by Marilyn Bueckert
Several young people gathered at Willard Lake on Saturday, along with parents and grandparents, for the Thompson River Chapter of Safari Club International (SCI) second annual International Youth Day.
Ken Brown, president of the Thompson River Chapter, guided the young people through a series of introductory events. First there was blood tracking! While the children were tracking the path of the “injured bear” who had been shot (a teddy bear and bingo dye were used), a real black bear showed up across the lake to observe the activities!
Animal identification was another session where the kids identified animals from photos and from antlers but no horns. Civids shed their antlers every year but bovids, horned animals keep the one set throughout their lives.
Many of the youngsters shone at pellet gun shooting which was an introduction to firearms. After a lunch by the lake, many of them tried their hand at archery. Many of the girls not only kept up with the boys, but in one case, outshone them!
“BC has a wealth of wildlife for viewers, hunters and for people who simply enjoy getting out of doors,” said Brown. “Yes, we kill animals, but we use that organic meat for our own use.”
“A short time ago we went from being hunters and gatherers to going to the grocery store,” said one of the dads, Jason Kingsley. “It is important for kids to learn how to go out and gather their own food and it is good to get them outdoors.”
Father and scout leader Alex Ekering felt this activity day was a good opportunity for young people and feels it should be done more often. “It gets kids moving around!” he said.