Nova Scotia

Hunting activity up after gun registry demise

The owner of a sport store in Pictou County says more guns are being sold this fall, partly because of the scrapping of the gun registry.

Opening of deer season has more rifles on the move

Cool temperatures and bright sunny skies greeted deer hunters on Friday morning on the opening day of deer hunting season in Nova Scotia.

Some gun shop owners have already seen an upswing in their business and they're crediting the federal government's decision to scrap the long gun registry.

"I took in 12 of them in one week and they were all gone," said Bob Ferguson, the owner of Ferguson's Sport Shop. "I ordered more of them and I can't get any more. Guns I get today are very hard. They're backlogged with guns."

Ferguson has been running his sport shop in Westville for 35 years and he says this is the busiest he's seen it in years.

The long gun registry was scrapped by the federal government in April.

Ferguson said some hunters who were once hesitant to head out, are now dusting off their old firearms.

"More older people are getting out this year. Younger ones are getting out with their fathers with school off here around Pictou County," said Ferguson. "They're getting out there for the first time with their dads."

Mark Koszkulics and his son Matthew are one of those father and son teams. Matthew can't carry his own rifle until next year. But his father says less paper work means it will be easier to pass on the family's hunting tradition.

"They should get a chance to do that and maybe this will help," said Koszkulics. "Maybe some of the young fellas will get a chance to hunt now. There will be more people that get back into it again or continue doing it."

Bob Ferguson says even though there may be more guns out there this year, that doesn't mean safety will be ignored.

"They know they're only allowed to hunt so far off the road now, some distance away from a house," said Ferguson. "They know this now. And they're taking it pretty good now. They know the rules and they're abiding by them."

For the first time, this year the province is requiring deer hunters to submit a report to track whether or not they've taken any deer. That way the province hopes to have a better understanding of the deer population.