Night Hunting has now been banned on agricultural lands in Manitoba.

Members of the Manitoba Legislature this week voted in favour of Bill 29 which is aimed at curtailing unsafe hunting practices in the agricultural sector. This is something municipal officials and landowners have been lobby for over the past three years.

Scott Phillips is a councillor in the RM of Sifton and he was pleased to see Bill 29 finally get approval and just in time for deer hunting and rifle season.

“The vote was 35-12 bu the ban is in place to stop night hunting and the use of spot lights in the agri-sector. It took three years but common seine has prevailed and this was the safe thing to do for Manitobans of all walks of life.”

Phillips said the main obstacle they kept running into was people thought they were trying to take away hunting rights and being able to provide for their families and he says that simply isn’t the case. “We just didn’t want it done at night and in an unsafe manner and after three years of lobbying, testimonials, pictures, stories, insurance claims and even obituaries it finally came to light that night hunting is an unsafe practice and it should be ended.”

Enforcement is something Phillips is waiting to see how the province handles but he’s confident the new legislation will make things safer in rural Manitoba.

“We need more feet on the street and the government is moving conservation officers around and into the hot spots like around Spruce Woods and Lauder-Sandhills area. With deer hunting starting next week you will see more check-stops and patrols and definitely more night patrols. Night hunting will never end just like people continue to speed on our highways but when it comes to hunting and safety if you do get caught you are going to pay a hefty fine.”

Since the lobbying to ban night hunting got underway Phillips says the practice has dropped off and he thinks Bill 29 will slow it down even more.

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