On the hunt

Sueann Musick
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Gerald Hayman looks over a rifle with Bob Ferguson, owner of Ferguson Sports Shop in Westville.   The general deer hunting season begins today across the province and Ferguson said there has been an increase in hunting sales since the gun registry has been dismantled.

WESTVILLE – Bob Ferguson is crediting the demise of the gun registry for his recent boom in business.

As owner of Ferguson’s Sport Shop in Westville, he said many people are returning to the sport of hunting now that they can take out their guns from storage without having to have them registered.

“Since the gun law changed, people are going out hunting again,” he said one day before the general deer-hunting season opened. “They are getting their guns back out.”

The federal long-gun registry was created in 1995 by the Liberal government. The system was plagued with billions in cost overruns and it was largely loathed in rural and Western Canada. The Conservative government got rid of it this past April.

Ferguson said he noticed a decrease in sales when the registry was put in place, but business has picked up again now that it has been lifted.

“People didn’t want to go out into the woods and be caught with an unregistered gun and have it taken away from them, so they just didn’t bother using it,” he said. “Now they are dusting them off and using them again.”

He said the demise of the gun registry also cut down on the paperwork he had to do every time he sold a gun from his store.

John MacGillivray, sports manager for the New Glasgow Canadian Tire, said they’ve also been very busy this week selling supplies to hunters.

“They’re picking up tree stands and bullets and some clothes and a lot of boots,” he said.

He said he expects the strong sales to continue through hunting season.

“Guaranteed,” he said. “We always do pretty good.”

The 2012 general deer-hunting season in Nova Scotia ends Dec. 1. Deer hunting has been open to bow hunters since Sept. 29, and will close Dec. 8.

"Deer hunting is a popular activity that many Nova Scotians look forward to every year," said Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker. "It's a great way to explore and enjoy nature while managing wildlife in the province."

Hunters with a valid licence and deer stamp may harvest one deer of either gender in zones 107, 105, and 102. A limited number of antlerless deer may be taken in the remaining mainland zones.

Hunters are reminded to wear orange-coloured clothing in the woods. Hunting is not permitted on Sundays.

For more about hunting regulations and safety in Nova Scotia, visit www.gov.ns.ca/natr/wildlife/hunting-furharvesting.asp.

Organizations: Sport Shop, New Glasgow Canadian Tire

Geographic location: WESTVILLE, Western Canada, Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • Mark
    October 31, 2012 - 16:09

    The registry was couched in the lie of "public safety". But the real reason for its creation was to satisfy the Coalition for gun control and their sexist campaign against men and domestic violence.The Chretien Liberals utopian and tyrannical gun control act was their "memorial" to the victims of the Montreal Massacre. So over two thousand million dollars was spent creating that monstrosity that harrassed and worried and persecuted innocent people. No innocent law abiding citizen should have to endure such police interest in their lives. Constant monitoring and police attention is unwarranted and unjust. Those who did not register their guns were the smart ones. Canadians will never ever register their guns again after this fiasco.

  • Ed
    October 27, 2012 - 02:20

    It's kind of rich for Mr.parker to be all patriotic about hunting when it's the NDP fighting tooth and nail all these years to keep the gun registry. A word to the know it all experts and typical anti-conservatives, it's easier to buy a gun on the street than it is a pack of smokes. Criminals do NOT register guns! Put criminals in jail, it's as simple as that, stop blaming social conditions or poverty or they had a rough childhood as the reasons everybody is not guilty of everything. You're as guilty as them by supporting these soft on crime agendas by the opposition. Build jails and put people IN jail that belong there!

  • LaserGuy
    October 26, 2012 - 09:54

    "Larrivee - October 26, 2012 at 09:28:54 And this is supposed to make us all feel safe." No, The registry made you 'feel' safe. Feeling safe has nothing to do with actually 'being' safe. The registry had nothing to do with safety, in the liberals justice departments own words: " "Risk to public Safety is mitigated through Licensing. - It is not a registration issue."

  • flib
    October 26, 2012 - 09:31

    feel safe??? sure, unless you go walking in the woods dressed as a deer. Seriously, I'd like to know why someone buying a hunting rifle (and hunting) would make you feel unsafe?? Are you forgetting that criminals never registered their guns to begin with?????

  • Larrivee
    October 26, 2012 - 08:28

    And this is supposed to make us all feel safe. A bonehead move by the Conservative Government ( whom I have supported in the past). The billions spent was a sunk cost and irrelevant to the future costs of maintaining the Registry. Too bad really!!