By Paul Bucci
Some of life’s best experiences come from a deep connection to the natural world in all its glory.
Whether it’s following a fresh deer trail through the snow on a bright, cool, cold day in the high country or the visceral thrill of feeling a fish hit your line, these moments are moments of intense joy, made more still by the raw, wild beauty of the great spaces.
Being outdoors hunting game or catching fish is a complete experience where you are fully aware of your surroundings. It not only sharpens your mind, but sharpens your senses.
Yet to truly enjoy the outdoors, it also pays to sharpen your skills. This is where membership in a local rod and gun club will pay off.
Club membership has many benefits, says Jesse Zeman, director of fish and wildlife restoration at the BC Wildlife Federation, whose organization represents more than 100 affiliated clubs across the province.
One of the main benefits of membership is tapping into the history and tradition of local clubs, whose members respect and cherish the great outdoors. The clubs do not only focus on hunting, fishing and sport shooting. They also focus on safety, improving skills and, perhaps most importantly, they are leaders in wildlife conservation, stewardship and improvement.
“Very often clubs will have a range of activities, including stewardship work like stream and habitat improvement. Some of them have small-scale hatcheries, for example,” says Zeman.
“And then you help support the public voice of the BC Wildlife Federation, which promotes the sustainability of fish, wildlife and their habitats, as well as hunters and anglers.”
Many clubs teach basic firearms handling and can walk you through the steps to getting a gun or becoming a licensed hunter. Often you will find shooting ranges suitable for trap, skeet, shotgun, pistol, archery and more, as well as a clubhouse for social and educational events, club meetings and organized events. They are often family-oriented and offer programs for youth and new members to help them expand their experience and abilities through classes and activities with qualified instructors.
“A lot of clubs will have a whole bunch of different communities that have mentorship,” says Zeman. “We also have Forever Fishing days to teach people. There are shooting days, shotgun days and much more.
Shooting at the shooting range also has many advantages. With fixed targets, precise distances, shooting equipment and safety rules, the stands allow shooters to maintain or acquire new skills in a controlled, safe and environmentally friendly place.
Members of a rod and gun club also benefit from liability insurance that covers a wide variety of outdoor activities, including the use of ATVs and other vehicles while hunting or fishing. athletic.
Some merchants offer discounts to club members, and members also receive six issues of BC Outdoors Magazine.
“If you’re new to fishing or hunting, definitely join a club,” says Zeman. “Go meet the members and there will be a committee or people at the club who can help you learn about anything.”
To find a club near you, visit bcwf.bc.ca/our-clubs
Or contact: The North Thompson Fish and Game Club Society via Facebook, by email: https://norththompsonfishandgameclub.ca or by calling 778-694-5447
~ Article courtesy of West Coast Traveler and Black Press Media
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District of BarriereFishing and HuntingNorth Thompson Valley