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The California Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water is scheduled to consider a bill on Tuesday, March 24, that ostensibly bans the use of dogs for deer hunting.  This is a follow-up to a bill passed in 2019 that banned bobcat hunting in the state.

Supporters of Senate Bill 1041 characterize hunting with dogs as packs of frenzied dogs descending on helpless wildland animals and tearing them apart, which is completely false. Current law allows one hunter to use one dog while deer hunting. This mischaracterization speaks to the inaccurate and emotional nature of messaging presented by animal rights advocates. Supporters of this bill also state that a dog running through the woods will cause irreparable harm to any wildlife the dog encounters.

The use of a dog for deer hunting not only enables a hunter to find legal game, but to also recover an animal that has been wounded. A wounded deer may be able to travel some distance from the hunter. This would cause the animal to suffer a slow painful death if the hunter cannot recover the animal in a timely manner.

It is also important to note that current California law only permits hunting on lands where previous permission has been granted and it is clearly posted.  Furthermore, if a deer is injured and wanders onto other land, the hunter must obtain permission first.

From the breed preservation standpoint, SB 1041 is another attempt to alter the activities for which dog breeds were developed. Hunting dogs were developed to hunt and if they cannot engage in those activities, they will lose those abilities within a few generations.  For this reason, AKC encourages those who reside and/or participate in AKC performance events in California to express concerns with this legislation.

What You Can Do:

Contact the bill’s author, Sen. Ben Hueso, and members of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water prior to the hearing on Tuesday, March 24:

California Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water

Sen. Henry I. Stern (D) Chair

Sen Brian Jones (R) Vice Chair

Sen. Ben Hueso (D)- Sponsor, SB 1041

Sen. Anna Caballero (D)

Sen. Andreas Borgeas (R)

Sen Bob Hertzberg (D)

Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D)

Sen Bill Monning (D)

AKC Government Relations continues to monitor this bill.  For questions or more information on this legislation, contact AKC GR at