New Brunswick’s Department of Natural Resources is proposing a pair of changes to deer hunting regulations in the eastern Canadian province.

The first proposed change will allow crossbows to be used during traditional bow seasons, a method of bow hunting that often comes under fire from traditional bow hunters.

Critics are often noted arguing that the use of a crossbow is too similar to that of a gun, stating the ability to have an arrow pre-loaded, many feel, gives that hunter an unfair advantage.  Denis Landry, the Minister of Natural Resources, disagreed when asked if crossbow hunters would have an advantage.

“Not really,” Landry told CBC News. “The distance range is probably about the same. So probably no.”

The minister believes the additional weapon would be advantageous to aging hunters who might lack the strength and physical conditioning needed to pull back a more traditional bow.

“Some hunters that used to use the real bow, are getting older now,” said Landry. “And they have pain in their shoulder or their elbow and they cannot use the straight bows as they used to. Now they want to practice the same kind of a sport – not using firearms. So they want to use the cross-bows.”

The second change laid out was pushing back the deer hunt to a later date for certain upcoming seasons.

“They are proposing to move it a little bit later,” said DNR biologist Kevin Craig. “Many hunters feel that current timing of the firearms season maybe misses part of the rut, or a key part of the rut which they would like to hunt in. And many people like to hunt during the rut because they feel the deer are more active during that time so it’s more enjoyable for them in the woods.”

The proposed changes would see the deer season commence on the “last Monday of October”, rather than the current “fourth Monday of October.”

Before any proposed changes are put into place, they are to be approved by the New Brunswick legislature.  The proposed changes will be open for comment on the provinces website for public input in the coming weeks.

H/T: CBC News