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Idaho Fish and Game

Dogs chasing wildlife

Consequences of dogs chasing wildlife


Dogs and deer don't mix

Springtime and early summer bring young wildlife into conflict with our furry friends far too often. A young deer does not have the ability or instinct to avoid the playful ruff housing of dogs, and even a mature 5x5 white-tailed buck often doesn't have the stamina to outrun or hide from multiple hounds. 

Whether the dog owner failed to maintain control of the pets or is negligent in their care, this deer succumbed to exhaustion and multiple bites over its body. Instead of being harvested by a happy archery hunter, this deer was euthanized. The meat could not be salvaged due to the extent of its injuries. Senior Conservation Officer Brian Perkes said, “It is unfortunate that at the height of archery season, this deer was not able to be utilized."

Dogs chasing wildlife

Dog owners are encouraged to take responsibility to manage their pets and follow local regulations when leashes are required. Any dog found at large can result in the owner receiving an infraction. A dog chasing big game, other than legal and permitted hound hunters for bear and mountain lions, could also receive an infraction, but the results could be much more severe. 

A dog found actively tracking, pursuing, harassing, attacking or killing big game animals can be euthanized by law enforcement personnel. No one wants this to occur to either wildlife or the dog.

Additional articles related to this story can be found on Idaho Fish and Game's website at

Anyone that sees dogs chasing big game are encouraged to contact their local law enforcement or the Citizens Against Poaching hotline at (800) 632-5999, 24-hours a day. Thank you for your cooperation to protect Idaho's wildlife.