Black powder hunting hits a nerve

Published 9:17 am Friday, November 18, 2011

by Bob Rudzik

I am compelled to respond to comments posted on The Tidewater News website concerning my last column (“Speak out on the black powder season,” Nov. 5).

No one can stop time or change from happening.

The Tidewater News conducted a survey on its website, asking readers whether or not Southampton County should allow deer hunting with muzzleloaders; the county is the only one in the state that does not allow the use of muzzleloaders. The results showed 61 percent in favor and 39 percent opposed.

The population in Southampton County is growing. The number of people traveling through Southampton County is increasing. The number of deer in Southampton County is increasing. The number of Virginia deer/vehicle accidents has increased exponentially.

People are killed in these accidents. The amount of damage exceeds $1 billion annually across the nation. The results of The Tidewater News survey indicate people are ready to make a change.

I encourage you to think about it. As I read your comments, it is evident that this may just end in change, although it doesn’t have to just yet.

I feel I should clarify why I wrote the column. I wanted people to think; I wanted them to be aware of the facts. I wanted to encourage deer hunters to fill all their tags and help control the problem we have by using what is available to us right now — without adding a muzzleloader season.

However, I did want to point out that if we don’t control the problem of too many deer, change will come and no one will stop it.

The Tidewater News publisher took the opportunity to not only touch a sensitive topic, but to open it up again. This was not my objective, but now I wonder if he wasn’t right in doing so.

Instead of getting angry about this, join me and fill all your tags before change becomes necessary.

One more thing: I have always taught my children that if you’re not going to eat the deer that you’re hunting, donate it to Hunters for the Hungry. In this economy, the organization needs more donations than ever and this is another reason to fill those tags. For information on the program, check out Hunters for the Hungry’s website.

We have a real problem. We have the ability to control the deer population; let’s use that ability before change becomes necessary.

BOB RUDZIK is a Newsoms resident. He can be reached at