The first task in developing a successful Youth Hunting Day event is to establish a planning committee. The size of this group should be kept to a maximum of eight people and if needed, elect a chairperson to call meetings, set the agendas and ensure the committee members complete their delegated tasks.
Once formed, the first priority for the planning committee will be deciding on the date and location of the event. Give yourself a year to plan including the establishment of clear objectives; and be sure to attend one of the existing events in Elgin, Middlesex or Perth to fully appreciate the work that is involved.
There are different options available to you when choosing a location. The event could be on public land, private land or even a licensed game preserve under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. Regardless of the site you choose, the most important factor in your decision is the ability to control access and identifying any other safety issues with using the property. The only people on site should be the organizers, Apprentices, Mentors, volunteers and invited guests.
When considering the date, give careful consideration to hunting seasons to ensure your event date does not conflict with other hunting times such as controlled deer hunts or opening day for other game species such as waterfowl.
Finally, because youth, guns and hunting are involved, and despite every precaution that is built into your event, there is a possibility that someone could get hurt. Therefore, it is extremely important that the planning committee have a Commercial General Liability insurance policy in place to cover the organizers and volunteers should this occur.
It is recommended that groups wanting to host a youth hunting day event have adequate Commercial General Liability Insurance in place to protect the organizers against claims related to personal injury and property damage. For example, the stewardship councils have $5,000,000 in coverage through the Ministry of Natural Resources. It is best that you discuss the coverage needed with a local insurance broker. Alternatively, if you are considering the local stewardship council as a partner, it is important that they be in a coordinating role with both planning and implementation of the event, in order to benefit from their coverage.
As well, consideration should be given to having a Directors and Officers policy in place with minimum $1,000,000.00 in coverage. This will provide added protection to the planning committee particularly if financial donations are being received or for other management decisions being made.