The purpose of HB 1342 is to facilitate the sport of training and
hunting with beagles in New Hampshire. Beagle owners use large (50 –
150 acre) fenced areas to train and compete their hounds. The
enclosures consist of natural countryside; they provide home, food,
cover for rabbits and hares. Beagles hunt by scent; they are judged by
how well they follow the rabbit’s scent. Beagle clubs provide their
rabbits and hares with food, vet care, and protection from predators.
NH beagle clubs currently hold special permits to live trap native
rabbits and hares in northern NH, with a limit of 20 animals per club by
6 licensed trappers per club, per hunting season. (Their success rate is
about 10 rabbits/hares per season.) Most club members live in southern
NH which makes tending live traps difficult. HB 1342, if enacted, would
enable beagle clubs to trap live rabbits and hares statewide, still
limited to 20 per club, but in more accessible locations.