For avid hunters, the wait is over and rifle deer season is set to begin. The joke in some homes each year is "See you in three weeks!" For 2023, general rifle season for whitetail deer begins tomorrow. While most of the rules and regulations remain relatively the same from one year to the next, new ones do come into play each year.

Wade Duncan of MacDonalds Sporting Goods has seen many changes over the years and says this year Chronic Waste Disease is still front and center.

"Again this year, they're doing the chronic wasting monitoring. So in certain areas, you have to turn in some samples and things like that. The idea is to stay on top of it. So that's something to be aware of. They always tweak a few things in the guide, so it's worth going over every year before you go out."

CWD is an incurable, fatal disease that affects members of the deer family (cervids) including mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, moose, and caribou, and the first positive cases in the province were discovered in late 2021.

Duncan says many people are passionate about this season and he has seen that building over the past couple of weeks.

"Everyone's ready to go. For a lot of people, this is their big thing. They wait for it all year and here it is. Safety has got to be our paramount importance because there's enough heat on guns and hunting these days. So if people mistreat wildlife or disrespect property and property owners, then that's when we have the problems. Most are good and hunters need to concentrate on doing the right thing out there."

Duncan noticed a significant increase in people taking part in the season during the years of Covid restrictions but adds things seemed to have leveled off to where they were before that.  


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