Message to all readers and followers – Thank you

Thank you

Thank you

Just wanted to say thank you to all the followers and readers of this blog. I’ve been quite humbled over recent months when archers at shoots have come up to me and say “Are you Rob? I read your blog
Or as was the case a few days ago I received a a lovely email saying thank you for all the work that goes into writing the articles and editing the photos. So thanks, it’s great to know that people find my ramblings enjoyable and useful.
I will apologise to all of you if I don’t have the time at shoots to chat at length but please know I’m really grateful. I felt quite guilty at the Paget de Vasey shoot when in the food que the person next to me said he read the blog and got into field archery because of it. I would have loved to chat further but has to take Sharon her drink or I’d have been in real trouble.
Thank you all for reading and contributions.

A walk with Trish Jones

Some readers may already know Trish, either from her role as National Field Archery Society president or from the European bowhunter championship which she regularly attends.
I know her from the many NFAS shoots she attends, up and down the country as she continues her “presidential” tour, trying to get to as many NFAS shoots as possible. Before then though she has been a familiar figure at NFAS Championships, as a competitor.
I was lucky enough to catch up with her recently and she agreed to be the subject of this walk and talk session.
Anyway onto the chat…

Trish Jones

Trish Jones

Rob – For those people who don’t know you, how would you describe yourself?

Trish – Outgoing, Happy disposition, friendly, passionate and very vocal!!! Polite way of saying I can often be very loud!!  Especially my laugh!!

Rob -How did you first get into archery?

Trish – It all started when we had new neighbours who were members of the NFAS, when you have two young sons and the folks next door are in the back garden practicing their Archery… it was inevitable that the boys were going to be interested….
The eldest son started first and after a while and after walking round some shoots with him… my youngest son and I then decided to have a go… and the rest as you say is history…..

Rob -You shoot in a number of different classes in the NFAS and other organisations, but what makes archery such an ongoing draw for you?

Trish – Archery to me is fun and a way of getting out and about and seeing the countryside and visiting other countries….. being able to try different bow styles makes it even more interesting……. but no matter what you are shooting it is always the fun of pitting your skills against the course layers….. who often get one up on me and therefore the aim is to try harder next time so the challenge continues…..

Trish in Austria

Trish in Austria

Rob -Can you explain what your love or passion is that drives your interest in archery?

Trish – Archery is something that can be done by all age groups and abilities and is a wonderful way of making friends and helping others to enjoy a wonderful sport.  I love helping others and if i am doing it whilst doing something I love to do…. then its a win,win situation.

Rob -If ten years ago I’d told you where you’d be today, how do you think you’d have responded?

Trish – To be honest when I started which is nearly twelve years ago now, If you told me then that I would be the President of the NFAS, won medals abroad, and several 3D champs and National Titles in different shooting styles I would have just laughed at you……..
I was not a natural archer and through persistence and perseverance and pure determination i managed to get were I am today….. and am very proud of all that I have achieved.

Rob – I find that an interesting and telling statement as many who see your successes might find it hard to believe you didn’t have an aptitude for the hobby.

Trish shooting barebow

Trish shooting barebow

Rob – so do you consider yourself an instinctive archer basing shooting on how it feels at the  time rather than a conscious process of steps which some people follow for distance judgement etc. ?

Trish- yes I am defiantly instinctive, and have no idea how I do what I do, I look at a target aim and when it feels right I let go!!!

If I missed judged it then I try again…… simple as that!

Rob -We all face our own challenges in life. What do feel has been the biggest challenge you’ve encountered to date with your archery? How did you overcome this challenge?

trish- shooting compound

Trish- shooting her compound

Trish – The biggest challenge I have ever faced is trying to maintain the NFAS as a Society that is Family friendly and Inclusive to all ages and styles and abilities….. as this is why the Society was founded in the first place…… and my way of overcoming this challenge was to become the president….. through experience, hard work and pure bloody mindedness i hope that I am helping maintain the NFAS ethos but still allowing it to progress.

Rob – I know there is more than just archery and the NFAS. When not out shooting or coordinating a national society what do you enjoy doing?  Are you out walking or a secret foodie at heart?

Trish- I enjoy swimming, walking and the occasional baking of cakes, but to be honest most of my free time is dedicated to Archery in one form of another.

Rob -If you could reach every newbie archer out there with one single piece of advice what would it be?

Trish – Have fun, enjoy your archery and just be the best that you can be.

Good advice for all archers, I think there from Trish

For those of you who aren’t aware of What the NFAS is I’ll do my best to try and explain. The NFAS is a national society set up to support the hobby of field archery across the UK. There are clubs from Cornwall to Scotland with over 6,000 members national wide. Every weekend there are competitions up and down the country and each year it holds 2 national championships, the 3D champs in late May and the Nationals in September.
If you want to find out more about the NFAS here is a link to the society website http://www.nfas.net/home.asp

Thanks for reading

 

Some new ideas from off the arrow shelf site

walk in park

Hi everyone

This is a quick message to say that there are a few new developments here in the near future. I hope to be launching a couple of new sections or categories of articles for this site.

A walk with… will cover informal interviews with archers I’ve met, giving an insight into their love of archery, how they got into it initially and so on. It is based on the idea of chatting with them as they walk round the woods shooting.

Behind the counter… is aimed at businesses associated with archery, whether these produce bows, custom leather worked quivers, or whatever, giving them the opportunity to provide some insight for readers.

So why am I doing this?

This is a new development for the Off the arrow shelf blog so I hope you all enjoy it. The reasoning about this is pretty simple really, like all good ideas. Quite often I am being asked about archery suppliers, where you can get the arrow shafts from or which bow to go for. So I thought I would create a series of articles on different archery related shops, suppliers etc.

Before I start I’d like to make a couple of things clear. I have no company sponsorship or formal connection to these businesses. Yes I may have bought products from them in the past and even written review on some products, but I am not sponsored.

I’ve also met loads of people over the past few years I’ve been doing this hobby and running this site. Some have become good friends and nearly all have a wealth of stories or advice that I feel would be great to share.

I will still be writing shoot reports, equipment reviews and linking to other useful resources for archers.

Let me know what you think and thanks fro reading.

Shoot Report – Draig Goch – Welsh NFAS Championships – July 2016

Archers massing for start of Welsh Championships

Archers massing for start of Welsh Championships

July this year saw the Draig Goch club hosting a two day shoot, billed as the NFAS Welsh Championships. Their hope is to make this an annual event in the NFAS calendar. Apparently there used to be such an event years ago but not recently and it is hoped that this event might rekindle that flame of interest. Let’s hope so.
So this was to be the first NFAS Welsh Championships we’d been to and we were looking forward to it. Partly because of it being a new club that Sharon and I hadn’t visited and partly because of liking the idea of there being a Welsh Championships, on par with the Scottish, 3D and National Championships.
The Draig Goch club is situated in the North Wales countryside not far from the coastal town of Rhyl. The club grounds consist of what appeared to be a beautiful woodland consisting of a mix of broadleaf mature woodland along with some densely packed coppice area.
Sadly the heavy rain over the previous few days caused organisers to rethink the parking arrangements; the original plan was to use a local farmers field. Unfortunately this didn’t work as one marshal discovered when he drove on and promptly became stuck fast in the Welsh mud. Apparently it took them several hours at the end of day one to get his car out. The only solution was to park along the country lane by the shoot ground which didn’t go down well with some locals.
Cars parked down lane.

Cars parked down lane.

Unlike some of the other attendees who were camping or staying along the coast, we were staying a short drive away at my Mam’s house.
Considering it was the first Welsh champs, the event was well attended with approximately 150 archers from all over the country making the trip.

Day one

Saturday would be a long day partly due to the weather and partly due to the holdups on shots, as we waited for the group in front. The day started dry and with the customary booking in and waiting for the start.
If, like me you are Welsh then you expect it to rain, liquid sunshine as I’ve heard it called on several occasions. Saturday this liquid sunshine was present from about midday until the late afternoon. The effect this had was to make a very challenging course even harder. It also slowed the shoot for many, ourselves included. as people took more second or in some cases third arrows.
Sadly it also meant I didn’t get to take as many photos as I’d have liked. So apologies for that, but my phone’s not waterproof. (Note to self, next phone I get needs to be waterproof).
First target on day 1 - small 3D rabbit

First target on day 1 – small 3D rabbit

The course consisted of 40 targets, 38 3Ds and a couple of 2D hessian targets. The shoot didn’t start until quite late in the morning compared to other shoots, being past 11am before we actually commenced shooting our first target. I think they may have been waiting for some late arrivals.
Sharon shooting the large 2D bear

Sharon shooting the large 2D bear from the white peg.

We would start the championships on target 15 a small 3D rabbit set under tree canopy. Our shooting group would be quite small, with just Sharon, myself and a father and son team of Nathan and Harry, shooting freestyle and compound limited.
I’d like to say how much of a pleasure it was to shoot round with these two. Harry should have been shooting form the junior pegs, but instead wanted to test himself and shot every target as an adult. What’s more he got quite a few despite the distance.
After only a few shots we were at catering for our first stop of the day just before mid-day, little did we know that due to delays on the course we wouldn’t get to have lunch until nearly 4 in the afternoon.
very small 3D bat

very small 3D bat

Despite the woodland being pretty flat, it would prove to be a tiring day which I think was partly due to the number walk backs on each shot and partly due to the number of shots you were taking. Due to the distances and target sizes you were often taking 2 or 3 arrows.

Fortunately in late afternoon the weather improved and the liquid sunshine departed and we even saw some clearer weather.
We would eventually finish shooting by 5:45 and I know others were still to come off the course. We headed back to my Mam’s house, taking over her airing room to dry our boots and outer layers in readiness for Sunday.

Day two

Sunday would see actual sunny weather with it being fine and dry all day.
One observation I made on the Sunday morning when watching archers warming up on the practice bosses was that none of them were aiming for the closer targets. All were going for the two furthest bosses whilst on Saturday morning archers were shooting at all of them. Maybe this was an indication of how archers perceived the shoot and there were no short targets. I commented on this to a few and they agreed with my observation and conclusion.
Sharon shooting 3D tortoise from white peg

Sharon shooting 3D tortoise from white peg

The placing from the previous day were posted up by admin for those interested to see how they had fared compared to others.
The course shots didn’t change that noticeably on Sunday with a few peg changes, though the organisers reversed the route round the woods. Not sure if that worked as well as they thought or hoped for.

Harry didn't hit with every shot.

Harry didn’t hit with every shot.

Our shooting group would be the same as the previous day though we started on a different peg.

Nathan shooting 3D crocodile on Saturday across pond

Nathan shooting 3D crocodile on Saturday across pond

Our second shot of the day would be the big bear which was a little closer than the previous day so about 65 yards.

General comments

This was the club’s first attempt at running an event on this scale and I know they put a lot of effort into it. I’ve shared the following feedback directly to the club and event organisers.
Overall I feel there were way too many walk backs on the course; of the 40 targets we shot I think 39 were walk backs on each day (people who were wearing FitBits commented on walking around 7 miles each day). True, there are times you need walk backs due to the access to the shot or for safety, but I didn’t feel it was needed on many of the targets as there appeared to be space for some to accommodate a different walk off. I am guessing they may have done this to make it easier to reverse the course direction on the second day. Having since communicated with the organiser, they confirmed this had been their plan, but it didn’t flow as well they’d hoped.
Group drawing arrows from a black 3D wolf on black background

Group drawing arrows from a black 3D wolf on black background

Secondly would be the use of target bosses behind the 3d targets to catch wayward arrows. Their presence should be applauded and I would love to see them at 3D championships to speed the recovery of arrows. It needs to be remembered that if you are going to use them to catch arrows, they must be secured or staked to the ground, with the wood to the side not the top and bottom.  I know on the second day we spent 15 minutes on one target extracting 2 arrows that had embedded into the wood frame after going under the 3d target. I did hear other archers comment how bosses had fallen when trying to draw arrows. Again this is a learning curve that many clubs go through and can be easily solved in the future.
Probably most importantly were the distances targets were set at. I know it was a championships course so it should be challenging but there is a difference between challenging and stretched for those shooting traditional style bows.
Sunday and dry weather

Sunday and dry weather

Ok so those are my thoughts and feelings on the matter. Agree or disagree as you see fit.  I offer them in support of the event, an event that I feel has so much potential to become an annual championships in a beautiful woodland. As I have said I have written to the organisers directly and given them this feedback and to their credit they have responded, hence more comments.
Sharons arrow in a tree stump, yes she does sometimes miss

Sharons arrow in a tree stump, yes she does sometimes miss

I think it is important to remember that there were many things that worked well so please don’t read this and think it is all negative, because it wasn’t. We got to shoot with a couple of  lovely people and meet up with friends. Catering on both days was effective, very friendly and not overpriced which you sometimes see at shoot. The woods are quite simply beautiful and they have great facilities.

Routes and paths were clear to follow though I didn’t feel swapping directions on the second day resulted in the perceived change they wanted. Maybe in future keeping the direction the same would prove better as the archers would be more familiar with the course route and less likely to become lost or stray.
Sharon on red peg shooting 3D boar

Sharon on red peg shooting 3D boar

All of the marshals we spoke to were friendly and helpful, willing to stop and chat. I really liked the simple slate trophies, maybe that’s the Welsh man in me.

On a very personal and probably patriotic note, I would love to see a Welsh championships thrive in the field archery calendar. Draid Goch have the grounds and I hope the capability to produce a great event in the future.  Ok there are a few things they might want to work on, but that can be said of many shoots. No one gets it perfect first time, that’s why we have a second and third arrow in our quiver.
Sharon shot well, winning ladies AFB and I managed to scrape a 2nd place in gents AFB.
Thanks for reading.

Shoot Report – Forest of Arden – July 2016

Forest of Arden shoot

Forest of Arden shoot

It’s been a couple of years since we’ve been to the Forest of Arden club for a shoot, which is ironic as it’s one of the closest shoot grounds to where we live. So the other weekend we took the short drive up the motorway to their grounds. For those interested here is a link back to that shoot report.
We were very fortunate with the weather with it being dry if a little windy at times. The sun even made an appearance though the trees, making a pleasant change to the previous few days. Early July is has not proved to be a particularly warm or sunny month at present here in the UK. Quick piece of advice for any archers thinking of visiting the Forest grounds, there is a bit of a walk from car park to woods, so you best not leave anything behind.

one of our first target

one of our first target

Our Sunday shooting group that weekend, would see Sharon and I being joined by Sandra and David both of whom were shooting barebow. It was only David’s fourth open shoot and I think he did really well, nailing some targets and only really struggling on longer ones.

Down hill turkey 3d

Down hill turkey 3d that David got with a first arrow.

 

3D big cat

3D big cat shot off a bank

I discovered that Sandra is an avid reader of this blog and has recently subscribed to receive email updates. Thanks Sandra for all the feedback and I’m glad you enjoy reading it. If anyone of you do have feedback or questions please drop me a line.

The ladies hitting a 24 each on one target

The ladies hitting a 24 each on one target

The Forest of Arden course layers had set us a 40 target course consisting of 3d targets, though there weren’t many back stops which meant if you missed you were searching for arrows.
For those that have shot there before, you’ll recognise some familiar shots from the hillsides down into the small valley or gully, ones that I recall from our last trip.

Large 3D white goat

Large 3D white goat

There were a few shots where I’d have preferred to see some more space between the previous target and the next shooting peg as we felt very close or in line with the previous target. This can make people feel a bit uncomfortable.

Small 3D target before lunch

Small 3D target before lunch

Catering is split in two locations, the main hut and one smaller station at the opposite side of the wood.
Forests wood is a mix of broadleaf established trees and younger plantation that has been opened up by tree felling last year. The result of this land management was in areas where the tree canopy was less we were surrounded in a forests of foxgloves of over five feet tall in some spot. You couldn’t see the wood for the foxgloves as it were.

Giant foxgloves cover the grounds

Giant foxgloves cover the grounds

The only downside to these areas were if you missed the target, finding you arrow took a while as you had to pick your way through the broken branches covering the plantation floor, but it made for a beautiful backdrop.

There were some nicely framed shots and nothing that could be thought of as stretched, with some good use of dead ground to mask and confuse distance judgement.

Bedded 3D target behind the undergrowth

Bedded 3D target behind the undergrowth

The day started late, delayed due to some archers getting lost on the way to the ground. Having said this it flowed reasonably well, though there were times we were waiting. I think this was down to some shots been tougher than archers expected and wanting to give the group plenty of space to move away from the next peg as they were in line of sight.

3D target

3D target

Sharon shot well winning ladies AFB and scoring high enough to be second in the gents class (apparently this resulted in audible gasp from some male archers there when they heard her score.) Though she did get one very lucky shot.

Sharon gets a lucky shot

Sharon gets a lucky shot

Thanks for reading.

Shoot report – Druids – June 2016

Druids Solstice shoot

Druids Solstice shoot

Firstly apologies to readers and followers, I’ve been very slow at writing up this shoot report which I put down to writers fatigue. Not with this blog but due to non archery related work levels. So better late than never here is my shoot report for Druids archers event.
A few weeks ago we headed south to a new club to us, Druids. It would be our first ever trip to Druids ground and in many ways we wished we’d been before.
The shoot would be Druids two day summer solstice special with the course being modified for the second day with 3d targets being moved or shooting peg positions being altered to afford different shooting angles.
With 40 3d targets that would take some planning and work. Added to this was the Saturday evening meal which you could book in advance along with the hosts setting up a beer tent, I think the organisers had their work cut out for them over the weekend. Add in around 180 archers of all styles and disciplines and a few trade stalls it was a sizable undertaking.
Though there was the option of camping on site we had chosen not too, which in hindsight was a good plan as I’d been suffering with a virus the week before that floored me for a few days.
Our thanks to Wendy and Mark who gave us details of local pub with rooms.

Sharon shooting

Sharon shooting

We’d arranged with them to stay there and go out for a meal rather than camping which was a shame in some ways as you missed out on the evening banter etc but did provide a dry accommodation, hot meal and socialable evening. Maybe I’m getting old and just enjoying my creature comforts. So Saturday night we enjoyed a good meal and conversations about all things archery and life. Thanks guys for the company.
Anyway back to the shoot.

Second target on Saturday a 3d Lion in the field

Second target on Saturday a 3d Lion in the field

The ground is split over two woods with a few shots in the field that connects them. The two woods being a mix of broad leaf established trees and younger coppice. Though mostly flat terain there are a few locations where the club course layers  made use of the limited inclines affording a few down hill shots. There were also so very nicely framed shots between trees.

Sharon shooting 3D between trees

Sharon shooting 3D between trees

The one thing we were warned of was the public footpath that runs straight through the upper wood. This wasn’t really a problem but we did have to stop shooting Sunday to allow a group of ramblers make there way through. Yes there were lots of requests from them not to shoot them, along with comments about types of bows etc.

Saturday would see a shooting group made up of Brian and Paul,  a father and son both shooting longbow joining Sharon and I on peg 19.
The day ran smoothly with few hold ups until near the end of the day. still we were still finished by 4:30.

3D bear on day one - clever trick

3D bear on day one – clever trick

There were some cleverly laid shots like the bear above that you shot over a slight inclined bank and through long grass. Neither Sharon or I shot particularly well with Sharon making a faithful comment of “you’ve not lost or broken any arrows”

Long down hill 3D fox on first day

Long down hill 3D fox on first day

In the next 7 targets I manages to break or lose 4 arrows, 3 arrows broke in targets as the arrow penetrated the 3d but hit the securing metal stake snapping the pile off. My hope was Sunday would not be so hard on my arrows.

Black 3D raven on branches in front of black boss

Black 3D raven on branches in front of black boss

Sunday we had a different shooting group, though still on target 19, Sunday would see us with Colin in free style and Jennie shooting bare bow.

Very long Bison 3D

Very long Bison 3D

The day flowed well if a little slower than Saturday, possibly because some of the reworked shots were more tricky and technical. The longest delay being at the Bison shot which is not surprising considering the distance.

3D tiger in the field on Sunday

3D tiger in the field on Sunday

Overall we enjoyed the weekend with there being quite a relaxed atmosphere.

3D bobcat

3D bobcat

There were a few shots where I think they were a little bit close to others that made you aware of other archers on the next or previous peg, but this was only in one area and to be completely fair to Druids it was a good course with sensible distances that were challenging but not stretched.

Small 3D fox between trees

Small 3D fox between trees

Fortunately the rain didn’t arrive until late Sunday afternoon and was quite light until we were all sheltering in the marquee. So considerate of it when you remember all the bad weather and heavy downpours we’ve been experiencing.
Despite Sharon not shooting to her usual standard she won ladies afb and I managed to scrape 2nd in gents. A full listing of the results can be found here on the Druids website.
As always thanks for reading.

Literature Review – Bow International Guide to Archery

Bow International - Guide to archery cover

Bow International – Guide to archery cover

Having been lucky enough to win a copy of Bow International Guide to Archery in the magazines Christmas draw I  thought it a great opportunity to give the publication a literature review on this site so here goes.
The book is a large format 114 page publication in a similar style to that of the magazine, being filled with colour photographs, diagrams and adverts from archery suppliers.
To be honest I have always been a little dubious of publishing houses producing a digest of articles previously published in their magazine. I can understand why they do it, just never sure it is worth the cost for the reader. In this case I actually think it is. At £9:95 it’s not over priced and I think it could be of benefit for newbies as it covers some basics well, as well as those archers wanting to expand their archery related library and knowledge. There are certainly articles I would and have recommend to people who are novices or experienced archers.
One such is Chris Wells on Shot Sequence along with articles on preparing for competition.
Bow International - Guide to archery

Bow International – Guide to archery

The articles are easy to read and informative giving an oversight on different elements of our hobby. The topics covered being quite varied from setting up a recurve bow to things to consider when shooting field courses. Some of the articles are quite a light touch on the subjects giving a brief overview rather than in depth analysis which you might find in other books. That is to be expected as after all there are only a few pages to cover a lot of subject knowledge.
Bow International - Guide to archery

Bow International – Guide to archery

I found myself picking it up and reading an article or two between jobs or in an evening when I had some spare time.
On the subject of topics covered, personally I would like to see more on the traditional side of the hobby along with elements on the instinctive archery, but this is entirely for personal taste and interest. Priced for just under £10 I believe it gives you a few ideas and wets your appetite to do some more research.
Overall I’d give it 8 / 10
Thanks for reading.

Equipment review – Bear Grylls Walking Trousers

What they look like on

What they look like on

I’ve been trying these trousers out for the last 12 months for hiking and archery events so I thought it worth doing a quick review of how I’ve found them. Normally for field archery events I tend to wear old army fatigues or hiking trousers, depending on the weather. For colder or wet weather I have lined trousers, along with waterproof hiking trousers and / or over trousers for those shoots in winter months.

I’m guessing many people will have heard of Bear Grylls. He has made his name as an outdoor adventurer, with a number of TV series, Running Wild with Bear Grylls being the latest. What you might not know is he has also puts his name to a range of clothing and other outdoor equipment and the trousers I’m reviewing is part of the range.

Price

Sharon bought me a pair of these trousers as a present so I don’t know the exact price or exactly where she got them from, but doing some research on the net I think they are about £40-50 from most outlets. Where would we be without the Internet.
This makes them more expensive than the army surplus trousers I’ve used in the past, but comparable if slightly more expensive than other hiking and walking gear I have bought over the years.

Bear Grylls trousers

Bear Grylls trousers, showing different colour

Fit and comfort

I’ve found the trousers are comfortable and light weight, drying quickly if they get wet (which is highly likely in a British summer). I think this makes them a good summer months trousers where you might encounter showers whilst out walking or hiking. Though they don’t offer much thermal protection they are comfortable and not as warm as my army surplus trousers.
They aren’t tight fitting which allows for ease of movement when walking, especially useful when I was in Yosemite national park last year and scrambling up the slopes and hills. I’ve also worn them under waterproof over trousers and found them fine and work well at wicking moisture away.
I do like the double waist button and the belt loops allow for a decent belt width rather than having tinny loops suitable for narrow belts which some walking trouser manufacturers produce.

Belt loops, and zip pocket

Belt loops, and zip pocket on the right side

I’m not sure about the quality of the stitching as there are a couple of points where they look pulled having been caught on brambles. Having said that the stitching hasn’t run or needed repair.
I tend to always wear leg gators to protect my shins from brambles and this might be something to consider with these if you are hiking through undergrowth or unbroken tracks.
Pockets are a decent size, which is useful as I often carry my phone in one, and there are leg pockets on both right and left leg (This is a little thing that bugs me with some manufacturers of outdoor clothing, who seem to think you only need a leg pocket on the right leg. Not great when you are an archer and wear a quiver on your right side as it means anything you put in the pocket is firstly buried under your quiver or is being constantly knocked by it.)

A couple of the pockets are made of orange fabric which besides being the Grylls colour also could be useful in a survival situation.
How I hear you ask? If you needed to mark your trail you could use the bright coloured fabric as a marker.
There are 8 pockets, one on each leg (the left also having a zip pocket, two hip pockets with velcro fastening , two front pockets (the right one having an internal zipped pocket).
I know another archery friend of mine that has been using these style trousers and he too has found the fabric a bit thin from time to time, allowing brambles and thorns through. He’s told me how he has taken to wear them as an over trousers, as they are comfortable but not thick enough.
They are light in weight making them great for camping or travelling, packing down pretty small, something that I have found very useful. Though you will need to layer them up either with over trousers or leggings to stay warm if in cooler weather.

Product development or what I’d like to see

If the designers are reading this there are a couple of developments I’d like to see.

  1. The first development is a zip pocket on the left side like the right one.
  2. I also think I would prefer the fabric being a little thicker due to brambles and even nettles getting through. I noticed this most when kneeling drawing arrows from targets and searching for lost arrows in the undergrowth. I think this could be done without adding a great degree of weight to the trousers and would still enable them to dry quickly. So something thicker on the lower legs and knees would be ideal.

Summary

Overall not bad for summer trousers but would rather have a slightly thicker fabric for extra protection on the knees and lower legs. Good number of pockets of good sizes.
For me, I think I will continue to wear them for hiking and walking as they are comfortable, along with archery shoots I know are pretty open. For archery where I might be tracking through undergrowth I think I will stick with old army combat trousers, just for the thicker fabric providing extra protection. For that reason I’m going to give them two scores
9/10 for hiking but only  7/10 for archery
Thanks for reading.

Shoot Report – NFAS 3D Championships 2016 – day 2

View of the field surrounding Y course

View of the field surrounding X & Y course

Some of you may have read the first part of the shoot report of this years national field archery society 3d championships, if not here is a link to it now.
There were two things I noticed on Sunday morning. Firstly it was dry though a little cooler that Sunday morning, still the weather was still far better than previous years. Secondly there seemed to be a lot or reorganisation of shooting groups for A & B courses with archers having to move pegs. These were the metal and carbon arrow courses. My guess, this was down to no shows or late cancellations. This delayed the start a little but hats off to admin for sorting it.
Unlike previous years there was no list of scores and placing posted so no one knew where they stood position wise.
Sunday morning

Sunday morning

Day two
So Sunday would see me along with the other American flatbow and longbow archers hed off on the short walk to shoot X course. As we walked out to X course it was clear it was a very different woodland affording the opportunity to the course layers to offer different styles of shots.
One of the 3D wolves on X course

One of the 3D wolves on X course

X course would see me on Peg 12 again, but with a completely different shooting  group made up of Darren shooting afb, with Dave and Graham shooting longbow.
The course had been set by Pines Park club and unlike Spirit of Sherwood ground was a lot more open making for opportunities for longer shots.
3D deer on X course

Darren shooting 3D deer on X course

A good example of this was a very nicely laid shot, a bedded elk which by some miracle I hit with my first arrow. Overall the course flowed ok, though a little slower than Saturday with us off course by 4 while others on X course still had 5 or 6 targets to shoot.
Think the longest shot on X course the bedded Elk 3D

Think the longest shot on X course the bedded Elk 3D, think this was the blue peg

I think the course must have been set in a clover leaf as we passed catering at least 3 times.
X course through the tree stub at a 3D frog

X course through the tree stub at a 3D frog

Another shot I thought was was good was the 3D frog through the tree stump. Sadly the photo does not do it justice. The hardest shot to judge was a deer in a hollow that had been set really well.
Dave getting a very lucky shot

Dave getting a very lucky shot

There were a couple of things that I didn’t like or enjoy on this course.

The 3d crocodile I felt was too close to catering for my liking and could have been angled differently.It made me feel very uncomfortable when shooting it and seeing archers nearby the target. The other thing was on some, though not all targets, the 3d was placed angled making for a narrower angle and increasing the chance of deflections. It’s a personal thing but if you are going to set the 3d at the upper end of distance you don’t need to angle it as well.
We spent a lot of time searching for misses arrows and were finding them 20- 30 yards behind targets as they skipped along the ground. I know there are 2 of my arrows lost on one target where we found 5 of other archers arrows. Though I did see a couple of Pines marshals searching for lost arrows especially the guys with the metal detectors who seemed to be working hard.

To conclude
In hindsight I think having one course with target set closer so accuracy is important and another with longer targets to test distance judgement worked.
Maybe the society could invest in large foam sheets to act as simple catching mats behind targets as this would speed up the search for arrows  and still be easy to set up for the course layers.
Overall it was a good weekend and my thanks to all the people I shot with and who put the effort in to setting the courses, doing the admin before and on the day of the event and everyone else in the background.
Sharon's trophy

Sharon’s trophy

Sharon did really well winning Ladies AFB, 6 months after picking up her bow. As for me well I managed a 7th place in gents AFB. Not too bad for limited practice and low confidence.
A full breakdown of all the results are here.
As always thanks fro reading.