Proposed Regulation Amendment

4VAC15-40-70. Game: In General. Open dog training season.

Summary

The proposal is to (i) allow dog training on squirrels during daylight hours on private lands and (ii) allow dog training on rabbits on private lands from sunrise to midnight.

Text of Regulation

Rationale

An increasing popularity in hunting squirrels with dogs has led to constituent interest in making it explicitly legal to train squirrel dogs on private lands, similar to the training currently allowed on rabbits and non-migratory game birds. The Board proposed establishing this opportunity to gain additional public input on the issue. Staff can see no reason not to allow this training. There is no biological justification for not allowing it. No squirrels are harvested and impacts or disruptions of squirrel activity are minimal and temporary.

In addition, interest has been expressed in training dogs on rabbits from sunrise to midnight on private lands. The Board proposed establishing this opportunity to gain additional public input on the issue. Rabbits are readily seen just before and after dark, and young dogs started on rabbits at this time can be allowed to run them after dark without detriment to the rabbit population.

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