FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government will allow hunters to harvest deer with crossbows during the 2016 archery season, which runs Oct. 3-22.

“Hunting is a big part of the social and economic fabric of rural New Brunswick,” said Energy and Resource Development Minister Rick Doucet. “The addition of crossbows to the deer archery season will allow more people to enjoy the tradition of hunting.”

Crossbows are currently permitted during all hunting seasons except for the deer archery season and for the hunting of migratory birds. This year marks the first time crossbows may be used in deer archery season.

“I urge all hunters to practice safety and be courteous in the woods this fall,” said Doucet. “It is important to teach future generations of New Brunswickers how to enjoy hunting safely, and how to treat the forest and fellow hunters with respect.”

Crossbow hunters are subject to many of the same laws that apply to hunters using firearms or bows, including:

  • it is illegal to discharge a crossbow within 100 metres of a dwelling, school or place of business;
  • crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 68 kilograms and be fitted with broadheads no less than 20 millimetres in width when hunting deer;
  • it is illegal to carry a cocked and loaded crossbow upon any vehicle, including all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles;
  • crossbows used for hunting purposes must be equipped with a safety; and
  • crossbow hunters must wear hunter’s orange.

The deer archery season starts Oct. 3 and runs for three weeks, closing Oct. 22.