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Hunting coyotes with rifles extremely dangerous

Published 10:37am Wednesday, February 27, 2013

To the Editor:

I read the article in The Tidewater News (“Hunting coyotes with rifles to resurface,” Feb. 24). It seems bad ideas never die in Southampton County.

Why is it against the law to hunt with high-powered rifles in Southampton County? It is extremely dangerous!

I live in Sebrell. Our entire community is surrounded by flat fields and forests as are most residences in Southampton County.

The bullets from these rifles know no boundary. These bullets will travel thousands of feet if not a mile or more.

The question is what would be gained by putting ourselves and our families in danger by using these rifles? Absolutely nothing!

Attempts at eradicating coyotes have been unsuccessful. If you shoot one, another will replace it. As long as there is an abundant food supply, their numbers will continue to increase.

I definitely have sympathy for farmers’ concerns about their livestock.

As an avid hunter I have concerns about the adverse effect coyotes are having on the deer herd and other wild game. Coyotes are killing a large number of fawns.

I refer you to an article at This article documents the impact that coyotes have on survival of fawns and the failed attempts at eradicating coyotes.

All this being said, how can we safely try to control the coyote population? I have a few ideas.

• Encourage hunters to kill coyotes by legal means at every opportunity.

• Allow unlimited trapping of coyotes with landowner permission.

• Encourage hunt clubs to hunt coyotes year round with dogs.

I believe for any successful control program, a bounty would be a must. A source of funding would have to be determined by the board of supervisors.

In closing, I strongly encourage anyone who agrees with me to call your supervisor and ask him to vote “no” to high-powered rifles in Southampton County.

John Burchett

  • Liberty With Responsibility

    Maybe we should take VP Joe “Elmer Fudd” Biden’s advice, and when we see a coyote, just step outside and shoot a couple blasts from our old double-barrel and that will scare the coyotes out of the county!

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  • RedneckGraduate

    If you know how to shoot, if you know how to handle a rifle or any other gun as a matter of fact, if you know how to hunt….it’s not extremely dangerous. What is extremely dangerous is people who don’t know how to do any of the above. People who don’t know how to do those three things shouldn’t even be thinking about holding a gun let alone shooting a rifle at a coyote.

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  • simplifyingit

    the rifle is not dangerous nor is hunting with one if the hunter uses good judgement before pulling the trigger. Maybe John should join up with Biden and Obama and just ban guns because they are “extremely dangerous”. This whole letter is just poorly thought out and a “knee-jerk” reaction to a story in the paper. No gun nor manner of hunting is “extremely dangerous” if the participant means well. If the participant means to do harm or be reckless,no amount of laws or training will prevent it.

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  • FromHere

    HAHA That ought to be a trick! Shooting a coyote at night in the woods when it’s running from a pack of dogs. He’s not going up a tree like a coon.

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  • MitchB

    If John Burchett is an avid hunter, he would know that the recommendations he wrote about are already legal except using dogs to hunt coyotes. Coyotes can be hunted day or night every day except Sundays. Coyotes can be trapped year round and hunt clubs are already killing coyotes when they are seen. About 95% of all hunting related shootings are done with a shotgun, NOT A RIFLE. A rifle is far safer than the old timers try to exploit. It’s the same for not allowing muzzleloaders for hunting in Southampton.

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  • Ol Skinny

    Diesel…. I could not agree with you more! I would have put a lot more faith in this article had the writter just come out and said” Lets not use rifles because we are afraid someone might want to use them to shoot deer” I, like you Diesel have hunted all over this great country of ours with a rifle… the excuse that it’s too flat and open here makes me laugh out loud.. Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida are the flatest places I’ve hunted, much flater than here. I have resorted to trapping on my place as well as other things….. like you said, they are here.

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    Are hunters in other states just smarter or safer than those in Virginia? Ive hunted in PA all my life in an area just as flat and more populated than SoCo. We hunt bear ,deer, and coyotes with rifles…and yet manage to not shoot each other or peoples houses. People here just dont want to be proven wrong about rifle hunting so that they never approve it for hunting deer…plain and simple.

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    • windsor52

      DIESEL – The firearm laws are county by county in VA. So apparently PA hunters are just smarter than SOCO hunters. Since they opened all of Suffolk up to Rifle it has been great.

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