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DuckDog

Does my wife need a license?

60 posts in this topic

My wife absolutely loves our Yellow Lab. When we go for a ride and drive by "hunting land" the dog goes crazy wanting to get out and hunt.

My wife now would like to go for a walk to watch the dog work while I hunt.

Does she need a license to walk a field while pheasant hunting?

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I believe so as she'd be "assisting you" which is part of the definition of "taking" game. She's walking and could be pushing or flushing birds so she's assisting as I understand the law. Only way she wouldn't be is if she walks behind you I think.

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I don't think so, as long as she doesn't have a firearm. And isn't running around going crazy and obviously flushing the birds for you

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I would contact the DNR for clarification. They are quite good at getting back to you in a few days usually.

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I have had the wife come along and we have never had a problem. My thought is that if she is not carrying how can she "take" game? Not positive but we have never had problems.

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No license needed, my wife has been doing it for years. She follows along cuz she loves to watch my pointer and be out in the open spaces with me. Adam

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I emailed the DNR and they stated if she is working the dog or flushing birds she would need a license.

So, do I not shoot a bird if she were to happen to kick it up? If she says -- hey pup come here.. is she working the dog?

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There was a post on this subject last year and I think the conclusion was if she is in the field with you she should have a license. It would be up to the CO whether to issue a ticket. Get the wrong one on the wrong day and a ticket would be issued. If my wife wanted to come along and watch the dog I would not buy her a license, I would take my chances.

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No license needed, my wife has been doing it for years. She follows along cuz she loves to watch my pointer and be out in the open spaces with me. Adam

So, if i've been smoking crack for years and never had any problem, does that make it legal?

I don't think you'll want to start splitting hairs with the law unless you have deep enough pockets to afford the cost. Was she assisting by walking 20 feet to my right? Honest officer, she was just there for the walk. Was she assisting because she called the dog toward her? Honest officer, the dog was responding to her call. How can I help it if he flushed a bird on the way there?

I think you'd be on the losing end of those arguments. What would you rather pay - license fees or fines?

Bob

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She needs a license. If she's in the field with you she's assisting you. It doesn't matter what your intent is. Even if the bird didn't flush in front of her it would have been aware of her presence and reacted accordingly which means she assisted in flushing the bird.

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Unless she is literally walking five feet behind you, in my mind she is still participating in the hunt and needs a license. Plus, she won't resist yelling "there's one" when it gets up, which would be participating in the hunt.

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Excellent discussion. I never would have guessed that a "walker" would need a license but there are some very good points brought up about flushing and dog handling. I brought my son to South Dakota with me last weekend and since he wasn't old enough to get a license, I didn't get him one and he only walked along with us. It wouldn't be a big deal here since he doesn't need a license this year to hunt at 11 years old, but in SoDak it might, assuming the same language in the regulation. Perhaps I was on the wrong side of the gray line?

I've also thought about making a third trip out there with a friend of mine. He doesn't have a dog and I do. I wouldn't hunt, per se, but I would be there to handle my dog for him. He gets the use of my dog, my dog gets more field time. I'll have to reconsider this in light of this discussion. I'm not interested in losing my hunting privileges.

Good food for thought. If nothing else, if you get your wife a license then you can take home her limit too.

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The dog handler point has been argued many times. Its important to note because many people think that they are okay by just running the dog for a friend, but you are very much assisting the hunt.

I have to say that buying a $20 license (might be $23) shouldn't be a sticking point.

Maybe your wife will get interested and want to start carrying a gun. I've heard of stranger things.

I will say that I think its great that your wife is interested in supporting you hunting and using your dog. She may not hunt but she supports the sport.

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I emailed the DNR and they stated if she is working the dog or flushing birds she would need a license.

So, do I not shoot a bird if she were to happen to kick it up? If she says -- hey pup come here.. is she working the dog?

If she has no desire to shoot and wants to tag along, bring her. If a CO is that hard up, take it to court. I would guess it would be tossed out in a New York minute.

I don't suspect you would have any problem, anywhere.

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I actully asked this question about 14 - 15 years ago to a CO. My mother loves taking pics of nature and wildlife and when I was younger and living at MOM and DADS she would come along every now and then when I went grouse hunting. Mostly because she loved the lab I had at the time and wanted to make sure he was being well takin care of afeild. Anyway I wondered if it was ok for her to tag along with me even though she wasn't carrying a gun. I called our local CO at the time and he said as long as she wasn't aiding in the taking of game and only observing, she would be fine. He aslo told me that most CO's would be able to tell the difference between the two. In the end he said that it would be an eithical question since the EXTRA person in the feild did not have a gun. We got into a discussion about a cross country skier once making a deer drive!!! of course he had no gun but the CO knew what he was doing but couldn't do a thing about it because how could he prove intent???

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Originally Posted By: DuckDog
I emailed the DNR and they stated if she is working the dog or flushing birds she would need a license.

So, do I not shoot a bird if she were to happen to kick it up? If she says -- hey pup come here.. is she working the dog?

If she has no desire to shoot and wants to tag along, bring her. If a CO is that hard up, take it to court. I would guess it would be tossed out in a New York minute.

I don't suspect you would have any problem, anywhere.

I'm thinkin' that the few thousand dollars in defense attorney fees and court costs wouldn't be worth the argument. Spend $20, buy the license, help support pheasant habitat, and enjoy "knowing" that you are legal instead of looking over your shoulder.

Bob

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Wouldn't need any money to cover attorneys or anything else for that matter. Only thing it would cost you is the time off from work.

You show up to contest the ticket, and as long as she's not "aiding" in taking game, it would get tossed.

Like the picklefarmer says, I think any CO would be able to tell the difference.

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Use vacation time to contest a ticket in court or buy the license? I would buy the license. I would rather use my vacation time to hunt and not to contest a ticket that could have been avoided.

Before reading this thread, I would have honestly said that a license was not required. However, having read all the comments - I would say buy a license for her.

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I do not or would not buy a license when my wife walks with me grouse hunting. But the point above is interesting...

MN (unlike ND where I grew up) is a party hunting state for upland game. Buy the license and you are now legal to shoot her limit too. Ethical maybe not ... legal ? in MN it is.

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Buy the license and you are now legal to shoot her limit too. Ethical maybe not ... legal ? in MN it is.

If, in the eyes of the law, she's assisting in taking game and therefore needs a license, then how can you say it might not be ethical? You're not buying a license because you want a double limit, you're buying a license because the regulations say you must, and if you each have a license, then you have all the benefits that go with that, including taking a limit for both.

If you buy her a license but she doesn't go, but you then can stock your freezer with a double possession limit, now that would be unethical.

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I took my girlfriend goose hunting last year with a friend too, the CO stopped by the field and came in when we started packing up and she didnt have a license or a firearm but sat in her own blind. CO checked for license and asked if she was hunting I said no, and there were no problems.

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I've checked out the regs on this & she will need a license. Anyone out in the field w/ you will need a license,whether they're walking,crawling,rolling,complaining,or what have you,they are aiding in taking game as in a drive & need to be licensed if carrying a weapon or not.

I know it's not fare,but wear do you draw the line? My wife would like to see our Britt work but doesen't want to kill the bird!!

Ya I know, I'm work'n on it!! smile

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I've checked out the regs on this & she will need a license. Anyone out in the field w/ you will need a license,whether they're walking,crawling,rolling,complaining,or what have you,they are aiding in taking game as in a drive & need to be licensed if carrying a weapon or not.

Then, there should surely be no problem killing her birds too! She having a gun or not.

Wonder which scenario would have the CO scratching his head more? Her having no license and walking along, or her having a license, no shotgun, and you with six birds?

Interesting question.

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Remember that party hunting is technically not legal while waterfowl hunting (Federal rule) and some states do not allow party hunting for upland game (ND).

I think this MN law needs revisiting for bird hunting. They took away this rule (need for a license when assisting) for MN turkey hunting a few years ago. I see minimal impact for the so called "aiding" during upland and waterfowl hunts.

That said here is the easy answer: GO TO A GAME FARM. She will see many points and good dog work in a controlled environment.

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My wife hunts with me at least a few times a year. She does have a license and we usually end up with 2 limits, you just never know for sure who actually downed the bird when both of you shoot (although I do have a feeling that I hit more than she does!). Even if you only have one gun between the two of you, you could tell the CO that she shot the first 3 and you shot the last three, unless they've witnessed otherwise---

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