38 dogs rescued from lake in Mississippi

This is extraordinary and sad to be honest. Thirty-eight dogs ran into Grenada Lake in Mississippi when chasing a deer. But they were not meant to do that as they were fox hunting. Deer hunting is illegal in Mississippi while fox hunting is legal (see below).

Some of the rescued dogs on the boat
Some of the rescued dogs on the boat. Picture: Bob Gist. Well done to have the presence of mind to record this unusual event.

A couple of fishermen were on the lake for a bit of fun and ended up spotting the large number of dogs treading water and in jeopardy of drowning as they were lost. The shore was out of vision.

They decided to rescue them all which took three trips to the shore. The last batch had been in the water for almost one hour and in severe jeopardy of drowning apparently.

The dogs showed a fear of the water when they were offloaded onto the shore. They thought that they were being put back in the water and showed clear signs of anxiety according to one of the rescuers who refused to take payment from the hunt organisers who participated during the later stages of the rescue as they were able to locate the remaining dogs using their GPS software to detect the GPS collars worn by all the dogs.

There are three instances of animal cruelty in this story but no-one has mentioned it.

  • Fishing causes pain in fish. Not many people realise it
  • The deer who ran into the lake must have been terrified. More animal distress for no good reason.
  • Fox hunting with hounds is incredibly cruel as the fox is terrified and eventually caught and torn limb from limb by an excited pack of bloodthirsty dogs.

Is fox hunting with dogs legal in Mississippi?

Yes, fox hunting with dogs is legal in Mississippi with some restrictions. Here’s a breakdown of the regulations:

  • Open season: You can hunt fox with dogs at night, year-round with the exception of the spring turkey season.
  • Night hunting: Night hunting with a light and dogs is allowed for fox.
  • Landowner permission: Always get permission from the landowner before hunting on their property.

There are also regulations regarding enclosed hunting areas:

  • Permits: A permit is required to operate a fox hunting enclosure from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).
  • Importation: Importing live foxes for hunting purposes is prohibited.

Here are some resources for further information:

  • Mississippi Hunting Regulations & Requirements: https://www.eregulations.com/
  • Rule 40-2-8.1 – General Rules for Fox, Coyote and Rabbit Pens: [Mississippi fox hunting enclosure regulations] (This legal reference might be a bit technical)

Is it legal to hunt deer with dogs in Mississippi?

No, hunting deer with dogs is currently illegal in Mississippi.

There was a legislative attempt (House Bill 973) in 2021 to make it legal again, but it wasn’t passed.

Here’s some information to confirm this:

  • Mississippi Code of 1972, Section 49-7-31: This section specifically outlaws hunting deer with dogs.
  • Mississippi Legislative Bill Status System: This site shows the status of House Bill 973, which aimed to allow deer hunting with dogs but did not pass bill status website.

Note: the organisers were not intent on hunting deer with dogs but they ended up doing just that because the dogs were out of control. There would seem to be a misdemeanour crime there somewhere.

The fishermen were Bob Gist, 61, from Arkansas and his friend Brad Carlisle from Tennessee. Bravo to them.

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