A flood of complaints surrounding dog hunting in north Florida has sparked controversy. Now, wildlife officials are revisiting the rule books proposing new plans for stricter hunting laws.
In order to resolve the problem of hunting dogs damaging private property, the state of Florida is suggesting a new permit plan, an idea that bodes well with angered landowners.
It's threats like these that were brought before the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Wednesday at a packed public meeting, but others argue the FWC's response is too strict. They say the commission is punishing all dog hunters because of a few bad apples.
Rep Will Kendrick, (D) Carrabelle, FL, says, “It takes one bad apple to make mistake, then landowners not allowed to use land for hunting with dogs.”
Rep. Bev Kilmer, (R) Marianna, adds, “You've got property rights on both sides violated. It's important the penalty go with the man not the land.”
The FWC commissioning board says it wants to resolve the issue without downsizing the dog hunting industry. They say changing existing rules is the only way to go.
Currently hunters are fined if a complaint is made by a property owner, but the new plan is stricter, imposing steep fines and suspension of permits for both hunters and landowners.