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new to the hunting scene, and my son is bummed he can't shoot a rifle or shotgun under 12, outside of a range, and can't seem to find anything on the topic online ?!?
 

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It all depends on where you live and the bylaws in that area. In hrm and cbrm as well as several other areas it is illegal to discharge a firearm within the boundaries.
Outside those areas it falls back to provincial rules, no discharge within a wildlife habitat.
 

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As pointed out, you need to be 100% sure of and obey the law in your municipality. Though I'm pretty sure it is illegal to shoot a pellet or BB gun outdoors in any town or city in the province.
A pellet gun that shoots under 500 fps isn't considered a firearm, but, still illegal for a 12 year old to handle unless under the direct supervision of an adult as far as I know.
I wouldn't hesitate to target shoot a pellet/BB gun on my own rural property as long as I could do so safely and privately with a good backstop. Otherwise I wouldn't risk it. You could always look into going to a public rifle range. I can't see why that would be a problem.
 

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unfortunately, its complicated and you need to wrap your head around what the 3 different levels of govt have in their various acts/regs/codes/bylaws.

Federal -
possession of air guns over 500 ft/sec need the PAL or Minors License.
use of any power of air gun (over 500 ft/sec or under 500 ft/sec) during an illegal act is classed as a violation of the criminal Code.


Provincial -
cannot hunt anything with an air gun in Nova Scotia, not even Other Harvestable Wildlife.
air guns fall under the definition of a weapon/firearm, in NS.


Municipal -
towns, cities, municipalities usually have some sort of bylaw about discharging weapons within their boundaries.

It sucks when you put all these things together and see how limited we are, in this Province, for even things like having a youth use an air gun or any age person, for that matter target shooting with air guns, bow/arrow or crossbow.
 

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As long as you’re not in the middle of town, and the pellet gun is under 495 fps … let the kid shoot.… under supervision of course. My 11 year old grandson has been shooting his for the last few years. I had one when I was a kid. I think it’s a natural progression. Start, and learn safe handling with a pellet gun, then they should be ready for when the time comes when they can legally carry a “real” firearm.
 

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As long as you’re not in the middle of town, and the pellet gun is under 495 fps … let the kid shoot.… under supervision of course. My 11 year old grandson has been shooting his for the last few years. I had one when I was a kid. I think it’s a natural progression. Start, and learn safe handling with a pellet gun, then they should be ready for when the time comes when they can legally carry a “real” firearm.
agree, 100%.
I posted all the legaleze stuff so the OP can make an informed decision - said they were new to the hunting scene.
 

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As long as you’re not in the middle of town, and the pellet gun is under 495 fps … let the kid shoot.… under supervision of course. My 11 year old grandson has been shooting his for the last few years. I had one when I was a kid. I think it’s a natural progression. Start, and learn safe handling with a pellet gun, then they should be ready for when the time comes when they can legally carry a “real” firearm.
I am not sure I should really post this or not lol . Well I grew up in Sherbrooke lived on the main drag lol . late 70ies I was in my teens .I would leave my house pellet gun in hand and walk up the street to my buddies house .from there the 2 of us with pellet guns in hand would walk up the street past the rcmp detachment through the school yard to woods behind the school . which was across the #7 hwy from the provincial picnic park on the river .the woods themselves were an old grow spruce stand with a lush mossy bottom .it was a target rich environment of red squirrels . we spent a good many hours in January & February there taking squirrels .at that time there were people that wanted them for fly tying . we would always shoot this time of year for best quality fur and tails . oh my how times have changed .
 

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Yes , that beautiful ginger coloured, thick hair in a squirrel’s tail made fabulous fly tying material.
 

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I am not sure I should really post this or not lol . Well I grew up in Sherbrooke lived on the main drag lol . late 70ies I was in my teens .I would leave my house pellet gun in hand and walk up the street to my buddies house .from there the 2 of us with pellet guns in hand would walk up the street past the rcmp detachment through the school yard to woods behind the school . which was across the #7 hwy from the provincial picnic park on the river .the woods themselves were an old grow spruce stand with a lush mossy bottom .it was a target rich environment of red squirrels . we spent a good many hours in January & February there taking squirrels .at that time there were people that wanted them for fly tying . we would always shoot this time of year for best quality fur and tails . oh my how times have changed .
I lived in Riverview across the river from Moncton, NB growing up. We carried pellet rifles, bows and eventually rifles up the street and into the woods all the time. Back then we didn't think anything of it. Only thing was I wasn't allowed to shoot at rabbits with the pellet gun of course.
I wouldn't do it now! I live in Bedford now and always quickly get the cased rifle into the trunk, hopefully without anyone noticing. Most people are far less tolerant about firearms than they were years ago.
On that note, my great uncle lived right next door to us in Riverview, maybe 2 km from Main Street in Moncton. He had a large piece of 1/4 inch steel plate in his back yard and I can remember him and my cousin shooting apples with .22 revolvers many times. No one ever thought to call the police back then. :)
 

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Nothing in the law to forbid you from taking them to a DNR range to shoot an air gun or a regular firearm as long as you are directly supervising them. Started taking my kids and grandkids when they were around 8. They all loved shooting. 22s at the range at that age. Keep it fun and low pressure and don't give them anything big as it often scares them and make them lose interest. Let them progress slowly so they are comfortable with something low recoiling before giving them something that may turn them off.
 

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We did the same growing up. Grabbed our 22s and walked down the road to the lighthouse...past 8 or 9 homes..often stopped and chatted with people hanging out clothes ans stuff. No one called the cops. Then we'd walk the 3 or 4 mile shoreline looking for targets. Some inanimate...some live. Different world now !!!
 

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Used to shoot BB and pellet guns in the burbs of Dartmouth in a friends back yard. Shot BB and pellet guns outside city limits growing up, hammered the local squirrel and bird populations all year round. No bag limits,seasons or protected species back then.
 

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Ah the memories the time I was walking home in the pouring rain in Fallriver with my rifle over my shoulder.RCMP picked me up drove me home and we shared a story or two as I remember it. The day the Shearwater shorepatrol told me that hunting was not really allowed on the base even if I was only using a 22, but as long as I didn't shoot off the runways or near the back range or make myself too visible from the tower they could care less. That being said Dad would only let me shoot any of our BB and Pellet guns in the back yard at the shed or down in the basement and when we went to the camp at Stanley. Gary and I started the major Hunter Ed course for the HWWA and at times before that we had bb guns and pellet gun shoots at the HWWA building in Falmouth. To be honest it was always easier to get permits or to do "live rifle / shotgunning " than to use BB / Pellet guns. That being said of all things when June 4th 2022 comes around down at Meadow Pond, the HWWA besides doing Free Fishing Weekend stuff we will be having a BB Gun / Pellet Gun range with the blessing of West Hants Municipal Recreation as part of National Range Day. We call it Give R a Try.
 

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I am not sure I should really post this or not lol . Well I grew up in Sherbrooke lived on the main drag lol . late 70ies I was in my teens .I would leave my house pellet gun in hand and walk up the street to my buddies house .from there the 2 of us with pellet guns in hand would walk up the street past the rcmp detachment through the school yard to woods behind the school . which was across the #7 hwy from the provincial picnic park on the river .the woods themselves were an old grow spruce stand with a lush mossy bottom .it was a target rich environment of red squirrels . we spent a good many hours in January & February there taking squirrels .at that time there were people that wanted them for fly tying . we would always shoot this time of year for best quality fur and tails . oh my how times have changed .
You weren't that far east past me, I grew up in Moser River,, yes, times sure have changed.. Have or did have relative's down there, MacDonalds, Hollis, old guys name was Everitt Hollis
 

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I go down once a year, still have a brother in New Chester, I find it so depressing down there now, all family gone, and most friends have passed away or moved out. Sure is a different place now compared to years ago, pretty much all business are close out, sad,,
 

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You weren't that far east past me, I grew up in Moser River,, yes, times sure have changed.. Have or did have relative's down there, MacDonalds, Hollis, old guys name was Everitt Hollis
I remember that park well, had picnic tables there, very peaceful park right on the river, I often think of the Sportsman Meet, always exciting to plan on going, liked the shooting event for a new 30-30 Winchester 94 as first prise, couldn't picture doing that in today's world. nobody seemed to mind it, probably all haft drunk anyway,,lol
 

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The best part about the sport meet was the grease pole walking contest! I swear there were some young fellows that lost a gonad or two trying to get to the end of that pole. o_O The log rolling, fly casting contest and canoe racing were neat as well.
Correct me if I am wrong but was there not a deer cutout as a target that travelled across the shooting zone on a cable. A moving target. I also remember the fish pond.
 
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