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Change in hunting regulations urged in Caroline

Caroline County officials are considering changing the county’s hunting policies to match the state’s rules.

The change would allow hunters to use higher caliber rifles than a .22 caliber, which currently is the highest caliber allowed.

Garry Gray, who suggested the change, says that hunting with a rifle is more ethical than shotgun hunting.

State hunting laws, for the most part, are not restricted by caliber size.

“It is a move to slowly change and reform the hunting population to the most modern effective means of harvesting deer,” he said in an interview.

“A rifle allows you to take precise shots, at longer distances with an ethical kill,” he said.

Gray spoke Monday when the Board of Supervisors held a public hearing to discuss changing the hunting ordinance. The supervisors took no action.

The Code of Virginia gives individual counties the authority to set their own hunting regulations, or to adopt the state’s laws on hunting.

In the Fredericksburg region, only Spotsylvania County has adopted state hunting laws.

Others, such as Stafford, King George and Westmoreland counties and Fredericksburg set their own laws.

Currently, in Caroline County, no rifles larger than .22 caliber may be used for hunting. An exception is that groundhogs can be shot at any time with any caliber rifle out of hunting season. Also, muzzleloading rifles are permitted during deer hunting season.

Eight people spoke at the county’s public hearing and most were in favor of the change.

Several speakers, however, suggested that when hunting with dogs, rifles should not be allowed.

The supervisors said more discussion would be needed before any decisions can be made. They’ll discuss it again at their meeting on Jan. 28.

Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413


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