Parksville-Qualicum Fish & Game Association

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Ducks Unlimited

Waterfowl Hunter Training for Youth

Through a Memorandum of Understanding, Ducks Unlimited Canada Oceanside Chapter, and the Parksville-Qualicum Fish & Game Association run an annual Youth Mentored Hunting Program. This program has been running in Oceanside for 7 years.

Ducks Unlimited Canada has developed a training program that gives young people a practical overview of hunter safety, ethics and skills needed to participate in waterfowl hunting. A field hunt is conducted with adult mentors assigned to each youth to give a real life experience of the sport. The program is timed to take advantage of the provisions in the hunting regulations that allow youth between the ages of 12 and 17 to experience hunting, without obtaining a hunting licence, migratory permit or pass the CORE hunter safety training, during Waterfowl Heritage Days.

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, there was no training in 2020. In 2019, the training took place over one day per two weekends at the end of September and beginning of October. The first day was spent in the classroom and on the trap range to work on hunting ethics, hunting skills, and shooting skills. These fundamentals included: gun safety, familiarity with the regulations, shooting stance, determination of dominant eye, waterfowl calling, the art of decoy spreads, the theory of spotting birds in their habitat, the theory of fair chase, and hunter ethics. Then the trainees and their mentors moved outdoors to the range to gain some practical gun handling skills: shooting live ammunition at moving clay targets, ballistics of shot shells, and practicing appropriate methods of leading the target in order to make contact with a moving bird. The new shooters also learned about a variety of practical shooting scenarios: incoming, outgoing and crossing right and left.

The second day was spent in the field to experience an actual duck and goose hunt. The youth and mentors where divided into 3 groups which rendezvoused and dispersed at 5 am. Hunting locations were at pre-spotted fields including: a private farm in Qualicum Beach, and Ducks Unlimited properties in Port Alberni and Courtenay where birds had frequented the previous week. Hunting blinds had already been erected and camouflaged, and the youth set up their decoys before awaiting the legal shooting time and the birds. Hunts in all fields produced game. The field dressing of game birds was demonstrated, and many of the youth had a chance to participate. If you know of a boy or girl between the ages of 12 and 17 who would like to undertake the training, please contact info@pqfg.org

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