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Oregon Ban May End Dog Field Trials, Hunt Tests

According to Sportsmen's Alliance, the Oregon ban will not only end coyote contents, but also threaten hunting with dogs by eliminating field trials and hunt tests. (Jeff Phillips photo)

Sportsmen's Alliance urges Oregon sportsmen to contact their state senator and ask them to vote NO on Senate Bill 723

The Oregon bill that would prohibit coyote contests could also eliminate field trials and dog-training events that utilize gamebirds. Senate Bill 723, which has been sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee, would ban events that have the objective of taking wildlife for prizes or other inducement or for the purpose of entertainment. This bill, introduced by Sen. Michael Dembrow (D-Portland) and Sen. Jeff Golden (D-Ashland), would ban any event where dogs compete or are trained using gamebirds that award ribbons, a ranking, a medal or a trophy.

That’s what makes Senate Bill 723 a threat to hunting with dogs. Hunters depend on dogs with very specific traits and abilities, and field trials and hunt tests are the primary means of testing those natural abilities, training methods and ensuring quality bloodlines in an objective manner.

“While anti-hunting groups focus their rhetoric on coyote contests, their real intent is to end all hunting, including waterfowl and upland bird hunting using dogs,” said Bruce Tague, Sportsmen’s Alliance vice president of government affairs. “The biggest irony here is that well-trained dogs are the greatest conservation tool a hunter employs. They find and retrieve birds that hunters without a dog would never be able to recover. But senators Dembrow and Golden obviously don’t care about wildlife and dog owners, but would rather cater to animal-rights activists.”

Any person or organization in violation of the proposed bill could face up to 364 days in jail and a $6,250.

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