bear-hunting dogs

I write to both thank and commend Sen. Chris Bray (D-Addison County) for his commitment to ensure that all Vermonters are represented and heard when it comes to wildlife matters. The legislation that he proposes in bill S.321 is long-overdue, especially the section on bear hounding.  There are numerous problems with bear hounding that his legislation seeks to address, which include violations of landowner rights, mother bears and their cubs being placed in danger each year starting on June 1 during the hound “training” season, and the tightening up of the current definition of “control of...

STATE LEGISLATORS, INCLUDING Rep. Amy Sheldon, left, and Sen. Ruth Hardy say they will be having a conversation about what ‘control of your hunting dog’ means.
Editor’s note: This story is third in a series. The first, "Bear-hunting hounds attack hikers and pup," was published on October 31, 2019; the second, "Bear-hound attack shocks hunting community," was published on November 7, 2019. On November 26, 2019, Christopher Ross spoke to VPR's Mitch Wertlieb about this story during Morning Edition; click here to listen. VERMONT — State lawmakers have promised to scrutinize the laws that regulate hunting bear with dogs. This comes after a pack of bear-hounds attacked a couple and their leashed puppy on the Catamount Trail in Ripton last month; the...
Right from the start of reporter Christopher Ross’s series of stories on the bear hounds that attacked a couple and their black, furry puppy in the U.S. Forest off the Ripton-Goshen road in mid-October, it was apparent any solution would revolve around maintaining control of the dogs. It was also apparent that having “control” of a hound on the scent of a bear or any other prey is in the eye of the beholder to some, and an oxymoron to others. By its very nature, bear hunting with hounds allows the dogs to run free of their owners’ direct control (it would be impossible to keep up with them in...
Editor’s note: This story is second in a series. The first, "Bear-hunting hounds attack hikers and pup," was published on October 31, 2019. VERMONT — Members of the bear-hound hunting community, along with state officials, have expressed shock over an Oct. 19 incident on the Catamount Trail in Ripton, in which five bear-hounds attacked a couple and their puppy. Such an incident has never happened before, say supporters, who characterize their sport as having a positive culture with strict practices and high standards. Brandon resident Wayne Newton, whose bear-hounds were involved with the...

MERYL SIEGMAN’S HANDS show some of the puncture wounds she suffered while shielding her puppy from an attack by bear-hunting hounds in the Green Mountain National Forest near the Ripton-Goshen border earlier this month. Photo courtesy of Meryl Siegman and Ron Scapp
RIPTON — On Saturday, Oct. 19, around mid-day, a pack of bear hunting dogs attacked two hikers and their puppy on the Catamount Trail in the Green Mountain National Forest near the Ripton-Goshen border.   Former Ripton resident Meryl Siegman, 65, and her husband, Ron Scapp, 64, who have been hiking in the area for more than 30 years, had completed roughly one-quarter of their intended walk when they heard barking, they told the Independent.   “Almost instantaneously we were swarmed by five dogs,” Siegman said.   Scapp described them as “big hound dogs, in the 60- to 80-pound range, wearing...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
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