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Wednesday, October 9, 2013
BEDFORD — With hunting season under way, the town of Bedford is now no longer immune to the popular sport.
The Bedford Town Council voted 4-2 Tuesday to pass an ordinance that allows “limited” hunting with a firearm within the town.
Bedford, which was a city for 45 years prior to July 1 when it became a town, has prohibited hunting until last year when an urban archery program was started. The measure passed Tuesday allows hunters to use shotguns and muzzle loading rifles only and firearms of .23-caliber or less for targeting varmints.
Firearms shall not be discharged within 100 yards of regularly occupied buildings or dwellings unless written permission is obtained, and hunting is prohibited within 100 yards of streets, alleys, sidewalks, schools, parks or public places, the ordinance states.
After several hunters raised concerns that an earlier draft was too restrictive, the council formed an advisory committee to make changes. The annexed areas of the town that were part of Bedford County prior to the city reversion are “grandfathered” spots for hunting governed by the rules and regulations of the commonwealth and Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
Hunting in the former city limits will be allowed only on parcels containing 10 acres or more and the owner must obtain a permit from the town manager or a designee.
Mayor Bob Wandrei, Vice Mayor James Vest and Councilmen Steve Rush and C.G. Stanley voted in favor. Councilmen Robert Carson and Stacey Hailey opposed and supported a failed motion to prohibit hunting in the former city limits. Councilman Skip Tharp was absent.