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New deer-hunting law provides way for hunters to track down wounded animals and finish them off

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BATON ROUGE — Louisiana after Aug. 1 will allow hunters to pursue wounded deer with dogs and lights and kill their prey with a handgun if the animals are still alive.

The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said Monday the recently approved law recognizes the ethical obligations of hunters and provides them a legal method for killing deer that don't die immediately after being shot.

The law lets a licensed hunter use lights and a tracking dog to follow the deer, and then use a handgun to kill the deer, if necessary. Wildlife officials say the law was written in a way to prevent the unlawful use of dogs and nighttime hunting. 

Tracking dogs must be on a handheld leash or have a GPS tracking collar. Deer hunters can go onto private property only with permission from the landowner.

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