Youth Hunting and Conservation Course

Coordinated by:

Ted Barney, Biologist, Long Point Waterfowl
Scott Petrie, Executive Director, Long Point Waterfowl

 

Long Point Waterfowl would like to thank the following organizations for their support:

Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl, Long Point Waterfowlers Association, Ontario Federation of Hunters and Anglers, and Wildlife Habitat Canada

Background

Opportunities to develop and explore interests in wildlife-related pursuits are limited for many youth. This has resulted in a substantial decline in youth participating in wildlife related activities (e.g. hunting, fishing, viewing, etc.), with a corresponding increase in time that adolescents spend pursuing “indoor” activities (e.g., television, video games, and computers). For example, the number of Canadian duck hunters has declined 73% from 500,000 in the late 70s to 135,000 today, partially due to the lack of youth replacing passing generations. This decrease in outdoor involvement has also caused a reduced appreciation and understanding of the natural world and the importance of hunting in wildlife management and conservation.

Several conservation organizations have responded to declining youth interest and participation in outdoor activities by implementing programs that encourage young people to take a more active role in the outdoors. For example, Long Point Waterfowl, along with the Delta Waterfowl Foundation, Ducks Unlimited Canada, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters and Wildlife Habitat Canada consider youth mentorship and education a key component of wildlife conservation and management as well as to the future of our hunting heritage. Thus, Long Point Waterfowl initiated the Youth Hunting and Conservation Course in 2009 to instill in youth a keen interest in our hunting heritage and a passion for wildlife conservation and management.

About the Youth Hunting and Conservation Course

Program Objectives:

The program objectives are to provide youth with:

1) A greater understanding and appreciation of the importance of wildlife conservation and management and the contribution of hunters to these initiatives

2) Hunter Education and Firearms Safety training, mentorship, and certification

3) Opportunities to participate in many hands-on activities including taxidermy, dog training, decoy placement, and the cleaning and cooking of wild game

4) Knowledge about the historical and contemporary importance of Canada’s hunting heritage and wildlife management and conservation

5) Basic knowledge about biology, wildlife ecology, and wildlife habitats

6) Future opportunities for mentorship toward a career in the field of wildlife biology

Workshop structure and activities:

The Youth Hunting and Conservation Course’s activity structure will follow a combined inside and outside classroom approach. Participants of the Youth Hunting and Conservation Course will be taught by mentors during several handson activities. Daily activities will focus on aspects of hunting and firearms training, our hunting heritage and wildlife biology that Youth Hunting and Conservation Course participants will use throughout their lives and can share with their family and friends.

The following is a list of the types of activities and demonstrations that students will be participating in throughout the week:

  • Ontario Hunter Education, Firearms certification and the Ontario Wild Turkey Seminar
  • Wildlife identification
  • Boat tour of some of Long Point’s coastal marshes
  • Canada’s waterfowling heritage
  • Retriever training
  • Field demonstrations on wetland and waterbird conservation and management
  • Field presentations on being a waterfowl / wildlife biologist
  • Presentations on being a Conservation Officer
  • Being a marsh manager and the importance of hunting for conservation
  • Taxidermy demonstrations
  • Hunting demonstrations (duck / goose calling, decoy placement, etc.)
  • Decoy carving demonstration
  • Wildlife cooking (and eating)

Participants and Fees

Long Point Waterfowl is happy to offer their one week Youth Hunting and Conservation Course during the summer of each year. This workshop is open to 12-16 year old Ontario youth, with enrollment open to 20 individuals. Applicants are asked to fill out a questionnaire about their interests in wildlife management, conservation and hunting (see below). Course participants will be selected based on their response to these questions. The Youth Hunting and Conservation Course is offered at a very affordable rate as it is subsidized by several local interest groups.

 

The total cost to participants will be $500 which includes:

  • Ontario Hunter Safety Certification
  • Firearms Safety Certification
  • Ontario Wild Turkey Training Course
  • All food
  • Accommodation at the Long Point Waterfowl Research & Education Centre
  • A one-year membership with the Delta Waterfowl Foundation
  • A one-year membership with Ducks Unlimited Canada
  • A one-year membership with Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters
  • Field supplies
  • Various other gifts donated from contributors.
  • Hands-on training by various hunting/wildlife professionals
  • Lots of fun!

Some individuals taking the course do not come from a background/family of hunters. Consequently, we offer a limited number of spaces for parents/guardians to take the courses with their child. Cost to parents/guardians is $500. We also offer a limited number of spaces for parents to attend the event but not to take the courses – cost is $300 per participant. Parents/guardians interested in taking the course, or attending are asked to fill out a separate application package and submit it with their child’s application.

 

If you are interested in participating in this annual event, please email Ted Barney at tbarney@longpointwaterfowl.org; or call him toll free at 1-888-448-2473 ext. 151

OR

Fill out an application form here and return it to

Ted Barney
Biologist, Long Point Waterfowl
P.O. Box 160
Port Rowan, Ontario
N0E 1M0

 

Check out this video from TV series Canada in the Rough to see a hands on account of our Youth Hunting and Conservation Course.

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