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New to archery and bow hunting here. Just wondering if anyone can clarify the regs for shooting in your backyard at targets, and also shooting a deer/rabbits near houses.

I've got a large swath of forest and salt marsh behind my house which I believe is crown land, is it legal to bow hunt deer and small game there (in season of course) if its at least 182meters from the nearest dwelling (my own house)? Also, can you hunt even closer if the landowners/homeowners approve?
 

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you can hunt with in 182 meters of a dwelling with the owner/occupants permission. if you are more than 182 meters from your closest neighbours you can hunt/shoot in your own yard. my understanding of the regs is that you cannot even shoot your bow within 182 meters of another dwelling(legally)without their approval. if your neighbours were to complain/report you I believe you can be charged.
 

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A bow is treated the same as a firearm, you are only allowed to have it in a wildlife habitat if you are hunting or shooting on a range or transporting it to or from a few selected places. That is according to the regulations but I don't know of anybody who has ever been charged with shooting targets with their bow either in the woods or even in their back yard.

Like Deadeyes said if there is a complaint you could be charged with illegal possession of a bow in a wildlife habitat and in addition to any fine and loss of the bow it could also cost you up to 5 years of no hunting.

Possession and transportation of weapons

8 (1) Except when a person is lawfully hunting with a weapon permitted under these regulations, no person shall take, carry or possess a weapon at any time in a wildlife habitat without a permit to transport issued by the Department unless the weapon

(a) has been purchased and is being transported to the residence of the buyer;

(b) is being transported to or from a repair shop which has been approved or licensed by the Province;

(c) is being transported to or from an organized shoot;

(d) is being transported by the owner to a new residence;

(e) is being transported directly to or from a range approved by the Province;

Clause 8(1)(e) amended: O.I.C. 2013-215, N.S. Reg. 238/2013.

(f) is being transported to or from another province or state where that person holds or intends to buy a licence to hunt or where that person plans to shoot at a range located there; or

(g) is a shotgun being transported to or from an approved dog field trial, a designated dog training area or other area where a dog is to be trained.

Subsection 8(1) amended: O.I.C. 2008-458, N.S. Reg. 376/2008.

(2) The Minister or a person authorized by the Minister may, upon such terms and conditions as they may determine, permit a person to transport and discharge a weapon during a period when, or at a location at which, it is otherwise prohibited by the Act or regulations, including use of a weapon on the first day of the week commonly called Sunday.

Subsection 8(2) amended: O.I.C. 90-841, N.S. Reg. 178/90; O.I.C. 2008-458, N.S. Reg. 376/2008, O.I.C. 2010-244, N.S. Reg. 84/2010.

(3) Every person who contravenes any of the terms and conditions contained in a permit issued pursuant to subsection (2) is guilty of an offence.

(4) (a) No person shall possess a weapon in or on a vehicle at night unless it is encased.

Clause 8(4)(a) replaced: O.I.C. 2010-244, N.S. Reg. 84/2010.

(b) Clause (a) does not apply to a person who holds a valid Fur Harvesters Licence who is in possession of or transporting a .22 calibre or less rim fire rifle on an off-highway vehicle as defined in the Off-Highway Vehicles Act for the purpose of dispatching fur bearing animals caught in that person's traps.

Clause 8(4)(b) amended: O.I.C. 90-841, N.S. Reg. 178/90; O.I.C. 97-522, N.S. Reg. 101/97; O.I.C. 2007-229, N.S. Reg. 229/2007; O.I.C. 2013-215, N.S. Reg. 238/2013.

(5) For purposes of clause 80(4)(a) of the Act, the expression "in a case which is properly fastened" includes a trigger lock which, when attached to a firearm or bow, renders the firearm or bow inoperable.

Subsection 8(5) added: O.I.C. 96-460, N.S. Reg. 109/96; amended: O.I.C. 2010-244, N.S. Reg. 84/2010.

(6) Except as provided in these regulations, no person shall have a crossbow or bow in or on a vehicle or vessel that has the arrow or bolt in place for firing and the firing string drawn.

Subsection 8(6) added: O.I.C. 2013-215, N.S. Reg. 238/2013.

(7) Subsection (6) does not apply to a person who holds a permit issued under Section 9 of these regulations and a valid licence and who is complying with the terms and conditions of the permit and licence.

Subsection 8(7) added: O.I.C. 2013-215, N.S. Reg. 238/2013.

Section 8 heading amended: O.I.C. 2013-215, N.S. Reg. 238/2013.
 

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Don't let WOT scare you.

If you are target practicing with field points, no broadheads....it is not a "weapon " and is perfectly legal to posess in wildlife habitat

Follow your discharge distances and use common sense

182 m applies to more than just houses, athletic field,business etc.

You will require permission from your neighbors if they are closer than 182m.

I wouldn't reccomend shooting on your front lawn, as you also are required to be 30m from the road boundry

Don't forget about schools, 800m for them
 

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Guy ..... You are completely wrong

If you are target practicing with field points, no broadheads....it is not a "weapon " and is perfectly legal to posess in wildlife habitat
Guy ..... You are completely wrong.

For starters a bow with an arrow no matter what the point is considered a weapon. On the bow course they ask you if you have practiced to pass the shooting test. After everyone says yes , they tell you you have broken the law as it is illegal to use a bow in almost any place unless an indoor range in NS without a bow qualification.
 

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Guy

Just like a firearm, a bow is a weapon. You do not need any ammunition for a firearm to be considered a weapon and you do not need any arrows for a bow to be considered a weapon.

From the firearm and bow regulations

(j) "weapon" means a firearm, a crossbow or a bow;

(b) "bow" means a tool for projecting arrows which consists of a handle and one or more flexible limbs which are held bent by a string or cable which is drawn, pulled or released or held in a drawn position, other than as part of a crossbow, by hand or hand-held release and not by any mechanical device attached to any portion of the bow other than the bowstring;

Discharge of firearm/bow near buildings

11 (1) No person shall at any time hunt, take or kill or attempt to hunt, take or kill wildlife with a weapon or discharge a weapon within 804 metres of a school.

Subsection 11(1) amended: O.I.C. 96-460, N.S. Reg. 109/96; O.I.C. 2010-244, N.S. Reg. 84/2010.

(2) No person shall at any time hunt, take or kill or attempt to hunt, take or kill wildlife with a firearm loaded with a rifle cartridge, single ball or slug or discharge a firearm loaded with a rifle cartridge, single ball or slug within 402 metres of a dwelling, playground, golf course, athletic field, woods operation, place of business or public building other than a school.

Subsection 11(2) amended: O.I.C. 95-499, N.S. Reg. 96/95; O.I.C. 96-460, N.S. Reg. 109/96.

(3) No person shall at any time discharge a shotgun loaded with shot, a crossbow or a bow within 182 metres of a dwelling, playground, golf course, athletic field, woods operation, place of business or public building other than a school.

Subsection 11(3) amended: O.I.C. 90-841, N.S. Reg. 178/90; O.I.C. 96-460, N.S. Reg. 109/96; O.I.C. 2008-458, N.S. Reg. 376/2008.

(4) No person shall hunt, take or kill or attempt to hunt, take or kill wildlife that is within 182 metres of a dwelling, playground, golf course, athletic field, woods operation, place of business or public building other than a school.

Subsection 11(4) amended: O.I.C. 96-460, N.S. Reg. 109/96.

(5) Notwithstanding subsections (1), (2), (3) or (4), the owner or occupier of a dwelling or person authorized by the owner or occupier who holds a valid licence may discharge a weapon or hunt, take or kill wildlife within the distances stated if the point of discharge is not within the prescribed distances in subsections (1), (2), (3) and (4) from

(a) any other dwelling; or

(b) a school, public building, playground, golf course, athletic field, woods operation or place of business.

Subsection 11(5) amended: O.I.C. 2008-458, N.S. Reg. 376/2008.

(6) Notwithstanding subsections (1), (2), (3) and (4), a person who holds a valid licence to hunt or trap and who has wounded any wildlife may discharge a weapon for the purpose of taking wounded wildlife within the prescribed distances in subsections (1), (2), (3) and (4), provided it is done in a safe manner and the consent of the owner or occupier of the land has been obtained.

Subsection 11(6) amended: O.I.C. 2010-244, N.S. Reg. 84/2010.

(7) This Section does not apply to an employee of the Department while discharging the employee's duties.

Subsection 11(7) replaced: O.I.C. 2010-244, N.S. Reg. 84/2010.

From the wildlife Act

Hunting on highway 72 (1) Except as provided by the regulations, no person shall take, hunt or kill or attempt to take, hunt or kill any wildlife while such wildlife is within the boundaries of any common or public highway or within one hundred feet of such boundary.

For Christ Sakes Guy if you are going to provide information make sure it is correct and supported by the regulations. Failure to do so could result in someone loosing their hunting privileges.

If you are on a licensed range all "hunting" distances go out the window. There are ranges situated within some of these distances and there are even ranges situated inside places of business and inside homes.

If you
 

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kidsShooting.jpg


It's ALWAYS about the hunters

I do not need any special training to purchase/own a bow, there is nothing that requires me to use the bow for hunting purposes, therfore I do not require the bow hunter course.
I'm willing to bet Olympic archers have more support in a court of law than a bowhunter.

The bow is a piece of archery equipment very much like a baseball players bat.....Are you 2 looking to stop kids from playing baseball or just archery ?
I can guarantee there are far more injuries that result from a baseball bat being used as a "weapon" than a bow and arrow

Get real guys....go find some real criminals

I'm sorry if I've offended anyone by posting a pic of a young boy and girl with "archery equipment"
 

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When I signed up to take the bow course,and asked about preparing for it they told me to practise my shooting at home before I came.When I did go to the course they did ask if everyone practised at home but never said anything about it being illegal.I also bought my first bow used from a licenced guide/instructor and he set me up outside in his yard.I later had another archery guy/dealer help me out and we shot outside in his backyard(and he was in a subdivision).I have never heard of anyone saying it was illegal to target shoot with a bow in your backyard.Anyone can go buy a bow and some arrows and a target,(some people don't intend to hunt with them) and go shoot.If it was illegal to do so buying a bow would be more like buying a firearm.
 

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Well then if its so legal to use a bow. then lets do a little test.

This summer load up your car and head into Halifax . Lets say the Commons Nice open area and set up . Start practicing . Bet you will not be there very long before police officers have their guns drawn.

Then through the jail house bars you can tell them the bow doesn't fall into a weapon category.
 

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It has nothing to do with hunting and it doesn't matter if it is a bow or a firearm. There are quite a few people who own and use firearms who do not hunt just like there are people who own and use bows but do not hunt.

The big difference is that a firearm is also controlled by federal regulations hence the federal requirement to pass a course and have a federal licence to buy or be in possession of a firearm. There is no such federal requirement for a bow.

Provincial regulations control the possession of both firearms and bows in a wildlife habitat and in NS a wildlife habitat is pretty much anywhere outside a building.

Right or wrong, our regulations paint them both with the same brush and in the eyes of the law a firearm and a bow are SUPPOSED exactly the same. That being said, I don't know of anyone who has ever been charged for shooting a bow in their backyard but I do know of people who have been ticketed for doing that with a firearm.

As was posted earlier if someone was to complain and put pressure on the enforcement people they would have little choice.

Additionally if the enforcement officer was having a bad day, didn't get laid last night, just got chewed out by the boss, is pissed off at the world or just don't like the way you look he/she could very well charge you with illegal possession of a bow in a wildlife habitat.

The regulations are there and can be enforced if the enforcement people so choose.
 

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It's ALWAYS about the hunters

I do not need any special training to purchase/own a bow, there is nothing that requires me to use the bow for hunting purposes, therfore I do not require the bow hunter course.
I'm willing to bet Olympic archers have more support in a court of law than a bowhunter.

I'm sorry if I've offended anyone by posting a pic of a young boy and girl with "archery equipment"
Olympic archers would be shooting on a range, not in a backyard right?

I don't necessarily agree with them, but the rules are as WOT has posted, and I was very surprised myself to realize I had been breaking the law by shooting in the field up behind my shop. I live in the woods, so yes I was in possession of and using a bow in wildlife habitat.....so I did the course and I have all the licences.....though reading what WOT posted i just realized technically I'm not supposed to shoot and target arrows on a Sunday, and yes I think that is stupid.

BTW since you posted a picture of kids, technically THEY aren't supposed to shoot in a backyard or the woods or whatever either, unless they are under the direct supervision of someone who has the bow course and all the licenses.
 

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What about school programs? I was in two schools that were target shooting in the gym and the soccer field in the spring and fall. It was the Phys Ed teacher that was running the program but there was a instructor that came in every once and a while. Not sure what qualifications he had but I'm sure it would be legal?
 

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I am a little confused at this too, no course or card is needed to purchase a bow but yet it is still classified under the firearms regulations. I shoot in my backyard and will until I am in a jail cell or they take my bow. Its ridiculous if you ask me.
 

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If they were in a gym they were fine since anywhere inside a building is not considered a wildlife habitat, once they moved outside they were considered to be in a wildlife habitat and thus should of been following all the applicable laws. Do not assume just because it is a school or a course that the applicable regs are being followed.

No course or card needed under provincial regulations to own a firearm either. The requirement for a PAL/POL for firearms fall under federal regulations and bows do not fall under those regulations.

Some things are controlled under federal regs and some under provincial regs and some under both.

According to the federal regs your PAL/POL is your authorization to transport a non-restricted firearm, yet under provincial regs you also require a permit from DNR to transport the same firearm unless you are going to a few selected places.

By law I need to go to DNR and get a permit to transport if I want to take my shotgun from my house to your house to show it to you.

I doubt there has been anyone charged under that one since the federal law came into being but it is still on the books.
 

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What's silly is that it's silly hunters who enforce these silly rules, fear mongering people away from the sport. As far as I know WOT is an active member of the trapping community (and I respect his opinion on such topics), I am not aware of him being active in the archery world. He should choose his words wisely as the more he speaks the more he comes off as being anti.

Where does an outdoor archery club fit in WOT?

Is it a range?

How about an archery club that is part of a recreational center's facilities and is a main source of funding for the rec center. Not only are the clubs members in possesion of a weapon in wildlife habitat, but they are also breaking numerous discharge laws and other violations.

800m from a school

182m from an athletic field, playground and public building

Not to mention discharging from roads and public walking trails

It's silly that none of the soccer moms, dog walkers or hikers seem to have any issues with us all coexisting and recreating together...they don't view target archers as criminals .....but WOT does

One thing I will agree with is here in NS, don't assume because it is a course or school that the correct regulations are being folowed and taught correctly. I asked a CFSC instructor on 2 seperate occasions (while the course was being taught) about these same laws regarding target shooting. I was told both times that its legal to shoot sporting clays with a shotgun you just can't target practice with a rifle.
 

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OMG !! I have read enough of this and cant help but add my two cents worth. First and foremost if you go to any DNR office they will only be guessing on the rule. If you are using field points and practicing in your yard while using a bit of your brain you can shoot your bow at your target. Understanding if your arrow strays from your target and hits someone then yes you are liable for damage to them or their property. Same thing if I decide to go hit golf balls and they stray from my target and hit someone I am liable for the damage. Who ever mentioned schools in this chat and said you cannot be near the school as the bow is a weapon well tell me why each winter we shoot inside of the school and during the spring we do archery outside on the school property. Oh and the guy who went to the extreme of saying go to the Halifax Commons and see what happens, well again common sense. IF YOU ARE USING THE BOW WITH A BROADHEAD YOU HAVE MADE THE BOW A HUNTING DEVICE AND THEN YOU MUST FOLLOW THE HUNTING REGULATIONS FOR DISTANCE EVEN WHEN PRACTICING FOR THE UPCOMING HUNTING SEASON OR GO TO A KNOWN ARCHERY CLUB. Thanks and keep on shooting.
 

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had this sort of discussion at the BIANS update on the weekend. doesn't matter .. broadheads, fieldpoint, whatever.. if you shoot a bow within 182 metres of a house without permission you CAN be charged, same for distance to a school. it is illegal to discharge a bow in a game habitat.... your back field is a game habitat, with having a WRC without the bow certification on it. if anyone really wants to challenge the habitat definition (outside of the 182metres) I suggest you have someone without bow certification keep shooting arrows until someone complains and the person is charge. A supreme court judge should be able to clarify the definition.

if you are shooting, broadhead, field point, judo, etc, in your backyard (inside the clearance distance) and your neighbour complains you can be charged if the CO or RCMP chose to lay a charge. THey may simply request that you stop shooting , if you give them crap you will likely be charged.
 
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