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Aren't there laws to keep dogs controlled in the woods?

I was hiking recently on Grizzly Peak and I was astonished at how many people were letting their unleashed dogs run free in the woods. The trailhead didn't have any signs telling people to leash their dogs, but isn't there some sort of wildlife rule that requires it? I'm not anti-dog. Just wondering.

— Catherine, Medford

We at Outdoors Desk at Since You Asked aren't anti-dog either, Catherine. But like you, we appreciate good boys in the woods, and so do the wildlife.

Jackson County does not require dogs to be leashed, but they must be under their owners' control. That leaves a lot of leeway for interpretation.

But state wildlife statutes address free-running dogs, and it's pretty direct.

No dog, cat or person can disturb nesting birds during the nesting season, which legally runs from April 1 through July 31, says Vince Oredson, habitat biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. That rule applies for all sorts of birds, such as pheasant, quail, and grouse, he says.

The only difference is for turkeys, which ironically can't be chased but can be shot by licensed hunters during the spring turkey season.

Send questions to "Since You Asked-Outdoors," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to oregonoutdoors@mailtribune.com (please type SYA in the subject line).