Should We Use Dogs?

13FE Recently, we covered a phenomenal buck on the BBZ from New York that was taken by bowhunter Kevin Harris. A few days ago, Harris sent me an email about how his deer has stirred up some controversy with a local Big Buck Club near his home. The club is arguing on whether or not to judge his buck for possible entry in their record buck due to recovery issues.

Initially, Harris was unable to find his giant 15-point buck immediately following the shot. The next day he called upon NY State DEC Licensed Trackers who volunteer their time by using dogs to help find wounded big game animals to assist in the recovery. All involved followed the letter of the law in recovering the deer and no violations occurred. However, this situation has raised many ethical questions from members inside and outside the hunting community. Harris strongly believes that he made the most ethical move in this situation.

“I do not feel that anything unethical occurred and a lot of other hunters would have probably done the same thing," Harris says. "I have always hunted for the meat, not for a trophy. As a hunter, we owe it to the game we hunt to recover any animal that is shot in the field and I have no regrets. However, I respect the hunters of the BBZ and would like to know what they think about this matter.” On that note, is using dogs to recover a downed deer when the blood trail has gone cold ethical or not? Let us know what you think. – Travis Faulkner