N.B. man starts petition in support of Sunday hunting expansion

A Saint John area man is looking to show support for the proposed expansion to Sunday hunting in New Brunswick.

Mike Kean created a petition in support of the changes this week after hearing about a petition calling for the amendments to be halted. As of Saturday Kean’s petition has almost double the signatures of the original.

He says the vocal opposition seem to be mistaken in their view of what exactly the new rules would mean.

“There’s a lot of misconception out there that adding extra Sundays to the hunt schedule is going to increase the deer season, increase the kill and the harvest and so on,” he said.

“That’s not correct.”

The new rules would allow for Sunday hunting between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve, which is the season for small game.

Deer season, which already allows for three days of Sunday hunting, will not be extended.

“We’re looking at targets that are, you know the size of a mid size bowling ball,” Kean said.

“They’re on the ground and they’re 15 to 20 yards away. They’re not miles away where you’re going to be shooting through the woods and all that kind of stuff.”

Opponents have raised concerns over safety and said that hearing gunfire in the woods hampers the ability for people to enjoy outdoor activities.

“Orange doesn’t stop a bullet,” said Joanne MacBride, the creator of the petition calling for the changes to be abandoned.

“If there’s some kind of a misfire, or some kind of an accident, it doesn’t stop a bullet.”

But Kean says New Brunswick hunters are overwhelmingly responsible. Accidents are rare and hunters are wary of doing anything that could endanger others.

“Not that I want to discount what those people feel, but some people are making their perception a reality as opposed to reality being the fact,” he said.

The opposition to the changes have not dissuaded minister of Energy and Natural Resource development Mike Holland.

He says feedback to the changes has been overwhelmingly positive and says there are no plans to halt the amendments.

“It’s only adding a few more Sundays and 41 of the 52 Sundays on the calendar year will still be exempt from hunting,” he said.

“I feel quite confidently that I’ve done the due diligence.”

The changes have passed through the committee stage and will just need third reading sometime in the spring.

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