Trailblazer Event Activities and Demonstrations

Looking for more information about the type of Trailblazer event you want to host and and what’s included in it? 

Introductory Outdoor Event: This is a half/one-day event that consists of three introductory, hands-on activities and one demonstration. Activities are geared to introduce, or entice, inexperienced children or adults to engage in activities commonly associated with hunting, fishing, trapping and the shooting sports. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation staff and volunteers administer these events at any suitable location, and through enjoyable hands-on activities, enthusiastically demonstrate the basic skills required to participate in outdoor sports.

Hands-on Activities for Introductory events

  • BB Gun Shooting
    • This event includes firing BB guns at stationary paper targets and is conducted at most introductory events and at sites or venues where a certified range is not available. Participants learn basic firearm safety and marksmanship. The Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation frequently lends out these kits to camps, educational program sites and other organizations that might be holding their own BB gun shooting activities.
  • Archery
    • The Archery Activity includes compound bow & arrow shooting at stationary targets. Participants will learn basic bow safety and marksmanship. The Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation frequently lends out these kits to camps, educational program sites and other organizations that might be holding their own archery activity events.
  • Fishing
    • This event takes place either on land or at a body of water. When the fishing event takes place on land, participants learn how to cast, bait hooks, use live/artificial bait and gain knowledge on how to fish a specific species. Most on-land events include a casting skill test. If the event takes place at a body of water, participants learn how to cast, bait hooks, use live/artificial bait, catch fish, unhook fish and gain knowledge on how to fish a specific species. Fishing equipment will be available for participant use. The Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation frequently lends out these fishing kits to camps, educational program sites and other organizations that might be holding their own archery activity events.
  • Flyfishing
    • Fly fishing activity consists of learning how to cast/fish with a fly rod, receiving demonstration/instructions on proper technique to tie flies and training regarding the identification of local fish species.
  • Bowfishing
    • This event is similar to the archery event with one major difference: attached to the bow is a fishing reel, and the fishing line is connected to each arrow. The event uses a ground or floating target, and participants attempt to shoot the target and reel in their catch. This event has the opportunity for an actual display of the specialized boat utilized for this type of fishing. Participants may tour the boat and try out the equipment. The boat display is always on dry land.
  • Game Calling and Hunting Skills Activity

Introductory Event Outdoor Demonstrations

  • Hunting/Sporting Dog Demonstration
    • These demonstrations are provided by two to three local hunting dog club members, hunting dog trainers or hunting dog kennel operators. This demonstration begins with a presentation of a simulated waterfowl hunt. The demonstration features dogs, waterfowl decoys, blinds, a series of waterfowl calls and retrieving dummies, training birds or other training devices that the dog will retrieve from land and water. After a series of calls, a “blank” shot is fired, and the “hunter” gives the command for the dog to retrieve the mark or complete a blind retrieve.
  • Fox Hunting Demonstration
    • Provided by local fox hunting clubs, five to six club members bring to the demonstration site fox hounds and horses. The members dress in traditional fox hunting attire. The demonstration includes conducting a simulated hunt where the club members blow the horns and then charge the hounds and horses across an open field.
  • Bird of Prey Demonstration
    • Bird of prey demonstrations/displays are provided by local falconry/raptor clubs, by the local state wildlife agency or by birds of prey rehabilitation centers. Depending on location and time of year, the handlers and birds will conduct various flying demonstrations.

Intermediate Outdoor Event: This opportunity is generally a one or two day event consisting of three to five intermediate level hands on activities and one or two demonstrations. This event may be cosponsored with the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation by a youth-serving organization such as scouting groups or a non-youth-serving organization like a club or business. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation staff and volunteers administer these events at any suitable location. The traditional event consists of several of the same activities as an introductory outdoor event; however, the individual activities have an increased level of challenge for the participants. For optimal experiences, the event may need to be conducted at a location where intermediate shooting and hunting skills can be taught and practiced. The intermediate outdoor event activities may include shotgun/rifle shooting, fishing, 3D archery range, competitions and live demonstrations of working sport dogs.

Hands-on Activities for Intermediate events

  • Shotgun/Rifle Target Shooting
    • Target shooting includes use of .22 rifles and 12- and 20-gauge shotguns. Participants learn basic firearm safety and marksmanship. This event is conducted at a certified range and all participants shoot at stationary paper targets. The Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation provides the firearms kits for use by attendees. In addition, the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation frequently lends out these kits to camps, educational program sites and other organizations that might be holding their own target shooting activities.
  • Archery
    • The Archery Activity includes compound bow & arrow shooting at stationary targets. Participants will learn basic bow safety and marksmanship. The Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation frequently lends out these kits to camps, educational program sites and other organizations that might be holding their own archery activity events.
  • Fishing
    • This event takes place either on land or at a body of water. When the fishing event takes place on land, participants learn how to cast, bait hooks, use live/artificial bait and gain knowledge on how to fish a specific species. Most on-land events include a casting skill test. If the event takes place at a body of water, participants learn how to cast, bait hooks, use live/artificial bait, catch fish, unhook fish and gain knowledge on how to fish a specific species. Fishing equipment will be available for participant use. The Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation frequently lends out these fishing kits to camps, educational program sites and other organizations that might be holding their own archery activity events.
  • Flyfishing
    • Fly fishing activity consists of learning how to cast/fish with a fly rod, receiving demonstration/instructions on proper technique to tie flies and training regarding the identification of local fish species.
  • Bowfishing
    • This event is similar to the archery event with one major difference: attached to the bow is a fishing reel, and the fishing line is connected to each arrow. The event uses a ground or floating target, and participants attempt to shoot the target and reel in their catch. This event has the opportunity for an actual display of the specialized boat utilized for this type of fishing. Participants may tour the boat and try out the equipment. The boat display is always on dry land.
  • Knife/Tomahawk Throwing
    • Participants throw tomahawks and knives at a stationary wood target.
  • Game Calling and Hunting Skills
    • A local expert provides game calling training and demonstrates different types of wild game calls. Focusing on what the game call means to the species, techniques for using game calls and how to make calls. This activity also covers the tactics and strategies for hunting a specific species of wild game. Participants will practice a particular call and gain practical knowledge about a species.

Intermediate Event Outdoor Demonstrations

  • Hunting/Sporting Dog Demonstration
    • These demonstrations are provided by two to three local hunting dog club members, hunting dog trainers or hunting dog kennel operators. This demonstration begins with a presentation of a simulated waterfowl hunt. The demonstration features dogs, waterfowl decoys, blinds, a series of waterfowl calls and either a plastic waterfowl carcass or other training devices that the dog will retrieve from land or water. After a series of calls, a “blank” shot is fired, and the “hunter” gives the command for the dog to retrieve the downed animal.
  • Fox Hunting Demonstration
    • Provided by local fox hunting clubs, five to six club members bring to the demonstration site fox hounds and horses. The members dress in traditional fox hunting attire. The demonstration includes conducting a simulated hunt where the club members blow the horns and then charge the hounds and horses across an open field.
  • Bird of Prey Demonstration
    • Bird of prey demonstrations/displays are provided by local falconry/raptor clubs, by the local state wildlife agency or by birds of prey rehabilitation centers. Depending on location and time of year, the handlers and birds will conduct various flying demonstrations.

Focused Event: This type of event is designed to be an intermediate or advanced level outdoor skill focused experience. This event has a singular purpose: to hone and enhance a particular individual outdoor skill such as shotgun shooting or archery. This event may include a classroom period, held indoors or outdoors, to increase practical knowledge of hunting, fishing and trapping. This event may include the following activities:

  • Trap/clay shooting
  • Rifle/shotgun shooting
  • BB gun shooting
  • Archery
  • Fishing Derby
  • Instructional lecture/ technique demonstration to hunt, fish or trap a specific species or by a specific method
  • Hunter Education course
  • Mentoring

Heritage Event: This event is a classroom-to-field-to-dining-table event conducted over a three to four month period for a select number of participants. Having four phases, this event is designed to provide hunting education, to address firearm proficiency, to conduct a wild game hunt and to celebrate with a wild game meal. Phase one begins with the participants’ taking and passing the hunter education course. Participants will also learn about the local game which the participants will soon be hunting. Phase two is firearm proficiency. The participants will attend firearm training and will practice shooting at a local range to hone skills. Phase three will be a wild game hunt where participants will obtain hands-on, field experience. After the hunt, participants will learn how to clean and properly prepare their harvest. Phase four will consist of a small wild game meal to celebrate their graduation from both the successful hunt and course.

  • Hunter Education Course: A ten hour class conducted over either four consecutive 2.5-hour evening sessions or two consecutive 5-hour day sessions, this course is taught by certified hunter education instructors. Course topics include weapons responsibility, firearms & ammunition, shooting, bow hunting, personal safety & survival and care of game. At the conclusion of the course, participants receive both a written and hands-on test to evaluate their new skills and knowledge mastery. Hunting education instructors provide all materials required for successful completion of the course and will share successful test taking techniques. The Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation offers this course at least four times a year either at the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation headquarters in Columbus, Ohio or at a requestor’s facility.
  • Fishing: This event takes place either on land or at a body of water. When the fishing event takes place on land, participants learn how to cast, bait hooks, use live/artificial bait and gain knowledge on how to fish a specific species. Most on-land events include a casting skill test. If the event takes place at a body of water, participants learn how to cast, bait hooks, use live/artificial bait, catch fish, unhook fish and gain knowledge on how to fish a specific species. Fishing equipment will be available for participant use. The Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation frequently lends out these fishing kits to camps, educational program sites and other organizations that might be holding their own archery activity events.
  • Shotgun/Rifle Target Shooting: Target shooting includes use of .22 rifles and 12- and 20-gauge shotguns. Participants learn basic firearm safety and marksmanship. This event is conducted at a certified range and all participants shoot at stationary paper targets. The Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation provides the firearms kits for use by attendees. In addition, the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation frequently lends out these kits to camps, educational program sites and other organizations that might be holding their own target shooting activities.
  • Species Harvest: The harvest event entails a live hunt of an in-season species complying with all local laws and regulations. The hunt will take place on public or private land with a guide and volunteers. Before the hunt, the participant will receive instruction on proper hunting techniques for the particular species and a safety brief. The participant will obtain hands-on experience regarding harvesting a game animal, field dressing and cleaning the animal in preparation for cooking.