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Caroline board doesn’t repeal hunting ordinance

Dozens of Caroline residents turned out Tuesday night to tell the Board of Supervisors their thoughts on a possible change to the county’s hunting ordinance.

Out of the 35 speakers, 13 were against repealing the county’s hunting ordinance, nine were in favor and three had alternate suggestions and didn’t take a clear side. Several in attendance didn’t make their opinions known.

The supervisors had mixed feelings during their discussion, but ultimately voted 5–1 to deny repealing the county’s hunting ordinance. Western Caroline Supervisor Jeff Black was the sole vote against not repealing the ordinance.

If the county’s hunting ordinance had been repealed, the county would defer to the state hunting laws.

It would have allowed hunters to use high-caliber rifles to hunt deer during deer-hunting season, which runs from part of November to part of January. That is prohibited under the current ordinance.

Most speakers cited safety as their main reason against rifle use.

Some said they would not feel comfortable with rifles because a bullet fired from a rifle goes farther than a shotgun, and there is more chance of a stray bullet.

However, others made the point that rifle hunters are precision hunters, and there is less chance of a stray bullet.

“For me, it’s a matter of listening to our citizenry about a feeling of comfort and safety within their personal environment,” said Reedy Church Supervisor Reggie Underwood.

Black pointed out that rifles are allowed for deer hunting in Stafford and Spotsylvania counties, which have much higher populations than Caroline County.

Port Royal’s Calvin Taylor and Chairman Floyd Thomas of the Mattaponi District both said safety is an issue for them.

Madison’s Wayne Acors said out of all the calls he got from his constituents, only one person was in favor of repealing the county code.

Several speakers—and some supervisors—had the attitude “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”

Robyn Sidersky: 540/374-5413

rsidersky@freelancestar.com

 

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