Get up. Speak. It is your turn.
Did you know that New Hampshire beagle clubs are allowed to capture wildlife? snowshoe hares to train hunting dogs?
After capture, they are transported to unfamiliar terrain, kept in fenced pens and used in competitions called “field trials”. During these trials, the beagles are released in packs to follow the hares. While the goal is not to kill snowshoe hares, hares naturally believe themselves to be in danger when chased. For a hare, fear itself can be fatal.
This practice violates the right of snowshoe hares to live in their natural habitat, where they were born. Eric Stohl, who chairs the NH Fish and Game Commission, agrees captive wild snowshoe hares for dog training should stop. Stohl recently said that hare hunters should train their dogs in the wild like other hunters do.
Another good reason not to take snowshoe hares from the wild for training dogs is that they are a “key species,” which means they are essential members of the ecosystem. Snowshoe hares turn brown to white in winter. NH’s milder winters mean they’re increasingly whiter against a brown landscape, making them more vulnerable than ever to being killed by hunters or natural predators.
Help snowshoe hares by supporting Bill 1308 to end their capture for dog training? The hearing on the bill will take place in early January. Email the Fish, Game and Marine Resources Committee at HouseFishandGameCommittee @ leg.