S’hampton code change will allow coyote hunting with some rifles

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, March 27, 2013

COURTLAND—The addition of two words — “and coyotes” — will be added to Southampton County’s code to provide for hunting of coyotes with specific rifles.

The Southampton County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance Monday night to amend the county code providing for the hunting of coyotes with rifles larger than .22 caliber rim fire between March 1 and August 31.

The board’s action followed a public hearing on the matter. Sgt. Tim Worrell, representing District 14 with Virginia Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries, which stretches from Hopewell to the North Carolina line, said you can hunt coyote now but not with a larger rim fire.

Worrell explained that the VDGIF’s board is considering making the same changes, using the new language to be added to the Southampton Code. Worrell said the matter would be voted on by the VGDIF board, following a public hearing to be held at Paul D. Camp Community College April 3.

He explained that if the Southampton board adopted the change to their code, they then have to report any changes to his agency by May 1 to make sure it gets in the gun law digest for next season.

Supervisor Barry Porter (Franklin District), wanted assurance that the proposed change was consistent with the game warden’s, to which he received confirmation from Worrell.

Supervisor Bruce Phillips (Capron District) said, “Just to reiterate. You can shoot them with .22-caliber rim fire – that law is already in place (in the county). We would add to the current law for a time frame for use of larger rim fire,”

One resident did question the time frame because he stressed coyotes breed in the colder months and that the time between January and March was the crucial time to get out there (hunting coyote).

Worrell explained that the specific time constraint in the code was established by the general assembly and that a change to the time frame would have to be handled by the legislature.

The ordinance revising the code (Section 10-26) – Hunting weapons restricted – paragraph (a) now will read: “It shall be unlawful to hunt with a rifle larger than twenty-two one hundredths of an inch (.22) caliber rim fire except rifles of larger caliber may be used for hunting groundhogs and coyotes between March 1 and August 31.

The change will go into affect July 1.