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Dog hunting unleashed

By By Connie Nowlin Managing editor
Those who enjoy hunting deer with dogs have dodged a bullet.
A plan was in the works that proponents said was to protect those who hunt with dogs legally and ethically and opposition said was aimed at stopping the practice all together.
Barnett Lawley, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Natural Resources, has withdrawn the regulation. It was designed to protect landowners and hold dog owners responsible when the dogs crossed over onto land where they were not allowed to hunt.
In order for the regulation to be enforced, the wronged landowner would have to lodge a complaint.
Basically, it would weed out those who hunted on land where they did not have permission to hunt.
Rusty Montel, of Martinsville, hunts deer with dogs, and said that running his three crossbred bluetick-walker dogs is one of the things he enjoys most.
He, along with many other hunters, was opposed to what he had heard the regulation would do.
"I don't think they should single out dog hunters," he said. On further discussion about the content of the regulation, though, he agreed with the jist of the rule.
"If my dog does damage to someone else's property, I should be held responsible," he said. Montel hunts mostly at the Community Hunting Club at Huxford, and said that sometimes dogs, even his own, stray onto land adjacent to the hunt site as they trail game. In those instances, the dogs must sometimes be retrieved from the posted area.
Montel said he has had to go get his dogs, but he always gets permission from the landowner before he does, and he goes to the dogs, gets them and leaves immediately.