Legal Hound

Hunter's Horn, April 2012HUNTER’S HORN – On behalf of houndsmen, Representative Steve Kouplen (D), District 24 which includes Creek, Hughes, Okfuskee and Okmulgee counties, introduced HB-2356 into the 2012 state legislature. This bill was assigned to the House of Representatives Agricultural, Wildlife and Environment committee. The bill has received a do-pass recommendation by the committee with a 14-2 vote.

Opposing this recommendation were Representative Tommy Harden (R), District 49 which includes Carter, Love and Marshal counties, and Representative Larry Glenn (D), District 7 which includes Delaware and Ottawa Counties.  If passed, this bill would allow a hunter to go onto property where he did not have permission to hunt to retrieve his dog by calling the county sheriff’s office and leaving his name, drivers license number and location. If the houndsman calls the sheriff’s office leaving the required information he would not be charged with trespassing. Senator Charles Wyric (D), District 1, has agreed to help us pass this bill if it reaches the Senate.

Senator Charles Wyric (D), District 1 which includes Craig, Delaware and Ottawa counties, on behalf of houndsmen introduced SB-1270. If passed this bill would allow a houndsman to go onto the property of a person where he did not have permission to hunt for the sole purpose of retrieving his hound. This bill was assigned to the Agricultural and Rural Development committee. This committee is chaired by Senator Eddie Fields (R), District 10 which includes Osage, Pawnee and portions of Kay, Payne and Tulsa counties.

Senator Fields refused to put the bill on the committee agenda for consideration therefore killing the bill. However, Senator Fields has signed on as Senate co-author of HB-2356, and we are told that if HB-2356 makes it out of the House he will support it in the Senate.

Much of the anti-hunting legislation has come from ranchers who indicate that hunters have come onto their property without permission and have caused damage to fences or have left gates open allowing livestock to escape. If it becomes necessary for you to go onto the property of another person, with or without permission, you can greatly aid our cause by making sure that you do not damage the landowner’s property or do not leave a gate open.

I recently received a call from a houndsman wanting to know what rules govern the hunting of swine at night. In order to hunt swine at night the hunter must obtain a permit issued by the Department of Wildlife Conservation. The permit will be valid for one year from the date of issue. The hunter must have permission of the landowner or the lessee of the land owner where he is hunting.

The hunter may use a headlight carried on his person while hunting at night. The hunter may not use a headlight mounted on a vehicle or use a headlight from a public roadway.

The year 2012 is an important election year. The Democratic and Republican primaries will be held on June 26, 2012. You must be registered to vote if you plan to vote in the primary. The last date to register is June 1, 2012.

All houndsmen should register to vote. Your spouse should be registered to vote. You should encourage all of your children, relatives and friends to register to vote. We want to vote in favor of those legislators that support our program and vote against those legislatures who oppose our program.

This is the only way that we will obtain political influence. We have been contacted by Mr. Rob Standridge (R), who is running for the republican nomination for the Oklahoma State Senate, District 15 which includes Cleveland County.

We have talked with Rob Standridge on one occasion. He is a hunter and seemingly would be supportive of our legislative positions. The Democratic nominee will probably be Claudia Griffith. We will make every effort to visit with her about our legislative program.

I am happy to report that Curtis McDaniel (D) was elected to fill the House of Representatives seat for District 1, McCurtain County. The special election filled the vacancy created by the death of Representative Rusty Farley (R).

Representative McDaniel will need to stand for reelection in November, 2012. We supported him in his recent race for election and urge your support for him again in November, 2012.

The Oklahoma Federation of Coon Hunters recently held a very successful “Winter Classic” hunt and show at Perry, Oklahoma.

By Ed Abel, 405-239-7046