The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has banned the use of enclosures in the hunting of fox or coyote with hounds. The decision, made at a commission meeting on Wednesday, September 1, made permanent the temporary ban instituted in February.
The ban is the result of complaints concerning at least one pen owner’s non-compliance with requirements and game laws.
Hounds may still be used to chase foxes and coyotes in the open. One such venue is Eglin Air Force Base, where a fox and coyote season for chasing runs from May 15 to August 31.
Foxhound training pens are used by many hunts around the country as a part of their puppy training program. The pens are also used by individuals who simply enjoy running their hounds. Foxes (or coyotes) are provided with refuges within the pen to allow them to escape hounds when pressed. There are rules that limit the number of hounds that may be in a pen at any one time.
The Florida Commissioners considered possible new rules but decided they would be unenforceable. Jeff Barker's article in the Panama City News Herald has more.
September 12, 2010