Originally Posted by LRSickle
Why did he get in trouble for shooting dogs on his own property? And why was it a felony charge?
Most states that allow hunting with any type of dog has what is called an "open cast law" This means as long as you cast the dogs on land you have legal right / permission to hunt you are good. Dogs that run or wonder onto private lands are protected unless they are doing damage to private property or livestock.
This does not give the dog owner legal right to hunt the property. It is just to protect his dog. The dog owner needs to obtain permission to go on to private land "un armed" to retrieve the dog. If permission is not granted he should wait for the dog to come out or contact the Sherriff or a Game Warden for help.
I have ran hounds for years and have had a few instances with upset land owners. Most of the time it is somone that only ownes a small parcel. The last instance was a guy with 80 acres. He was observed leading the dog off the road to his shed. When we asked if he had seen the dog he became violant and we called the law. It was discovered he led the dog behind the shed by the collar and shot it in the head with a 22. He then removed the tracking collar from the dog and took it into the shed and smashed it with a hammer.
It went to court and the dog killer payed the owner $4000 for the lost dog. That was cheap if you ask me. I raised that dog and trained it. I still have 9 trophies from him placing in field trials. $4000 was the sale price of the dog when I sold him.
You just can't shoot a dog for no reason. But the law will protect the property owners if damage is done. Think about it. As said above, it could be a bird dog, hound, or just a wondering dog that was out with owners for a walk and strayed on to private ground. The dogs do not know boundries.