On February 22, 2023 An act relating to prohibiting the hunting of bear or coyote with dogs, H.323 was read and referred to the Vermont House Committee on Environment & Energy. The bill would not prohibit the hunting of other game animals and birds with the aid of dogs. The bill was sponsored by Representative Larry Satcowitz (District: Orange-Washington-Addison) who is also a sponsor of H.191 a bill that would ban recreational trapping. There is no date yet known when either bill will be discussed in the Committee on Environment & Energy.
Both H.323 and H.191 address the growing conflict between hound hunters, trappers and landowners and residents opposed to the practices. In recent years, confrontations between Vermont hound hunters and landowners have been filmed and gone viral. Many landowners object to bear hounds on their property, while other residents have been cited for pepper spraying bear hunters legally using hounds. The conflicts have led to other legislation, such as Act 165, related to hunting coyotes with hounds which mandated the establishment of regulations and a season on hunting coyotes with hounds in Vermont.
Please contact your elected representatives and members of the House Environment & Energy Committee to voice your support for the proposed legislation and let them know you do not support the use of free roaming dogs to hunt coyotes or bears.
H.323 As Introduced: