The FLB Wildlife Association recently held its annual general meeting at the indoor range facility in Virden. The two-hour meeting, chaired by club president Marlon LeStrat, covered a great many topics including an overview of the club’s operations and possible future projects and events. The present membership of the club is well over 200 hundred members of all ages, both sexes and from across Western Canada.
Club treasurer Matt Stuart, gave a detailed report with the bottom line being that the club was in good financial shape. However, a major ongoing construction project at the indoor shooting range to improve the safety of the underground range is a major financial undertaking. Discussion on the need for new club directors was held. Some replacements were found while the other vacancies will be filled later.
Reports were given on the firearm ranges. The outdoor range north of Elkhorn had a busy and safe season with club matches and private shooting and training rental events.
Construction delays at the indoor range in Virden, awaiting the engineering company, has put the project behind schedule, meaning the range may not be open for use until the fall. The upgrades are only being made to the outside of the building, but the project’s delays have cost the club the loss of rental revenue to non-club groups. Matt Hipwell reported that some improvements have also been made to the pistol range with better backstops.
A detail report was given on the archery activities of the club which had a great year. The Eternal Springs area is used for these events and the club hosted the Manitoba Provincial Archery match, receiving high praise from the organizers who stated that the range was the second best in the province.
The club is helping the Eternal Springs Committee to build washrooms at the Eternal Springs range site, with some preliminary work already completed.
The archery leadership is hoping, in the next year or so, to hold a two-day match. These have proved to be very popular family events and create a positive spinoff for local businesses.
However, two problem items on the agenda shared a common root cause. One was the Youth Explorer program, the other, the need for help at club events and range upkeep. Finding volunteers to help out or to teach is becoming a real problem. Club programs for firearms and archery safety and use are very important skills that young people should have the opportunity to learn.
The final business of the evening was a presentation by Matt Hipwell regarding Manitoba’s concern with province-wide hunting. His information, after attending a meeting along with another club member Tyson Lobreau, explained the need for more vigilance in hunting laws and restrictions, and in herd numbers and illnesses.
The last point of business was discussion and a motion to make a donation to the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights, in support of their efforts as a lobby group to fight for the rights of all Canadian firearms users.
Said Marlon LaStrat following the meeting, “We had a great turn out for the 2020 AGM. There was lots of good discussion on club matters and we are optimistic that our club will have another good and safe year.
“The repairs to the Youth Centre and indoor range are well underway and we hope to have it up and running, after we get an occupation certificate.
“The FLB wildlife Association is a strong, community-based club with members from all over, that stresses safety, sportsmanship, learning and fun.”