Paradise Farm Property
Our hunting property in Virginia is full of wildlife and though we do not hunt with deerhounds, it is not only a popular past time it is also a historical one.
The Virginia Deer Management plan works to preserve the heritage of hunting with hounds. Whether it be for population management or recreation.
About 44% of Virginia hunters use hounds, when and where it is permitted. That is 86% of the total deer harvest. Not taking into consideration the fact that many hunters may not hunt exclusively with hounds.
It cost about $3,000 a year to maintain a hunting hound. Including feeding, care, and housing of the dog as well as fuel for transportation costs and hunting-related expenses.
Due to the changing demographics, a lot of pressure has been put on a sport that historically was widely accepted.
An informal survey of 3500 participants found the opinions on hound hunting very divided. Common concerns are trespassing, and deerhounds interfering with other non-hound deer hunters.
Hunting Violations and Hounds
Another problem is that many hunting regulations are the same whether or not a hound is involved. There are 28 types of hunting complaints. Of the 28, hound complaint are the 6th most common. That is 20 % of all hunting complaints in the state of Virginia.
Loss of Land
Historically hunting with hounds took place on very large farms, 5,000 acres or more. Now the average hound club has less than 1,300 acres.
The Hunting Dog Owners Code of Ethics
- To provide proper food, water, medical care, and shelter and insist that others do the same
2. Proper ID and contact information will be on all dogs.
3. To diligently locate and retrieve hounds as quickly as possible after the chase.
4. To only release dogs on land where it is permitted, as well as insisting that others do the same.
5. To find a proper home for any dog that is determined I cannot keep. As well as not abandon them or tolerate anyone who does.
6. To consider myself the guest of the landowner, so that I will be welcomed back in the future.
7. To do the best to tread lightly when afield. I will use established roads and tracks. As well as leave all gates as I found them.
8. To promote fair chase of game, and ethical treatment of hounds.
9. To strictly abide by all gun safety and hunting regulations and report others who do not.
10. To actively encourage new and young hunters to participate in the camaraderie of hunting with hounds.
11. The right of retrieval law allows the hunter to retrieve their dogs. To practice the “right of respect” toward landowners when encountering them.
12. To always be mindful that I’m the public face of hound hunters when afield as well as in the community. I will strive to hold others to the highest standard of behavior when hunting. So we will reflect highly on the ancient tradition of hunting with hounds.
Changing Times and Timeless Traditions
The practice of hunting with deerhounds is not exempt from the changing times. It is a tradition that can only be preserved by ethical hunters. People who take the public into consideration, hunt responsibly and take excellent care of their hounds!