Shoot Report – Spirit of Sherwood – December 2015

Spirit of Sherwood Wooden Arrow shoot

Spirit of Sherwood Wooden Arrow shoot

So last shoot of the year and our thanks to all at Spirit of Sherwood for making it a good one.  They hosted a wooden arrow only shoot which unsurprisingly was well attended with an excess of 100 archers. Spirit ground is a long drive for us and knowing they wanted an early start along with the weather not looking great  we decided to stop over in Worksop the night before. For those overseas readers, parts of the UK have been battered by high winds and heavy rain resulting in serious flooding in Cumbria and southern Scotland, with the rest of the country experiencing high winds.
As it was the choice of motel was good as it was a 10 minute drive to spirits grounds and an easy walk to a local bar for an evening meal on Saturday.
3D baboon in the morning sun light

3D baboon in the morning sun light

So Sunday morning saw us packing up and heading down the road to Spirit. As I’ve said the shoot would be wooden arrow only meaning reduced number of classes, with there being Longbow, Amerian Flatbow, Hunting tackle and Primitive, all shooting wooden arrows with feather fletchings and no sights. Here is a link to last years shoot report.

It would be a 36 target course with a majority of 3d targets and only a few paper faces.
3d beaver complete with sawdust

3d beaver complete with sawdust

Our group would include Jackie and Charlie from Castle Bowmen both shooting hunting tackle. This would be the first time Sharon would be shooting her new Blackbrook American flatbow at a shoot, though she had had a little practise down at the club woods.

Sharon Shooting off the tree stump at 3d

Sharon Shooting off the tree stump at 3d

The course included one moving target a festive 3d turkey along with a predator prey.
Throughout the course Spirit had distributed boxes of sweets as festive treats for archers to help themselves,  a very kind and generous touch.

Spirit of Sherwood gift to archers

Spirit of Sherwood gift to archers

The shoot flowed well with no hold ups or apparent problems with the whole thing being completed by 3 pm allowing for all to set off home while there was still light.

3D bedded dear

3D bedded dear

There were some nice new 3d targets I hadn’t seen before including a 3D boar and bear.

Nice 3D bear target I hadn't seen before

Nice 3D bear target I hadn’t seen before

3D Boar hidden behind the tree

3D Boar hidden behind the tree

Being a  pretty flat ground spirit made use of a couple of tree stumps for elevated shots along with a few nicely framed shots between trees including one of a climbing cat 3d I’d not seen before.

Shooting off the tree stump at 3d

Shooting off the tree stump at 3d

3D car climbing the tree

3D car climbing the tree

Overall it was a really relaxed enjoyable shoot with good company and great atmosphere. There we no stretched targets just well set course at sensible distances, well done guys. We were lucky with the weather too as it was mostly dry except for the briefest of showers.  It was nice to chat with friends and fellow stick throwers along with other Fellowship of the Bow Facebook group members.
Sharon shot well and she came away with first in ladies American flatbow sadly I only managed third missing out on first by 8 points.
Thanks for reading and have a safe and enjoyable festive season.

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Shoot report – NFAS 3D Championships

Flete Estate - 3D champs 2015

Flete Estate – 3D champs 2015

As I started writing this I realised a few things

  1. Firstly it was going to be a long report so I’m breaking it down into two parts. Overview of the event, day one and day two.
  2. Secondly some of my comments maybe read as gripes or criticism based on just not shooting well. That’s not the intention they are my observations, thoughts and opinions.

So here goes,I hope you like this epic.
The late May bank holiday weekend saw us load up the car on Friday morning and head south to just outside Plymouth for the NFAS 3D championships. Unlike others we had a pretty easy drive down and popped into the venue before heading to the hotel. This year we decided against camping and booked into a Premier Inn about 20 minutes drive from the venue. This would prove to be a popular choice of accommodation for many competitors as the restaurant and bar was well stocked with fellow archers in the evening.
The 2015 champs would be the first time we would shoot a 3D championships not held at Osmaston estate, instead it would be at the Flete Park, Devon. I think the extra distance put a few people off travelling, which was a shame as the venue was stunning in parts and relatively easy to get to on the roads (traffic allowing).
This year would also see Sharon defending her championship title in ladies Hunting Tackle. Here is a link to last years shoot report (Link )

40 v 36

Due to these lower numbers of attendees (some 550 rather than 650 or so in previous years) the organisers reduced the courses from the normal 40 3d targets to only 36.
I can understand why they did this, as it made it easier for the course layers but personally I don’t think this was to prove a good idea. The extra few empty targets might have lessened the delays experienced by some archers on the courses.

Start the clock

The other thing which was new was that they instigated a time limit of 8 hours from the start of shooting. Any archers not completing the 36 target course within this time would have to be scored only on the targets they had shot.
This worked with groups being off in good time, but I wonder if this was partly due to

  1. Reduced numbers at the event meant there were less people.
  2. No particularly long walk outs to the courses and corresponding walk backs at end. On some courses at Osmaston the walk back took 30 minutes.
  3. The mostly good weather, which resulted in people not slipping and sliding as much as at past events at Osmaston.

I’m not sure if I like the idea of a time limit. Would it have worked if there had been any problems? Who knows, guess time will tell in the future if they do this again.

Behind the scenes

There is a an awful lot of work that goes on behind the scenes at events like this, not just the setting of the courses but also the sourcing of a venue, organising delivery of 3ds and administration of shooting groups. I’ve been lucky enough to offer some help a couple of times to break down a course. So I’d like to say thanks to all involved.
Top marks to the administration team who, not only coped with last minute drop outs but also managed to get the first day and final results out and on the website within hours of the last people coming off the courses. Well done.

I would also like to say how great it was to meet new people and those readers and followers of this blog who introduced themselves throughout the weekend. Thanks guys.

What are the championships?

For those not familiar with the process of the NFAS championship here is a quick run down.
The championships consist of 2 days of shooting 2 different courses.
X & Y courses were for archers shooting compound bows, crossbows and barebow ie the metal/carbon arrow courses.
A & B were for longbows American flatbow, primitive and hunting tackle ie the wooden arrow courses.
You are randomly allocated to a shooting group. With all archers in the same class shooting the same course on the same day.
So I would shoot B course Saturday with all other flatbow archers and A on Sunday. Sharon was shooting hunting tackle so shot A course first and then B.
Okay so that is all for now. I’ll try and get the other parts written up as soon as I can. In the meantime thanks for reading.

NFAS archers wanting to attend 3D Championships – please read

I’m passing on an important message from the President of the NFAS (National Field Archery Society), Trish Jones, to all NFAS archers wanting to attend the 3D championships in 2015.

The address shown in the latest issue of the NFAS magazine for posting entry forms in is incorrect

The correct address is

7 Heaton Gardens
Edlington
Doncaster
S. Yorks
DN12 1SY

Thanks for reading

Shoot Report – Centaura- September 2014

Club house with trees behind just turning.

Club house with trees behind just turning.

Over a hundred and twenty archers joined us on a sunny Sunday morning for the Pete Bates Trophy Shoot. We had good weather though you can feel the autumnal nip in the early morning air starting with the leaves just beginning to turn behind the club house.
Centaura has a small wood situated not far from Derby with a course made up of a mix of a few 3d targets but mostly paper faces.
Our shooting group comprised Neil and Mandy from Forest of Arden, joined Sharon and myself.
Our First target was a red squirrel between the trees and I must admit that I did wonder if was going to be a good start.
First Target Of Day - Red squirrel

First Target Of Day – Red squirrel

In fact the day flowed well with few hold ups and there was a very relaxed atmosphere not dissimilar to the wooden arrows shoot they ran a few months back (shoot report can be found here).
In fairness I think we might have started on the small targets as the first 7-8 targets were mostly group fours including the red squirrel, jay, reflective duck, and Partridge.

Duck target

Duck target

The course is situated in mix leaf deciduous woodland with mostly flat terrain,  though there is the quarry section which will see going up and down there steps and presents the opportunity fir some nice down hill shots.

Deer target

Deer target

Due to the nature of the course Centaura operates a lunch break of an hour which gave archers ample time to enjoy the sunshine and have a bite to eat. Sadly the long lunch break did have a negative impact on my shooting as it a while for me to get back into the swing of things again.

Paper face Hare

Paper face Hare

By lunch we had shot 19 targets and had finished shooting the course by 3:30.

Paper face tiger target

Paper face tiger target

Congrats to fellow club members Stephen Parsons and Chris Harley on placing. Congrats also to Sharon who won ladies hunting tackle.

Sadly I only managed second in hunting tackle with a score of 654 30 points behind first. Well done Roger. Guess it’s not too bad considering in the last week I’ve fitted a new string with 2 less strands, made some new arrows, started a new glove, set a different bracing height for the string and obviously had to set a  nocking point.
Only criticism of the course was I think they could have put a wider selection of target faces as there were a number of repeats. With the selection of faces on the market I don’t think clubs need to repeat any.
In all though it was a good shoot and a good day. Thanks to all the club and I’m sure Pete would have been proud of you all.
As always thanks for reading.

Shoot Report – Wolverine – August 2014

Kong from afar

Kong from afar

Last weekend we headed up to Wolverine Archers outside Stoke on Trent for their August shoot in weather that felt more autumnal than high summer.
I must admit to having second thoughts about going.  Not because of the course but because for the previous few days I’d not been very well and had less than 8 hours sleep in total for the past few nights. The previous day I’d been coaching which had left me very tired so I wasn’t feeling my best.
But the option was to either stay home feeling rough or to try and work through it. So we loaded the car and set off.
The course comprised of 40 mixed 3Ds and paper faces. You can see previous reports here.
Shooting group

Shooting group

We had a really good group with Zeena and Dan from Lyme Valley joining Charlie from Hanson and ourselves.

Shooting Group

Shooting Group – Charlie, Sharon, Zeena and Dan

I learnt two things from this day. The way to stay looking young is to drink Guinness as evident from the very youthful Zeena. The other is that Charlie should stick with shooting longbow rather than crossbow as he is a natural.

Charlie shooting at 3D beer

Charlie shooting at 3D beer

The Wolverine team always put on a good course and this was no different. Shots were challenging and not stretched,  with Kong making an appearance as always.

Charlie moving on to shoot

Charlie moving on to shoot

The only thing that marred the day was Sharon falling down a slope half way round the course. Fortunately she wasn’t injured but now has a scratch on her bow that will need seeing to. Could have been much worse and like many archers she was more concerned about her bow than herself. Note to Sharon when reading this. “Bows can be replaced,  you can’t.

Dan shooting

Dan shooting

We came home having had a lovely day but I must admit to feeling shattered and having an early night. Despite her fall Sharon came first in ladies hunting tackle and I somehow managed to scrape a third place despite dropping 50 points in the second half as fatigue and lack of sleep started to play a part in my shooting.
We also came home with a new friend. Robin a’Dale who is travelling round the country visiting different shoots and keeping a diary of his adventures.
Thanks for reading.