Couple Seeks To Stop Deer Dog Hunts Near Home

TALLAHASSEE — A retired U.S. Air Force pilot and National Rifle Association member wants the state to stop hunters from using dogs to track down deer around his Panhandle property.

Claiming they have been threatened by hunters and that dogs chasing deer can scare rescued horses, William Daws Jr., and his wife, Ouida Gershon, filed a suit Wednesday in Leon Circuit Court against the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The lawsuit seeks to stop deer-dog hunting in the portion of the Blackwater Wildlife Management Area where they have lived since 2005.

Susan Smith, a spokeswoman for the agency, said she couldn't comment on pending litigation.

Daws, a hunter who spent 23 years in the Air Force including combat service in Vietnam, isn't seeking to outlaw the deer-dog practice in Florida, just around his section of the management area where he and a number of other people live. Such hunts are allowed 44 days a year.

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