Several years ago, I learned about the Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association’s annual open house held each year on Father’s Day at their 700 Holker Place site located on the top of the Malahat. A day of adventure is what’s in store for you when you attend the annual event known as Outdoor Discovery Day.
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The first time we went, I wasn’t entirely sure if my then 11-year old son was actually going to be able to handle any of the weapons. That became abundantly clear when the volunteer at the gate directed us where to park and up to the clubhouse to get registered. The smile on my son’s face when he realized he was not only going to be able to handle the guns, but shoot them also, was priceless.
Once registered you don’t have far to go to get involved in the first couple activities with the skeet and trap set up just outside the clubhouse. These shooting activities are similar in that participants attempt to break clay targets (also called clay pigeons) that are mechanically flung into the air at high speed. The difference is the angle in which the pigeon comes from the machine with trap targets rising and going away from the shooter and skeet going across.
The knowledgeable volunteers will instruct you and offer pointers to help you hit the target. I was quite surprised at my success with these two activities, though the shotgun was way more powerful than I expected!
At the shooting range you will have a chance to try black powder, pistols, rifles and cowboy action. Don’t let the lineups deter you – they won’t take nearly as long as a fair ride! Before entering the range, you will be provided with eye and ear protection and you’re welcome to bring your own. You'll be given the little foam buds but I find it a bit loud at the range so prefer to bring my own ear muff style.
For my son and his friends, these are the activities that they look forward to the most.
Other than shooting activities, guests at the annual Outdoor Discovery Day can also take park in learning to fish at Frog Hollow Pond, or using a bow and arrow at the archery range.
There is also a concession stand and I highly recommend you stop by and support the club. The entire day is free to the public but they gladly accept donations to help recover costs of ammunition and supplies.
A word of caution for individuals with mobility concerns, the activities are spread out over a fairly large outdoor space with uneven terrain.
In the years since our first visit to the Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association’s Father’s Day event, we have been 4 or 5 more times. Naturally there are lots of dads with their children but if you’re not a dad or you don’t have kids, don’t let that stop you from getting out and enjoying the day.
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