounded or injured, a big game animal during a big game season may
engage a licensee to track and recover the animal. If the hunter is physically
incapacitated, the licensee may track and dispatch the animal if the licensee
is personally carrying a written signed instrument from the hunter listing (1)
the date, (2) the hunter's name, address, telephone number and big game license
number, and (3) a statement that the hunter has engaged the licensee to track
the animal, and that the hunter has killed, wounded or injured such animal, and
that the hunter is unable to accompany the licensee because of physical
(b) No person
other than the licensee or, during legal hunting periods, the big game hunter
who has engaged the licensee when specifically so authorized by the licensee,
may carry a firearm or bow of any description while tracking dead, wounded or
injured big game pursuant to this rule.
(c) During legal
hunting periods, the hunter who has engaged the licensee must dispatch the
wounded or injured big game animal when found by the licensee by means which
are lawful during the season in which it was wounded or injured and in a lawful
manner reduce the animal to legal possession. However, the licensee must
dispatch the wounded or injured animal if the legal hunting period has ended,
when the hunter is not present, or, when in the judgment of the licensee it is
unsafe or otherwise inappropriate for the hunter to do so.
(d) The licensee
may use a handgun of no less than .35 caliber with a barrel length of not less
than four inches to dispatch a wounded or injured big game animal, and during
the 24 hour period immediately following the last day of a big game season,
provided that the licensee complies with all other provisions of federal, state
and local laws and regulations concerning possession and discharge of firearms
and the conditions of a license granted under this rule.
tracking a dead, wounded or injured animal, the licensee must notify, by
telephone or in person, the State Game Warden assigned to the area. If the
warden is unavailable, his or her immediate supervisor will be notified.
Notification must include the 1) name of the licensee, 2) name, address,
telephone number, and big game license number of the big game hunter engaging
the licensee, 3) general location of the wounded or injured animal, and 4) the
name of the owner(s) of the land where the search will be conducted.
(f) The licensee
must maintain physical control of the leashed tracking dog(s) at all times
while conducting activities subject to this rule by means of a lead attached to
the dog's collar or harness. This lead must be at least twelve (12) feet in
(g) After a big
game animal has been dispatched, the licensed hunter must immediately tag the
carcass as required by Section 2a of part 4 Title 10 Appendix. If the hunter is
physically incapacitated, the hunter must immediately tag the carcass upon
delivery of the animal by the licensee. If the hunter is unavailable the
licensee must report the incident to and deliver the animal to a State Game
Warden or the State Game Warden's immediate supervisor.
(h) The licensee
must personally carry a current big game license and a valid leashed tracking
dog license when conducting activities pursuant to this rule.
(i) The licensee
must notify the department in writing, of any change of address within 30 days
of that change of address.
(j) The licensee
must submit to the department a written request for license renewal within the
30 days prior to the expiration of such license.
(k) The licensee
must submit an annual report to the Commissioner within 15 days of the close of
the last yearly big game season, which shall give all dates, locations and
outcomes of tracking incidents as well as the name, address and hunting license
number of each hunter and name of each State Game Warden contacted in each
Section 5. Leashed tracking dog license
for a license must:
proof of possession of a current Vermont big game hunting license;
(b) Not have
been convicted of, or pled guilty to, an offense under the Fish and Wildlife
Law, within the previous five years which resulted in a revocation of the
person's big game, hunting, or archery license;
(c) Submit a
non-refundable application fee of $25.00 and a completed application to the
Department prior to taking the written examination;
(d) Receive a
grade of 80 percent or higher on a written examination administered by the
department. The examination will be offered at least once a year and will test
the applicant's knowledge of Fish and Wildlife law and regulations, dog
training and handling methods and other areas of knowledge as deemed
appropriate or relevant by the Commissioner.
Section 6. Leashed tracking dog license;
and licensees shall pay the following fees:
(b) A license is
valid for five years from the date of issuance.
(c) A license is
valid only for the individual identified on the license and is not transferable.
(d) A licensee
who fails to renew his/her license within one year of the date of expiration
must reapply and meet all the qualifications set forth in Section 5 of this
Department may place special conditions on the license which it deems
appropriate or necessary. The Department may also waive or dispense with any
requirement of this rule when the Department deems it to be in the public
interest to do so.
Section 7. Leashed tracking dog license;
suspension or revocation:
A license issued
pursuant to this rule shall be revoked concurrently with all other licenses
upon conviction of a violation of Vermont Fish and Wildlife law pursuant to 10
V.S.A. § 4502. (1996, Fish and Wildlife Commissioner's Reg. No. 1015, eff.
Sept. 5, 1996.)