Request to hunt with muzzleloaders denied

Published 9:56 am Tuesday, January 24, 2012


COURTLAND—A Newsom man’s appeal to Southampton County supervisors to allow muzzleloader hunting was rejected Monday night.

Since 1991, the county code has outlawed muzzleloaders, something resident Bob Rudzik would like changed. Rudzik believes landowners should have the right to use muzzleloaders.

Southampton County is the only county in the state that prohibits them; hunters are permitted to use shotguns for hunting deer.

Rudzik claimed more accidents occur with shotguns than muzzle-loaders or rifles, though there were no references listed to back that statement.

He cited several state rules that he believes support allowing muzzleloaders. Further, Rudzik does not think the county board has the authority to forbid muzzle-loading hunting.

County Attorney Richard Railey Jr. pointed out that Rudzik didn’t seem to understand the use of ‘may’ instead of ‘shall’ in the wording of the statutes.

In essence, each set of laws states that localities are permitted, but not required, to implement the specifics within each ordinance.

“I’m convinced we have the legal right,” said Railey.

Rudzik countered that the board could make the change.

“The key word is ‘may,’” said Railey.

Chairman Dallas Jones, Drewryville District delegate, said Rudzik would need to convince Railey he’s wrong.

Supervisor Dr. Alan Edwards, Jerusalem District, emphasized that supervisors don’t have the authority to interpret the law.

“Our legal advisors tell us it’s legitimate,” added Franklin District Supervisor Barry Porter.

Porter added he’s never heard of any opposition to the prohibition of muzzleloaders from his constituents.

When Rudzik attempted to ask audience members for any show of support, Jones denied the permission, stating that the issue was not a public hearing.