(KXNET) — Big Game Hunting is rooted in tradition in our state, and now one house bill working its way through the legislature deals with the use of handguns and dogs in the recovery of big game animals.

House Bill 1224 would allow hunters to carry a handgun while their hunting dog is tracking big game.

The gun can only be used for protection purposes, in case a hunter crosses paths with a predator.

Before starting the recovery, the dog handler must notify the district game warden that he or she will be using a dog in the recovery of the big game animal.

“It clearly states that the dog handler may not use the handgun to assist in the recovery of that animal,” explained Representative Matthew Ruby, “and if they do go on any private land, they have to get permission from the land owner.”

House Bill 1224 passed in a unanimous vote, receiving 91 yes’ and 0 no’s. This bill reached the House Floor after the energy and natural resources committee issued a do pass.