Shoot report – Lyme valley – May 2014

Lyme Valley May 2014 practice area

Lyme Valley May 2014 practice area

It was an early start again on Sunday with a drive up to just outside Stoke-on-Trent to Lyme Valley club for their only shoot of 2014. Normally they run a couple a year and if you want to read a previous review look here.
As the name implies the course is in a valley and with the rain they had in the preceding days and  on the day of the shoot would prove to make it a very muddy walk read sliding course and yes it was very very slippery.
The course was made up of a mix of 3d and paper faces.  36 targets in all with I think only a half dozen faces, it gave a good warm up for the 3d Championships which is just round the corner.
Speaking to the organisers they said they had about 50 archers who cancelled prior to the event or were no shows on the day, this resulted in about 130 archers attended the shoot. I can understand why you wouldn’t want to get soaked but it was a shame as it was a good course with well set targets and good use of ground. As it turned out, the weather was not as bad as forecast but it was wet for much of the afternoon.
Lyme Valley May 2014

Lyme Valley May 2014

The shot above looks flat but in reality you shoot it from down the slope so were shooting across the ground. Good use of ground.

Lyme Valley May 2014

Across the valley

You can just make out the standing bear on the other side of the valley. You shot this from the river bed uphill.

downhill turkey Lyme Valley May 2014

downhill turkey Lyme Valley May 2014

I’m really glad we took the water proof trousers and yes I remembered the waterproof jacket this time too. Might do an equipment review on the waterproof trousers as they are a good buy.
Lyme valley have a break at lunch time from 12:30 -1:15 and as luck would have it we were at the furthest target when the lunch horn signalled to stop. This made for a long walk back made longer due to me being slow having fallen earlier. More details later.
It’s never easy putting on a shoot, especially on a hill side with steps being eroded either by water in wet weather or animal activities. I really feel for these guys as I know at Black Arrow we struggled to keep all the steps and paths going and it was half the size of Lyme Valley. With a course and ground like Lyme Valley its especially difficult with the fine silty mud clay soil. Maybe on a few shots they could have cleared or levelled it a bit to make it easier but in fairness I saw more than a few marshals spade in hand working on cutting fresh steps and clearing paths themselves covered in mud.  Thanks guys your work was noticed and appreciated.
With the grounds Lyme Valley have they made good use of up and downhill shots but also some nice flat shots including one along the stream and for the first time to my recollection there was a shot in the field, nicely set using the gentle slope.
It was a long day and with people struggling along the paths and steps. The drive home was via accident and emergency query broken wrist. I had taken a fall on the 10th target when retrieving arrows.  Landing heavily on my right leg and quiver resulting in a very sore leg and developing a bruise but I had put my hand out to stop my fall and bent my wrist back. This didn’t hurt much until about half way round but by the end I was finding it uncomfortable on the release. Fortunately it it appears to be a bad sprain but doctor has said to monitor it.
Sharon shot really well, with me chasing her score all day. which saw her coming first in ladies and beating the mens scores too. Not only that but she matched her best bare-bow score too. Well done. Well done to all the other Severn Valley members who also were placed.
Thank for reading and for the meet up with readers of this blog. Nice to put a face to a reader of the site.

Club meeting and photo shoot

Severn Valley Team photo

Severn Valley Team photo

Last week saw our clubs annual general meeting where the organising committee feedbacks to members and members have an opportunity to pose questions and raise concerns, elections taking place etc. If you are a member of all club I think it is important to attend these meetings to hear the discussions.

It also gives you the opportunity to raise questions and understand the work that goes on behind the scene.

Like last year the event was well attended with over 60 club members making the effort to attend.

The meeting also provided the opportunity for a photo session. As some readers will know at last year’s NFAS national championships the Severn Valley Yeoman Foresters club won a few trophies and this meeting provided the perfect opportunity for team members group photo.

So below is the bare bow team photo.

Bare Bow Team

Bare Bow Team

The other photo is of the 3 team trophies, the instinctive, bare bow and longbow with corresponding team members. Well done to all involved.

Thanks for reading.

Shoot report – Artemis October 2013

Artemis header logo

Artemis header logo

This last weekend did not only have British weathermen warning us of an impending great storm which promised to lay waste to huge areas of the UK along with winter clock changing (back an hour) but it was also to be the Artemis shoot. Busy weekend then.

People gathering for start

People gathering for start

Artemis archers only host one nfas shoot a year as they are reliant on the good nature of neighbouring farmer to allow access to their field for their parking. For the last two years we’ve marshalled the event so shooting it would be a new experience. You can read past shoot reports here. 2012 and 2011

Their shooting grounds are on a wooded hillside not far from Belper in Derbyshire. This allows them to put on a mix of up and down hill shots which is not common in many club grounds and a lot of walking.

The course was to be of 36 targets mixed 3d, paper and a few exceptionally well painted hessian faces.this was Split into two large loops of 18 targets each side of the woodland with a food stop between targets 36&1 and 18&19.

The day started in bright sunshine but with a cooling wind reminding you it was autumn with November just round the corner.

As I said earlier over the years I’ve marshalled the artemis shoot twice but never shot the course. Even when i was a member i only managed to shoot part of the course so it would be interesting to see it from other side of the fence so to speak. Or should that be the other end of the bow?

The bad weather that was forecast fortunately stayed away with us having brief heavy showers and strong gusts but not the monsoon predicted. Speaking with the organisers i understand a number of trees had come down in the previous few weeks and organiser stated that if any more came down on the day they would stop the shoot on safety grounds. Fortunately the gusts promised didn’t materialise and we were able to shoot the entire day.

Artemis administration limited the numbers on the pegs to four which made for a quick day which was good considering weather. And change of clocks made sunset that little closer.

There were some long shots and one very interesting one on a boss half way up the wall which you had to shoot at 45 degrees.

Interesting new faces from France ( )which caught a lot of archers out especially the thinking gorilla. Pigmy hippo and small wolf caught me out. As a side note Not sure if I’m a big fan of faces that aren’t life size.

The thinking gorilla

The thinking gorilla

I’d not shot for nearly 4 weeks and it showed in my distance judgement which was out and my fingers were feeling the strain.

One of few decent shots of day

One of few decent shots of day

Came in with 600 not too bad I guess but still not great but that’s what happens when I don’t get to practice.

Sharon did well winning in the ladies barebow class and a clean sweep in gents bare bow as severn Valley got first second and third. Well done guys.

Full results for the shoot are available here.

This will be my last shoot report for a while. I’m not booked on anything for several months and I’m trying to get my head back into archery following various things recently.

As always thanks for taking the time reading this. I hope you found it useful and interesting.

Shoot report – Severn Valley – October 2013

or should this read 36 hours of madness!!

SVYF Shoot

SVYF Shoot

This past weekend saw SVYF host their Autumn shoot and it would prove to be one of the most challenging events for many. The shoot would be on Sunday and we had arranged to meet everyone early Saturday to start the long process of putting out 3D targets, safety nets etc. Here we encountered our first problem with the police closing the road leading from our house to the woods following a serious car accident, resulting in a detour down country lanes to find a way round. Once at the wood it was all hands on deck to get targets out which was mostly done by 4.

Sadly there was to be another problem that day. Two of the nicest archers in the nfas Chris and Keith Harley had their car broken into, with the rear passenger window smashed. They had booked in a local Holiday Inn so could be on site first thing on Sunday but had their overnight bags stolen. So they had to journey home and sort the insurance and replacement window.

So Sunday dawned and in the dark we headed off to the woods. The weather overnight had been heavy rain with strong gusts and we all feared it would be like that on the day of the shoot, but we were shocked and pleasantly surprised. Through the day we heard 2 loud thunder claps and had a brief heavy downpour that lasted only a few minutes.

Arriving shortly after 7:30 we found everyone busy, which was expected. What wasn’t was the 60 foot tree that had come down in the night. The root-ball of which had twisted twenty foot of the bridge by 45 degrees and lifted the bridge four feet in the air.

Bridge half way repaired

Bridge half way repaired

A team of the strongest guys went to work with chainsaw, hammers and sheer brute strength. The one bit of luck was the original builder of the bridge Nigel was there and he had built this bridge in sections. Thirty minutes later we had a working bridge again. Though I think we will need to change its name from longbow bridge to horse bow I think as it’s no longer as straight as it was.

That wasn’t the only thing that happened. One of our safety officers was stung by a wasp and had to be rushed to hospital following an allergic reaction. He is okay but spent most of the day hooked up to a drip and having antihistamines pumped into him. He was discharged in the afternoon and is now at home recovering.

Admin had their work cut out for them too as 21 archers requested to change groups on the day to shoot with friends. All this delayed the start of the shoot.

archers in the woods

archers in the woods

Our new power generator stopped working plunging the kitchen into darkness just as the initial announcement started at 10:20. This would be an on going issue through the day resulting in us having to swap to the older smaller generator.

Note the lack of lights in hut!!

Note the lack of lights in hut!!

Problem with this is the club replaced it because it vibrates so energetically that it shakes the connecting cable out of its socket. This resulted in a periodic loss of power in the hut as someone would run round the back and reconnect the cables.

The clubs wood is surrounded by farm land but on the other side of the field there is a shooting club and as luck would have it they decided to re-enact a scene from the d-day landings or at least that what it sounded like, or as one archer stated sounded like the battle of El Alamein. This continued throughout the day.

Our Target 4 Paper face Rhino

Our Target 4 Paper face Rhino

Ironically the brollies people brought for the rain were used as sun and wind shelters as we had a few exposed shots vulnerable to strong gusts.

Sun shade

Sun shade

The wind and occasional rain brought down branches and trees throughout the day so we were kept busy, clearing bridges and targets.

The course would be a 36 shot round with a mix of paper, 3D and Hessian targets, with over 160 archers attending the shoot.

The 3D tiger proved a great hit among the attendees and a challenge from the red peg.

3D tiger from red peg

3D tiger from red peg

In all the feedback received so far has been largely positive with only a couple of comments on things that could be improved in the future.

Thanks for reading.

Shoot report – NFAS National Championship 2013

2013 NFAS National Championships

2013 NFAS National Championships

Last weekend (21st-22nd September) saw the annual NFAS National championships, which this year was held just outside of Hemel Hempsted, Hertfordshire a little over a 2 hour drive from home. This was the second time the Gaddesden Estate had hosted the event in the last 3 years, though this time we were only using one area of the woodland.
The estate grounds are a lovely mix of old mix leaf deciduous woodland, crisscrossed with paths and hollows, some of which were used by the course layers exceedingly well.
Unlike other champs we decided not to camp being unsure of the weather and went for a bit of luxury, well sort of limited luxury, as we and a few others booked in at a Premier Inn about 20 minutes drive from the site. It was a novelty being able to have a hot shower, a proper bed and not too bad food from the restaurant next door.  We were joined by a few others from Severn Valley and Paget de Vesey club making it a social evening on both Friday and Saturday night.
2013 NFAS Nationals

2013 NFAS Nationals

The two clubs who put all the effort in to set the courses, clear paths and marshal were Cloth of Gold (Course A) and Westcott Archers (Course B). This would result in 2 very different courses of 40 targets one shot each day over the weekend. With over 400 archers present the courses were packed, with 5-6 on a peg, top marks to Admin though for all their hard work and organising.
Personally I think the society should have gone with 3 courses, as it would have spread the archers out and wouldn’t have resulted in as many hold ups on pegs which was a real problem for us on Sunday.
Delays result in a lack of flow to the day and I suffer from this in the form of a loss of concentration and focus. Combine this with a more challenging course, Sunday would prove to be a tough and long day. With only 2 courses it would see us shooting in mixed groups, which was great as it meant I got to shoot with Sharon on both days.
The first day we would shoot A course with Pug (who we had shot with before at Thornbury and would go on to be placed in compound limited) Robin and Norm with B course on Sunday with Rob Cook, Vickie, Lesley (Rob would go on to win gents bare bow)

Downhill boar

Downhill boar, probably the best shot on A course

Saturday A course

A course was laid by Cloth of Gold and would prove to be the easier of the two and I think this was partly due to them having less woodland. There were a few lovely set targets like the boa in the hollow which you shot from the top of the slope. The thing I liked was that there weren’t many silly long shots.

Only two targets spring to mind and both were small ones. The JVD red squirrel which was just after the food stop and the JVD ermine. The ermine is a small target and doesn’t need to be put on an angled boss. The squirrel was too far and it didn’t help that we had an hour long enforced lunch break just before it due to hold ups with groups in front of us. In contrast on B course the Ermine was set up really well.

Ermine target on B course

Ermine target on B course

In all though the day was okay and made better by the good company.

Sunday Course B

Sunday saw us on B course set by Westcott Archers which was far more challenging and demanding for all.

2013 NFAS Nationals B course sunday first target

2013 NFAS Nationals B course Sunday first target

The problem was this meant archers were taking more arrows and with the number of archers present it slowed down the day especially at the longer shots or those 3d targets with no backstops.

At one target when we arrived there were two groups in front of us still waiting to shoot it. I spoke to a few people who like me thought it  would have been a good idea to station a couple of marshals there during the day to help search for missing arrows.

2013 NFAS Nationals 3d deer

2013 NFAS Nationals 3d deer

This was the first time there had been a mix of 3d and paper faces at the championship. Traditionally it had always been solely paper faces.

2013 NFAS Nationals red squirrel

2013 NFAS Nationals red squirrel on B course

Big thanks to Merlin Archery who donated the paper faces for the event.

Tight shot between trees Nationals B course sunday

Tight shot between trees Nationals B course Sunday

Whilst it was good to shoot a mix of faces I think the lack of back stops on some of the longer distance 3d targets resulted in delays as people searched for missing arrows. Having said that there were some great shots on B course including a very deceptive 3D crocodile which had been hidden in a slight dip, which saw many archers arrows go high.

I would like to say a big thanks to Alex for all her stunning pictures of the weekend some of which she’s kindly allowed me to share on this site. Love this one of Sharon.

2013 NFAS Nationals Sharon

2013 NFAS Nationals Sharon

I manage to get one of Alex, whilst she was getting ready for end of shoot awards.

Alex hiding behind camera

Alex hiding behind camera

Waiting for results

Everyone waiting for results

SVYF came away with team trophies in bare bow, longbow and instinctive along with placing in the individual gents bare bow, crossbow and junior girls hunting tackle.

2013 NFAS Nationals - Barebow team

2013 NFAS Nationals – Barebow team Sharon and Robin, the rest of the team (Ivor & Steve) were a bit camera shy.

Sharon missed out on placing by 20 points coming under 3rd place. As for me I came in 8th, not bad I guess but I dropped 3 places on Sunday, I think due to the delays and waits for shots. Full results are available on the NFAS website, or click here .

Thanks for reading.

Shoot report – Wolverine – August 2013

Wolverine - archers waiting to start

Wolverine – archers waiting to start

The night before there had been heavy rain and we had wondered whether this was going to make Wolverine a slipping and  sliding shoot, it turned out to be a bright and not too warm day. Ideal shooting weather.

Our group was made up of 3 fellow SVYF Sue, Jason (both shooting AFB) and Tom shooting bare bow, joined Sharon and myself. This was to be Tom’s first open shoot and I think he might be back judging by his smiles during and at end of day.

Wolverine group - Jason, Tom and Sue

Wolverine group – Jason, Tom and Sue

The course itself was very challenging, comprising of a mix of 3d targets, a couple of hessian or home made ones and a selection of paper faces. There was a lengthy debate at one home made hessian target when we tried to work out if it was a brown bear or kangaroo. After we had shot it and when we got close enough to see it we discovered it was actually a curled up lion. Think we need new glasses!!

Wolverine’s ground is a wooded hillside with an open field at bottom for a few very long shots. Comprising of mature deciduous trees it is quite open allowing for mixed undergrowth and some very nicely framed shots like the mountain lion. (If you can see it past Sharons very bright hat)

Wolverine - Sharon blinding hat

Wolverine – Sharon blinding hat

I know I shoot best when the event flows and there are few hold ups. Unfortunately after the lunch break and for over 10 targets we were delayed by the group in front waiting to shoot as they were being delayed. I know it affected them as I know a couple of them (Danny aka Toast who i shot with in Scotland last year and Rob Cook). Unlike last week I don’t think the delay was due to too many archers just a few slow ones combined with a challenging course.

Toast and Cookie

Toast and Cookie’s group waiting to shoot

Here is a good example of what looks easy yet many archers over shot this 3d hitting the backstop behind.

Not as easy as it looks

Not as easy as it looks

I do really need to work on keeping concentration up though when waiting to shoot. It cost me at least 40 points.

The one downside to Wolverines location is down to the nature of the geography. Wolverine have to have a break for lunch as all the catering and administration are at one end of the woodland. This breaks the flow of the day but is sadly unavoidable.

Sharon was definitely having an off day but managed over 560. Maybe the delays got to her too. Having said that she did have a great shot of the day through the fork of a tree to hit a 3d cheetah.

Wolverine-shot of day by Sharon

Wolverine-shot of day by Sharon

Despite not shooting well, losing concentration due to delays and getting a blank on a target i really should have nailed easily I came in with 626 which got me first place.

In all it was a good shoot with some challenging shots.

Thanks for reading. We are off to a new club next weekend Windrush for a 2 day shoot so hopefully the weather will be kind to us, even if it is August bank holiday.

Shoot report – Lyme Valley archers August 2013

Been a short while since my last shoot report so here is one for the nfas lyme valley shoot last weekend. For those of  you who are interested here is the last report on Lyme valley.

Dave, Graham, Sharon and Peter

Dave, Graham, Sharon and Peter

Early Sunday morning we set off up the motorway to just outside Stoke on Trent; about an hour and 20 minutes depending on traffic. We’d missed the last shoot but I had managed to shoot their excellent 3D course at this year’s 3D champs.
For those of you who are new readers Lyme valley archers ground consists of a wooded valley which gives them the opportunity for some nice up and down hill shots.
In all I would say it was a good course with a few challenging targets. The only real problem was the afternoon dragged as progress was slow. We were constantly catching up with the group in front who were only just getting to shoot the target. This made for a slow days shooting as you could never get into a rhythm.
Lyme valley is a very popular shoot and I wonder if it suffers from it’s own popularity by trying to accommodate all the archers it can and sometimes that’s too many.
downhill 3D mountain lion

downhill 3D mountain lion

5 on a peg but a few with 6, combined with a challenging course means archers take second or third arrows. All slows down the day. Personally I think they would be better to have 4 maybe 5 to a peg.
Weather was good, warm but not hot with sunny spells.

View up the slope after shooting down the hillside

View up the slope after shooting down the hillside

The course was a mix of paper faces and 3D targets with some very long down hill shots like the giant komodo dragon shot from the top of the hill to the stream bed.

komodo dragon as seen from bottom of slope

komodo dragon as seen from bottom of slope

There were some new paths in some cases but glad it was dry as we would have been slipping and sliding all day.
Generally we like Lyme valley shoots and I enjoyed the course the only thing that put a downer to on the day were the hold ups.

Sharon won ladies Bare Bow and I was lucky enough to come away with first in Gents Hunting Tackle.

Thanks for reading.

Shoot report – Hanson June 2013

Hanson at the start of the day

Hanson at the start of the day

Been a while since we have managed to make a Hanson shoot. (There is a past shoot report here) It used to be one of our nearer shoots, but since moving its now just under an hour and a half drive on a good day. This is a shame as Hanson have a good reputation for putting on a good course and excellent catering. They are also a friendly bunch of people too.

I think they have suffered recently with some archers not booking on their shoots due to parking and access issues. In response to this the club had done a lot of work to improve access to the car park. When I say a lot, I do mean a lot. They have laid 100 tonnes of hard core and gravel to make a road from the entrance to the wood to the car park.
Hanson road

Hanson road and entrance to car park

This has greatly improved access. Drivers were able to get in and out without problems.  Well done guys.

The Shoot

As for the shoot itself, it was a 40 target course with a 50/50 split of 3d and paper faces. We (Sharon and I) started on peg 15 with Andrew, Mike and Cassey all from Black Sheep club. I was the only wooded arrow shooter in the group,  the others being all bare bow archers, which made me feel a little outnumbered.
Weather was good, with sunny spells and warm but not too hot, which makes a change as it often rained at Hanson shoots.

Sharon at Hanson

Sharon at Hanson and not in waterproof clothing

The club had done a lot of work on setting up new and interesting shots, through trees and a great one where they have put a paper face spider target and draped false cobwebs round it to make appear in a cave. Wish I had chance to take a picture of it.

Another was a long standing bear, between the trees. This is a photo a friend took and posted on Facebook. This was a real challenging shot that resulted in a few arrows finding their way into the branches.

Hanson 3d Bear

Hanson 3d Bear

Overall it was a really good day, though the afternoon was slow, I think due to the number of archers present (there were 5 to a peg so 200).We kept catching the group up in front not their fault as at the longer shots people were taking 2 or 3 arrows.

The mistake we made was not taking an early lunch as we passed catering, the thing was when we got to catering the first time we had shoot  only 5 targets so weren’t feeling hungry. The problem was we would have to shoot 20 more targets before returning which meant we were hungry, tired and in need of a break.

The important thing was there was still apple pie when we finally got to have lunch at 3:00. Hanson do great food and I always try to get some apple pie.

Overall I think it was a really good shoot, everyone appeared to enjoy themselves despite some of the delays. I can only think of one target that might be thought of as being stretched which was a paper faced Wildebeest.

So how did we do?

Sharon came away with 680 a great score that got her first place. I thought I was shooting okay,  but not great having missed a few first arrows so  was surprised to hear Sharon say she had been chasing my score all day!  I came away with 700 matching my personal best. This won me first place. Maybe  my shoulder is finally settling down.

Post Shoot

The only problem with the day was at some point before I put on bug repellent I was bitten on the back of the hand  by a horsefly. This resulted in an allergic reaction and a very swollen hand, I managed to get my wedding ring off before it got too swollen. Thankfully I’m on the mend now.

horsefly bite

horsefly bite = very swollen hand

Moral of the story is remember to put on insect repellent.

As always, thanks for reading.

Shoot report – Long Eaton Summer Solstice

Well it was billed as the LEFA Summer Solstice Shoot,note the summer part, it didn’t feel like summer. Windy with some very heavy showers it felt very autumnal as we arrived.

This weather made the shoot very challenging to say the least as the ground became very slippery under foot with myself and fellow archer John both falling. Fortunately neither of us sustained any real damage other than a a few thorns, though at one stage we wondered whether John had strained his hand.
For the day we were joined by father and son double act John and Ben Straw. Not sure what they are feeding Ben but I’m sure he’s grown again.

Ben and John Straw

Ben and John Straw

The course was a full 40 target 3d one with mixed sizes of targets and distances, with the normal break for lunch for an hour. LEFA had over 200 archers attend and devour the food off the lunch menu. Fortunately the heaviest showers weren’t during the lunch break or I think we might have been even wetter. I know a few people retired at lunch, due to weather I think.
As I said the poor weather made the ground slippery but also had the effect of lowering the tree canopy making some of the longer targets very difficult for lower poundage bows or for longbows that have a long cast. It also meant arrows would catch the canopy and skip off into the undergrowth. Resulting in time lost  searching for arrows, John lost 3 this way.
LEFA have come under criticism for the shoot being too hard and not up to their usual standard. I think this is a little unfair. The shoot was challenging with some targets being further than normal but not all and I have been to other shoots that have been far worse.
The weather played a major part in the problems on the day and I’ve tried to summarise the issues here.

  1. Rain made people wet and wet archers get cold and grumpy.  Kids get tired, feather fetchings become useless or at least less effective.  The can’t do much about weather, believe me I think there are many that would love to be able to.
  2. Rain brought tree canopy down making challenging shots, very difficult.  So maybe an inspection on the morning to prune trees would have helped but on the day organisers will be trying to sort parking, booking people in, etc etc
  3. Paths became slippery  due to the rain which slowed movement. Short of laying new paths etc not much can be done. Maybe a few steps or ropes hand rails might have helped but they had tried to cut in steps they just got worn away.

Despite all these problems it was still a good shoot, just not one of their best. So thanks to all the guys at LEFA. Dead ground was used on a number of shots and so was the undergrowth to hide distances.  Though I think shorter archers suffered as the bracken seems to have shot up.
Sharon had an off day, we all have them and when it happens there is little you can do. But it was one of those days for a number of archers and it saw her  not shooting as well as she can. Ben too was having an off day though he has swapped arrows recently, new bow limbs and has not been practicing due to school commitments.
Though I think Sharon had the shot of the day on the goat with a great 24. Well done.

3D goat at LEFA

3D goat at LEFA

One thing LEFA did do is angle some of the 3d targets and this made it harder to judge size and distances. It also resulted in a few glance offs.
The afternoon was slow not due to catching the group in front, more to do with taking our time to navigate the slippery paths, fortunately the weather improved (rain stopped) which is why there are no photos of the morning. My camera was buried under waterproofs.

Sharon in her summer shooting clothing

Sharon in her summer shooting clothing

Will we return ?

I know some people may have been put off returning to LEFA but we will, just not next time as we will be course laying for our shoot. Oh, how did we get on?

Almost forgot. Despite Sharon not shooting well she won gold with 518, Ben won in his class too, John retired as I think weather and his hand was giving him grief. I also won in my class with 618. Not too bad considering I didn’t get any 24s all day. It was only the second time Sharon and I have both placed 1st at a shoot.

LEFA trophy

LEFA trophy

As always thanks for reading.

Shoot Report – 3D National Championships

Morning Sunrise

Misty sunrise over the fields

The weekend of the 25th-26th of May saw the arrival of the annual National Field Archery Society (NFAS) 3D championships.
This 2 day event would see archers from around the country (just under 600 competitors) travelling to Osmaston just outside of Derby. This was the 4th year the event had been hosted there and possibly the last as the contract with the estate is ending this year. Here is a link to last years report.
3D Badge

3D Badge

I will admit to approaching the weekend with a level of apprehension, the week before I had struggled to shoot round our wood on both days, so wondered how my shoulder would cope with 2 days of no doubt challenging courses. Only time would tell.
We’d chosen to camp this year with a group of fellow archers from SVYF and had taken the Friday off work so we could get up early and set up the tent.
3D Champs, Sharon sheltering from the wind

3D Champs, Sharon sheltering from the wind

As it was pitching the tent was a bit of a challenge in winds, gust up to 50mph and showers but we managed it.
Rainbow over campsite

Rainbow over campsite

Format of the weekend

Each class would shoot a different course over the 2 days, A+B course if shooting wooden arrows X+Y course if shooting metal / carbon arrows. The courses had been set by 4 different clubs Artemis Archers, Lyme Valley, Hanson and Duvelle.
Since I was shooting my recurve in the Hunting Tackle class as my shoulder was still not 100% I would shoot course A on Saturday which had been laid by Duvelle archers and Sunday it would be Lyme valleys course (B course). Sharon would be shooting X&Y course (X course Saturday and Y course on Sunday)
The courses were made up of 40 3D targets of various size and distances and I do mean all shapes and sizes. Over the weekend I shot everything from 3D deers, bears, frogs, raccoons to the occasional dinosaur.

Saturday Morning

Saturday Morning – archers gathering

You register between 8:30-9:30 and go through arrow check, this is where a marshal will check your arrows to ensure they are marked with your name, and shooting order. (this is a requirement for both the rules and insurance)
Announcements started at 10 and we were sent off onto our respective courses on the walk out, which can take up to 15-20 minutes itself before you even get to your course and then have your course briefing and escorted to your starting peg. Roughly by 11am you should have started shooting.


Saturday dawned with a clear bright sky, thankfully the wind from Friday had gone too. having made up a few new arrows I thought I’de try them out on the practise targets before they got too busy.
The day didn’t start too well with breaking 2 arrows on the first 6 targets, one of which hit the target but broke on the leg after hitting the leg support. By the end of the day I had smashed one into pieces and had to re-pile 2 others.
My only criticism of this course would be that within the first 16 targets we shot,there were a number of the same targets, we had 3 of the same bedded panthers and 2 Velociraptor. This isn’t the clubs fault as they are given the 3D targets, but I think it would have been better to spread them out a bit more.
Having said that the targets weren’t stretched for their size or distance. I think a few more signs informing archers to shout clear when they had left the target they had shot, so the following group knew they were clear and could start shooting would have been good. There were a number of large bushes that blocked vision so at times it was hard to tell if people had cleared the area.
As for shooting, well I didn’t blank any targets so wasn’t too bad a day, though my shoulder was beginning to ache. Here’s hoping for a decent nights sleep.
We had finished by 4 pm and I was back at the tent shortly afterwards, A course being the closest to the campsite.
As the evening approached we gathered round the camp fire, lit the barbecues and sat chatting about the days successes and failures over some hot food and a few drinks. Good social end to the day.


Sunday was another bright and clear day, a complete difference to last year when it was continual rain all day.
The one downside was I hadn’t slept well and my shoulder was stiff and painful, add to that my stomach wasn’t feeling 100% (guess that was the Barbecue I thought). The organisers had posted the first day results on the net late Saturday night and a copy at Administration so there were people massing round comparing notes and scores.
This days course had been set by Lyme Valley archers. Lyme Valley’s home ground is in a valley outside Stoke on Trent and they make great use of up and downhill shots. They had obviously taken this skill set to the course and applied it very well.
There were a number of deceptive shots making use of the height and dead ground.
I’m sorry but I didn’t take any photos of the course, but I’ve included a couple of photos from the course Sharon shot on Sunday.
upsidedown Baboon Y course - thanks to Sharon

upsidedown Baboon Y course – thanks to Sharon

Including an interesting upside down baboon.

Photo from Y course - thanks to Sharon

Photo from Y course – thanks to Sharon

I didn’t shoot as well on this course as Saturday, partly down to it being a more testing course and partly due to my shoulder beginning to cause me grief. Despite blanking several targets I came in with 30 points less than Saturday, just under 600 points.
Hanson were doing the catering for Lyme Valley and they always do a great spread, sadly my stomach was not feeling right so I only snacked.
It transpired that I had a better day than Sharon who was shooting on Y course (Artemis), she had had the misfortune of being held up on most targets which interrupted her flow and concentration.
Sharon on Y course

Sharon on Y course

So how did we get on? Well Sharon came away in third for ladies Barebow (despite shooting badly on Sunday) As for me well I came in 15th, not bad for feeling off and having a bad shoulder. You can see the full results here.
We got home on Monday after a fun weekend, the only down side was I came down with a very unpleasant stomach bug which saw me not venturing far from the toilet for 3 days. The doctors think it was gastroenteritis.
So despite falling ill after the event, it was a great weekend. What is more it has made me realise that despite having a bad shoulder I can shoot and do well. Big thanks to all those archers and friends out there who have been so supportive, especially a certain lady called Sharon. Thank you.
As always, thanks for reading