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…
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…..
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.
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 – 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our shooting group would be the same as the previous day though we started on a different peg.
Our second shot of the day would be the big bear which was a little closer than the previous day so about 65 yards.
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.
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.
How I was floored by a tick – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-36923336
This might be of some interest to those of us who enjoy the outdoors.
Thanks for reading.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thanks for reading.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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.
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.
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.
Overall we enjoyed the weekend with there being quite a relaxed atmosphere.
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.
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.
Thanks for reading.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- The first development is a zip pocket on the left side like the right one.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.