In the nine months that follow, there will be a number of tasks that will need to be completed as follows.
Determining the Number of Participants:
First for your planning committee will be a decision on the number of Apprentices that will be hunting in your event. This can vary depending on the size of the property, the amount of cover, separation distance between potential hunting areas, visibility etc. This will require that you closely examine the area with others who have hunted the property to determine a conservative number of Apprentices it can handle at anyone time. As well, consideration should be given to the fact that the hunting area will have others present including the Field Marshals and dog handlers.
As well, there may be a maximum number that your group wants to have independent of the site conditions. Either way, it is best to start small and let your event grow as your committee becomes more comfortable with the planning and implementation.
Deciding on the number of Apprentices is also important because it will be a primary influence related to other areas of your event including the number of birds that will be placed in each field, the number of volunteers that you will need to help run your event and establishing a budget.
Once the number of Apprentices and the number of birds being released has been determined, this will probably be a good time to place your order from a local supplier.
Someone on your planning committee should be delegated the responsibility of administration and clerical support. There are many tasks that will need to be completed along the way such as preparation of meeting minutes, responding to general inquires, developing posters and brochures, preparing letters and orientation packages and organizing groups of Apprentices. These tasks are better left in the hands of one person who is good with computers, organized and works well with others. Things can be particularly hectic as you approach the event date and need someone with these skill sets so that other planning committee members can focus on higher level safety and planning considerations.
Advertising and Promotion:
Advertising and promotion will help recruit apprentices and volunteers to help with planning and implementation of your event. For recruitment of Apprentices, word-of-mouth advertising works best with the hunting community. Hunter Safety Instructors and local retailers of hunting and fishing equipment will be very supportive of your event and be more than willing to display a poster, hand out applications and interface with their customers about your event.
If the Youth Hunting Day Event is going to be held on public land where hunting is allowed or licensed Hunting Preserve under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, your planning committee should post signage in the parking lots or other access points. This can be a great source for volunteer help and potential Apprentices for your event.
Advertising in general newspapers or other forms of media is not recommended. Limited dollars should be allocated as above and will stand the best chance of reaching your target audience.
Asking for Sponsorship:
Sponsorship of your event can take a number of forms including prizes, financial donations, in-kind support and promotion. When you consider all the equipment and supplies that will be needed to help, make your event successful, there are a number of local groups and individuals that will want to help particularly when they know youth are involved and the common interest that is shared. Therefore, do not be afraid to ask for their support.
For example, the local gun club might donate the ammunition, the local retailers will provide prizes, the pheasant supplier will want to donate a portion of the birds, the local farm supplier might donate a small tractor and trailer for moving supplies around the site and the dog clubs will be giving of their time so the Apprentices can hunt over a well trained dog etc.
You will also need a release form signed by the participants indicating they are okay with their picture being published for event purposes.
Preparing for Lunch and the Demonstration:
Hamburgers, hot dogs, soft drinks and a dessert are probably best for lunch. Food can be ordered closer to the event by keeping the meal simple. The responsibility for purchasing and preparing lunch should be delegated to a local group. Cooked pheasant should also be a consideration, but these birds may need to be ordered earlier with the live birds. A propane heated deep fryer works well to cook the birds and should be served with the rest of lunch.
Organizers should use the lunch period to offer the Apprentices and Mentors a wildlife or hunting related demonstration. The topics are endless and depending on choice will dictate how much advance planning will be required.