Legislature OKs bill to allow use of tracking dogs

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Pennsylvania legislature has given final approval to a bill that would allow hunters to use leashed dogs to track big game that has been legally harvested or wounded.

Senate Bill 135 received unanimous approval by the House on Monday and is headed to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature. The measure was unanimously approved by the Senate last year.

Sen. Mario Scavello (R-Monroe/Northampton) said his proposal would greatly decrease the chances of leaving deceased animals unrecovered.

Under current law, it is illegal to use a dog for hunting, pursuing, or killing big game, except wild turkey during the fall season. Scavello said his legislation would not change the prohibition, but would assist hunters in tracking harvested deer, bear and elk.

The use of leashed tracking dogs is allowed in approximately 35 states, six of which surround Pennsylvania.

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