Dog Leashes WMAs Hearing 2/6 Report

AMT1379

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I went to the hearing last night. (https://www.mass.gov/news/masswildlife-proposes-dog-leash-and-waste-removal-regulations) I thought F&W did a decent job of presenting their mission (protecting wildlife and supporting traditional use which includes hunting, fishing, trapping, and wildlife observation), and the growing concern with increased off-leash activity on WMAs. Although, I would preferred a definition of a WMA, and an explanation of how they came to be (hunters' dollars). F&W did emphasize they want shared use and dogs are always welcome, just on leash if not engaging in hunting.

Lots of hunters/hunt clubs were present with generally support for the new regulations (dogs need to be on-leash unless they are hunting, being trained to hunt, and the owner has a valid hunting license). I spoke in favor as did many others. The one big concern voiced by hunters was the definition of hunt training. They want to make sure it broad enough to encompass a full range of training activities.

There were many there not in favor of the proposed rules. Some were asking why voice commands didn't count as a "tether". I thought that was fairly obvious. One guy who owns a dog walking business blew me away with his obliviousness. He said he walks dogs on the WMA 2-4 hours per day and estimated ~14,000 walked dogs per year. To give him credit, he did touch on the importance of cleaning up dog waste. But then he went into this speech about how dogs aren't as dangerous as the other wildlife on a WMA and maybe domestic dogs should be included in the definition of wildlife and included in F&Ws mission. I couldn't help wondering after walking all those dogs, and creating a business that relies on WMAs, how many times has he purchased a hunting or fishing license.

The F&W Board will be accepting written comments for the next couple of weeks, and then, if they decide to move forward it will go through an internal review and then go to the Secretary of State. If you support the new rule, please write in!!!
 

AMT1379

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My jaw hit the floor last night at the monthly Rod and Gun Club meeting and a member gave an update on the dog leash proposal that made it out to be a terrible idea. I just don't get some folks.
 

45acp

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I may attend.
I hunt in Upton State Forest mostly muzzleloader and have heard and seen countless folks running their dogs. off leash! They totally ignore the leash law and it is a serious issue. They passed the law last year but to this day not much enforcement. I have seen many coyote and coyote sign throughout the area and passed that on to dog owners. I was at F+W in Westboro last month and had a conversation with them about the problem. Told them what they need to do is put unmarked vehicle in. parking l.ot and start issuing fines. We shall see! I have had confrontations with some people on the issues they say we hunters are the problem!!
 

NH Hunter

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I hunt in Upton State Forest mostly muzzleloader and have heard and seen countless folks running their dogs. off leash! They totally ignore the leash law and it is a serious issue. They passed the law last year but to this day not much enforcement. I have seen many coyote and coyote sign throughout the area and passed that on to dog owners. I was at F+W in Westboro last month and had a conversation with them about the problem. Told them what they need to do is put unmarked vehicle in. parking l.ot and start issuing fines. We shall see! I have had confrontations with some people on the issues they say we hunters are the problem!!

isn't that the way of a nanny state though? Make some happy by passing more laws, then be too lazy to enforce them?
 

45acp

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isn't that the way of a nanny state though? Make some happy by passing more laws, then be too lazy to enforce them?
Yup I even volunteered to be deputized and enforce the law!! LOL
 
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