Hunting season for deer only officially got underway Monday, but business has already been going strong already at Ferguson’s Corner Store in Westville, a local haunt for hunters.
Bob Ferguson, right, shows a crossbow to Bill Chace at his corner store in Westville. Bow hunting season for deer opened Monday. ADAM MACINNIS – THE NEWS
“We’re already started about four weeks ago and we won’t stop,” said store owner Bob Ferguson.
Those holding an archery and muzzleloader licence can hunt deer, but only with bows until Sept. 23, when crossbows and muzzleloaders can also be used. Starting on Oct. 25, hunters holding a general deer hunting licence can use rifles. Monday was also the opening day for bear hunting.
Ferguson said bow hunting is quite popular now.
“Even kids bow hunt. It’s a big thing,” he said. “It’s a challenge to get up close to the animals. And if they miss it they miss it, but you seldom ever miss with the bow. If you practise with the bow you can pretty well hit the target.”
Bow hunters use either tree stands or walk with the bows similar to what those hunting with rifles do.
He said there are two types of bows used. The compound bow is straight up and down while the crossbow is more similar to a rifle, Ferguson said.
“I’ve sold a lot of them this year. They’re moving very well. It’s a hot item that.”
Despite the fact that rifles can’t be used for another month, he said they are moving well now too. Duck season is also approaching.
Ferguson said there have been a number of changes to the rules and regulations that hunters should pay attention to this year.
The regulations came into effect in June.
"Hunting is an important part of our heritage that many Nova Scotians want to maintain," said Natural Resources deputy minister Duff Montgomerie. "The new regulations encourage hunting and promote sustainability."
Hunters must purchase a Wildlife Habitat Stamp for $5 at any Natural Resources office, along with the other appropriate stamps required, depending on the type of game and weapon.
The bear and the general deer hunting seasons end on Dec. 7. Anyone holding an archery and muzzleloader licence can hunt deer until Dec. 14.
A special deer-hunting season for youth, aged 16 or 17 years, takes place between Oct. 11 and Oct. 19. This provides an opportunity for young hunters to gain experience and learn to hunt safely. They must hold a deer hunting licence and be accompanied by an adult who is a licensed hunter.
More information about hunting in Nova Scotia and the new hunting regulations are available at novascotia.ca/natr/hunt.