Dogs; licensed hunter may track a wounded bear, turkey, or deer with certain weapon. (HB995)

Introduced By

Del. Kathy Byron (R-Lynchburg)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Tracking wounded bear, deer, or turkey. Allows a licensed hunter to use tracking dogs to find a wounded or dead bear, deer, or turkey. The bill authorizes the hunter to have a weapon in his possession and to use it to humanely kill the tracked animal, including after legal shooting hours. The bill prohibits using the weapon to hunt, wound, or kill any animal other than the animal the hunter is tracking, except in self-defense. Current law prohibits a hunter from having a weapon in his possession while tracking. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/09/2018Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/18 18102690D
01/09/2018Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources
01/23/2018Assigned ACNR sub: Subcommittee #2
01/29/2018Impact statement from DPB (HB995)
01/31/2018Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (7-Y 0-N)
02/07/2018Reported from Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources with substitute (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/07/2018Committee substitute printed 18106509D-H1
02/09/2018Read first time
02/09/2018Impact statement from DPB (HB995H1)
02/12/2018Read second time
02/12/2018Committee substitute agreed to 18106509D-H1
02/12/2018Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB995H1
02/13/2018Read third time and passed House BLOCK VOTE (100-Y 0-N)
02/13/2018VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (100-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/14/2018Constitutional reading dispensed
02/14/2018Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
03/01/2018Reported from Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources (9-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/05/2018Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/06/2018Read third time
03/06/2018Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/08/2018Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB995ER)
03/08/2018Impact statement from DPB (HB995ER)
03/08/2018Signed by Speaker
03/10/2018Signed by President
03/16/2018Enrolled Bill communicated to Governor on March 16, 2018
03/16/2018G Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, April 9, 2018
03/23/2018G Approved by Governor-Chapter 447 (effective 7/1/18)
03/23/2018G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0447)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 7 minutes.


John Jeanneney writes:

This bill will reduce animal suffering and contribute to the safety of the handler. I have had 40 years of tracking experience, and I have been charged and knocked out by a wounded buck.

Peter Smith writes:

I have been tracking for several years and it is so important to end the suffering of these animals as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Brad Shoemaker writes:

I am a tracker, and have experienced finding live wounded animals with no weapon; this presents a danger for all concerned. This bill doesn't leave the hunter and tracker defenseless, and it helps to quickly end needless suffering.

Peter Sutphin writes:

I have a blood tracking dog and this bill is IMMORAL! Why charge someone extra $ to recover a wounded animal? We owe that animal every single effort to find it, that is just part of hunting. So don't go charging people extra money for a license just to find their animal. That's ludicrous. Most of the deer I track are for children, and I often don't make a single dime but I recover their animal for a nice meal and fantastic memory. There's one thing I can assure you though - forcing us to buy a license will result in less people calling us to help find their deer since they think we will charge an arm and a leg now since we had to buy a license which results in more wasted wildlife (coyote food)....