Eastern Ontario Youth Hunting Collaborative
Recruitment and retention of new hunters is a significant challenge facing hunting organizations in Ontario. Ensuring that our hunting heritage is preserved and that the passion for this sport endures – and that it carries on with future generations – is vital. The Eastern Ontario Youth Hunting Collaborative (EOYHC) has come together with the express aim of responding to this challenge by connecting youth with nature through high-quality hunting experiences.
The Eastern Ontario Youth Hunting Collaborative involves a partnership with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH), Safari Club International (SCIF) Canada, Quality Deer Management Associations (QDMA), Lanark and District Fish and Game Conservation Club, Delta Waterfowl, Ontario Fur Managers Federation, North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA), Ottawa Valley Chapter, Smiths Falls Fish and Game Club, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF). The intent of the Collaborative is to encourage youth to be involved in hunting and to develop safe hunting skills. The hunt will be conducted with a mentor for each apprentice. This program is also intended to provide the opportunity for hunting to those who may otherwise not be involved in hunting. 2016, was our very successful pilot project year.
Along with other events, a main component of this programs it to provide the Apprentices with the One-Stop Course, which is the Ontario Hunter Education Program and the Canadian Firearms Safety Course. The One-Stop Course is a minimum of 20 hours. The course covers all the material required to obtain a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) (note: to own or acquire a gun you must be 18 years of age or older) and an Outdoors Card for hunting, which is an Apprenticeship card.
Registration/Orientation Night was June 26th at the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority in Carleton Place. After dinner there was dog demonstrations by Murray Kemp of the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA), Ottawa Valley Chapter and Conservation Officer Sean Kennedy with his dog.
Len Dickinson was the instructor for three evenings of July 10th, 11th, and 12th giving the 15 youth the Ontario Hunter Education Program and the Canadian Firearms Safety Course, all passed. There were demos at times from MNRF Canine Unit Conservation Officer Colin Cotnam and a trappers demo from Ted Anderson and Lorie White, Rob Argue of Quality Deer Management Associations (QDMA) showed a deer management video and OFAH President Kerry Coleman showed a video and welcomed the young hunters to hunting and conservation.
Skeet shoot and Chucker Hunt, Friday July 28th fourteen Youth Hunters were bused from Perth to the Smiths Falls Fish & Game Club Range where they were introduced to skeet shooting, they had a blast. We then went to Murray and Judy Kemp property near Richmond On. We had lunch that was BBQ Elk burgers supplied by Len Dickinson. After lunch the hunt began using these Versatile Hunting Dogs, two German Short Haired Pointers and one Brittany spaniel. The dogs locating the Chucker’s and flushed the birds, every one of the youth hunters ended up bagging at least one bird, I think one of the young ladies ended up bagging more birds then any of the young lads. The mentors and the dog handlers were great. We ended the day by cleaning the birds and a bus ride back to Perth. Every one of these young hunters enjoyed the day very much, their parents say they will not stop talking about it.
Goose Hunt, there will be a goose hunt this fall sometime in October. This will complete the Youth Hunt program for 2017. We will be looking for more youth hunters for the 2018 program
Wendell Crosbie (one of the 12 mentors)