(a) Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, a person who is legally hunting and reasonably believes he or she has mortally wounded a deer or bear may use leashed dogs to track and locate the mortally wounded deer or bear. The hunter is also permitted to use a dog handler of leashed dogs to track and locate the mortally wounded deer or bear. The hunter or the dog handler shall maintain physical control of the leashed dogs at all times.
(b) The act of tracking a mortally wounded deer or bear with a dog is hunting and the hunter and handler are subject to all applicable laws and rules. It is unlawful for a hunter or dog handler to track deer or bear with leashed dogs under the provisions of this section unless he or she is in possession of a valid hunting license issued pursuant to this article or is a person excepted from licensing requirements pursuant to this article, and all other lawful authorizations as prescribed in this article. The hunter shall accompany the dog handler and only the hunter may kill a mortally wounded deer or bear. The deer or bear shall count toward the bag limit of the hunter.
(c) Any dog handler providing tracking services for profit must be licensed as an outfitter or guide pursuant to § 20-2-23 of this code.
Acts 2020, c. 236, eff. June 5, 2020.