The next generation
Safety and respect were the order of the day. Over the course of three days in April, seven girls and 15 boys from the Outaouais region attended courses and learned practical application in completing their Nonrestricted Firearms Safety and Quebec Hunters Safety courses. The Aylmer Rod and Gun Club (ARGC) hosted and subsidized the event for youth aged 12 and up.
The Non-restricted Firearms Safety course was held on the first day. Rod Carreau, of the ARGC, and Marc Sirois, a former RCMP officer, delivered an engaging program where participants learned the correct methods for handlng firearms and the laws that must be followed. The eight-hour course covered the same content as the course for adults wishing to obtain a Possession and Acquisition License (PAL). Students were required to pass a written exam with a minimum of 80%, followed by a practical exam demonstrating the safe handling of firearms.
The second day, Rod and Marc delivered the Quebec Hunters Safety course. Participants spent an additional eight hours learning the laws and best practices for hunting in Quebec. A Quebec Wildlife Officer spoke to the youth about the important role hunters play in protecting our fauna. Hunters assist by providing officers and provincial scientists with information on the animals they hunt and how hunting is used to control animal populations. Participants were required to pass a written exam and obtain at least 70%.
After two days in the classroom and successfully passing their exams, the ARGC took the young people to the Connaught gun range to practice their gun safety and shooting skills. Participants were given the opportunity to shoot a round of skeet and finished with a BBQ lunch, both provided free by the volunteers of the ARGC.
Participant, Simon Benson, aged 12 says, “I learned a lot about firearms safety and hunting. I had a lot of fun at Connaught shooting skeet. I loved it!”
Teaching the next generation to be good stewards of nature and to hunt respectfully is an important lesson to pass on. The Aylmer Rod and Gun club did an excellent job sponsoring these courses, with several volunteers giving three days of their time over two weekends to educate our youth. It was a resounding success.