FWC officials have conducted workshops in north Florida to hear landowners' concerns and to work with dog-hunter groups in an effort to continue the sport in suitable areas.
The FWC has launched a rule development process for the issue, revolving around a recommended permitting process for dog hunters.
FWC staff recommends the agency launch a pilot program in the Northwest Region, requiring dog-hunters to obtain permits before the beginning of the 2004-05 hunting season. Groups or individual hunters who fail repeatedly to restrain dogs from crossing onto private lands without permission will face permit revocation by the FWC.
Commissioners have instructed FWC staff to prepare a rule that will allow very few infractions, possibly as few as two, before the agency will revoke dog hunting permits.
If the program is successful, the FWC will consider expanding the program statewide in 2005-06.