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

New Brunswick man supports changes to Sunday hunting
WATCH: The creator of the petition says he is looking to show support for the hunting community and dispel myths about the proposed changes. Silas Brown has more.

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.

READ MORE: Petition calling for N.B. to stop expansion of Sunday hunting

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.”

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

READ MORE: New Brunswick turns to bow hunt to control deer in populated areas

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.

READ MORE: Oh deer! Four-legged animals are causing big problems in Saint Andrews

“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.

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“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.

READ MORE: New Brunswick latest province to address drone use in game hunting

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.