The Ministry of Natural Resources is alerting hunters that there’s been a change to regulations here with regards to possessing loaded firearms on roadways during deer hunting season.
The regulation states that during the open gun season for deer, a person shall not possess a loaded firearm on the travelled portion of a road, or the land between the travelled portion of a road and a fence that indicates the boundary between the road right-of-way and the adjoining land.
If there is no fence, a person shall not possess a loaded firearm within eight metres of the travelled portion of a road.
The regulation also states no person shall discharge of a firearm from or across a right-of-way for the passage of vehicular traffic at any time.
“Where there’s a roadway, you either have to be eight metres from the travelled portion, which is the shoulder of it, or you have to be on the other side of the fenceline, if there’s a fenceline there,” noted MNR conservation officer Grant Painter.
“And you can’t shoot from or across the travelled portion of a roadway,” he added.
Painter said the regulation has been in place for a number of years in southern Ontario, but is something new here.
“I know in Fort Frances, we’ve brought it into place because it is a safety issue, a safety concern,” he remarked.
“What it does is, basically, it’s a change to the hunting regulation that prohibits the possession of a loaded firearm in, or the discharge of a firearm from or across, a road right-of-way.
“It’s to enhance the public safety in our built-up and rural areas during the open gun season for whitetail deer,” he explained.
In Fort Frances District, there are three Wildlife Management Units (WMUs).
Deer season for muzzle-loading guns and bows in WMU 7B and 9B, which are in the north and northeast parts of the district, runs Oct. 1-7.
Open gun season for WMU 7B and 9B runs Oct. 8-Dec. 15. Open gun season for WMU 10, which encompasses the area west of Fort Frances, runs Oct. 29-Dec. 15.
Under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, the definition of firearms includes bows, crossbows, and pellet guns.