Shoot report – Paget de Vasey – February 2016

As I’ve said before I always see Paget de Vasey shoot as the start of the NFAS season. It was the NFAS first shoot I ever attended so I make an effort to get there when I can. Fortunately there was no snow or ice this year and the rain mostly stayed away too.
Unlike previous years though this February shoot was smaller, as they were only using the smaller wood which meant it would be a twice round 18. To keep the interest and to make the two halves different the first would be entirely 3d targets and the second would be entirely paper.
Sharon looking amused

Sharon looking amused

You can read my previous shoot report here. Anyway on to the shoot report.
There would be four in our group so joining us would be Andy shooting in gents hunting tackle  and Viv in ladies longbow.
Viv at the first target of the day at Paget

Viv at the first target of the day at Paget

Overall the shoot ran smoothly with the only delay being at lunch break which was expected as people took the time to warm up and have some hot food.
Andy shooting a 3D at Paget

Andy shooting a 3D at Paget

Unlike others I seemed to cope with the paper faces better with very little difference in scoring on the two halves, probably because I shot the 3d targets so poorly. The paper faces were a challenge especially the timber wolf. One nice thing they did was try to match the paper faces with the 3d targets where they could.
Viv shooting the timber wolf

Viv shooting the timber wolf

I think a couple of nets would have been good on a few of the targets not from a safety perspective but for screening. Since they were using the small wood it was inevitable you would see other archers wondering round when you were on the peg .
Andy shooting a 3D at Paget

Andy shooting a 3D at Paget

I still feel that Paget de Vasey is a good shoot for a newbie as it’s friendly, well organised and marshaled.
Sharon shot well especially it was only her second offical time out with her new Blackbrook American Flatbow winning the ladies class.
The day didn’t go well for all though as a friend of ours Nadeem had his Border recurve break at full draw. Fortunately no one was badly hurt and here’s hoping he manages to get it sorted.
So the archery year has started with a friendly and relaxed shoot. They have another in August where they hope to use both woods making a 36 or maybe 40 target course. We’ve already booked our place, who knows maybe we will have warm dry weather.
Thanks for reading.

Shoot report – Paget de Vasey – February 2015

Paget announcements

Paget announcements

I always think of the Paget shoot as the start of the NFAS year. Though in the NFAS unlike other societies there is no indoor and outdoor season, with shoots going on all year round, Paget just feels like the start. You can read previous shoot reports here 2014, 2013 and 2012.
Having said this it never feels like the start of spring as it is always cold, sometimes bright and cold but always cold. This year was no exception with the morning being cold and exactly as the forecasts predicted after midday it started to rain and didn’t let up until near the end. So Sunday morning saw me scraping the ice off the car before heading up the motorway. Paget is one of our closest shoots so only 40 minutes drive saw us pulling up in the car park.
The course was a mix of 3d targets and paper faces set at sensible distances with a couple of challenging shots but nothing stretched. I think they had taken on board people’s comments from last year. The course is spread over two woods the smaller being their club grounds and the larger rented for the weekend from the activity centre.

Paget is always a popular shoot and this year was no different with most groups being five to a peg. So Sharon and I were surprised to see only one other person join us Anthony from Frankly shooting hunting tackle.

Paget marshals  sheltering from cold

Paget marshals sheltering from cold

Not sure if the photo does it justice but they had a new dinosaur 3d between the trees.

Dinosaur 3D

Dinosaur 3D

I didn’t approach the shoot with much confidence following a fall I had at SVYF on Saturday which jarred my back and shoulder.
Sorry there aren’t many photos but I didn’t want my phone being soaked so only have a few from earlier in the day.

3D mountain lion

3D mountain lion

Catering was as fantastic as always with the cottage pie warming us up for the second half perfectly. I think the only downside to the day were a few delays which occurred when target bosses had to be replaced as heavier poundage bows were passing through. This the organisers dealt with as quickly as possible but inevitably did cause a few delays and hold ups but in fairness I’ve seen this at other shoots too.

Sharon shooting a paper face deer.

Sharon shooting a paper face deer.

Paget has great facilities but they pay a price as they have limited access to the larger wood which I know they struggled with this year.
Unlike some from SVYF members who did well on the raffle we didn’t win anything. I mention the raffle as I liked the way the organisers bagged up multiple items into one prize which looked good and worked well. It meant there were 10 or so decent prizes rather than a mix of good and not so good.
Despite the poor weather, Sharon shot really well winning ladies hunting tackle and in fact scoring better than all the men too. As for me the shoulder held out partly due to attaching a heatpack to keep it warm. I managed a respectable second place with my second time out shooting AFB, but was aching lots on Sunday night.
Thanks for reading.

Shoot report – Forest of Arden – July 2014

Forest of Arden

Forest of Arden

It’s been a couple of years since we had last shot the Forest of Ardens ground so it was good to get back there and see how it has changed.

Day started with rain showers which thankfully stopped by 11 with the weather brightening up, so by end of day we had brilliant sunshine.
Situated not far from Coventry, Forest’s ground comprises of a mature broad leaf woodland. Carpeted in bracken and brambles it makes for some lovely set targets and views across the countryside. Though the ground is fairly flat there are a few hollows which they make good use of. There was one stage you were going up and down the slopes lots and the club must have been busy as they had cut steps in to make it easier.  Thanks guys, I know how much hard work this takes.

Sharon shooting an early target

Sharon shooting an early target

If you are thinking of visiting them be warned that the car park is a fair walk from the wood so make sure you remember everything when you leave the car. Another tip would be to take it easy driving down the narrow lane to the site as the hedges are very high so you can’t see much.

3D ram

3D ram

The course itself comprised 40 Mixed targets of  3Ds of varying size and conditions with a couple of the smaller ones showing their age.  I think some of the 3ds could have done with some back stops as arrows disappeared into the bracken or undergrowth if you missed. This kept many marshals busy searching for arrows and they admitted they ran out of time on Saturday when preparing the course.

Deer 3D target

Deer 3D target

It would be a shoot through with two opportunities to take on food and water, between targets 40-1 & 21-22. Unlike other grounds this is two separate locations either end of the woodland.

Target 30

Target 30

The shoot was well attended with most groups numbering 4 archers.  In ours we had Peter and Paul from Paget shooting longbow and hunting tackle join Sharon and myself.

Shooting group Sharon, Peter and Paul

Shooting group Sharon, Peter and Paul

The day flowed well with few hold ups mainly from searching for arrows that had missed the target and disappeared into the bracken jungle. We’d finished by 4 pm and joined the other assembling archers for the raffle and prize giving.
Don’t think there were any stretched targets though some were approaching what might be considered maximum range.

Sharon shooting bedded deer in the afternoon.

Sharon shooting bedded deer in the afternoon.

Only negative comment I’d say was that there were a few targets where you felt the next target shooting pegs were a bit close making you feel a bit uncomfortable when at the peg.
There was a slight delay at the end waiting for the last groups to come in caused due to some confusion over what targets could or should be brought in. This resulted in a couple of targets having to be taken back out so the last groups could finish shooting. Easily done and didn’t affect the overall feel of the day which was very positive.

Shot across a pond at a crocodile.

Shot across a pond at a crocodile.

There were lots of SVYF there and if there had been a team trophy I think we might have won it. Well done to Chris and Keith Harley on both placing in longbow.  Sharon won ladies hunting tackle. With Jason, Steve, Gail and Martin also placing. Sorry if I’ve missed anyone out.
Sadly nothing for me but to be truthful I’m not surprised. This was my first outing using a shooting glove rather than tab. I’d only shot a few arrows the day before to see how it felt. I was pleasantly surprised by scoring okay and not blanking any.  Definitely need practice though as glove is very different to a tab.

As always thanks for reading.

Shoot report – Paget de Vesey – February 2014

Well the Field archery season has started with a very, very windy Paget shoot thankfully the rain stayed away.  (An unusual event this winter). Though not officially the start as you can shoot all year round, I always think of Paget as the start of the shooting year.  (Previous reports can be found here 2013)
On this occasion we were joined by Roy and Karen from Frankley Bowmen each with new bows or limbs in Karen case and a new longbow for Roy. Our thanks to them for making it a really enjoyable day.
Sharon and Karen at Paget

Sharon and Karen at Paget

As always the food was fantastic with two separate food huts providing ample quantities of hot food, cakes and gallons of tea and coffee.

The course

The course layers set a challenging course made more so by the extremely strong winds in a couple of areas of the woods. The Paget ground is made up of 2 woods and the course was split between the 2. In hindsight I think it might have been better to move a few pegs closer in to the targets to make shorter shots that would have been less affected by the wind. Though it is a challenge enough to set a course that works, factoring in the weather makes it really hard.
They had also suffered from falling trees in recent storms resulting in course changes. Well done guys .
The course itself comprised of 36 mixed 3Ds and paper faces. The club capped the total number of competitors to 180 but with a few no shows on the day it meant most pegs had 4 archers making for an easy flowing day.

3D lion in tree

3D lion in tree

Another great shot was a 3D crocodile between tree stumps which gave a lovely window shot. Sorry I didn’t get a photo of this one. I did manage to get one of the mountain lion in the tree which was a lovely setting.

Arrow Casualties

With the strong wind it was somewhat inevitable there would be a few casualties, with Sharon breaking one but it was Roy who won the prize for the most unusual casualty. It’s not uncommon to see arrows snap behind the pile or in half if they encounter a branch, but I’ve never seen an arrow split like Roys.
Roy misjudged one target and skimmed the top of the boss. Clattering into some branches. After a short search we spotted it and appeared fine until you picked it up.

Image arrow looks fine

Image arrow looks fine

It had split down the line of the grain.

Split down grain

Split down grain

They say imitation is a great compliment if so I’m feeling very happy. In a recent post I made reference to a different kind of shot where there was 1 target face but at different sizes. Paget members who had shot it at our shoot liked the idea so much they copied the idea putting out a very similar shot.

Ironically this was the only target I missed all day as when I drew up for it a combination of wind and hand slipping resulted in me releasing early 😦
Neither Sharon or I felt we shot particularly well with the lack of practice evident but it was a good day shooting and catching up with friends.
SVYF did well coming away with a few medals. Well done to Chris Harley on her placing in ladies longbow. Next time keep focused and stop getting distracted. Congrats to young Alfie in placing in his first ever shoot.
Thanks for reading.

Shoot report – Paget de Vesey 2013

As promised here is the write up from the Paget shoot which took place on Sunday 17th. This was the first competitive shoot of the 2013 season for us and before I start I will admit to having a soft spot for Paget de Vasey shoots.

Paget was the first NFAS shoot we ever did and have made sure we have booked on their shoot ever since. It was also going to be the first shoot that Sharon would be competing at following recovering from her injury.

Paget 2013 - start of the day

Sunny start of the day

Unlike in previous years, where the shoot has been cold and damp, last year even having a dusting of snow, we enjoyed a sunny Sunday. The only problem was having the sun in your eyes for a few shots 😉

The Paget club only hold one shoot a year and they use an outdoor activity centre when they do. This means the club members have to set everything up the day before and have everything cleared out by the end of Sunday. An advantage to this site is the catering is superb, with 2 food stop huts with an excellent selection of cakes for those with a sweet tooth.

On the day we were very fortunate to have a had a great group too shoot with Trev, Emma, Robin (also from SVYF who we were taking round for his first ever NFAS shoot), Sharon and myself, with a mix of styles too with longbow, hunting tackle, barebow and compound. I was shooting Hunting Tackle (recurve bow without sights and wooden arrows) as I’d not had any practice with my flatbow.

From left to rightEmma, Chris, Sharon and Trev

From left to right
Emma, Robin, Sharon and Trev

The course was made up of 36 targets, being a mix of 3D and paper faces about 50/50 I’d say with some less familiar faces too. The centres grounds are flat, with the woods being mainly deciduous woodland.

The shoot started at 10 am the day flowed well with only a short stop for lunch and no hold ups. We started on target 15.

Target 16

Target 16 – 3D coyote

Some of the shots were very nicely set like this one below of a 3D boar in a hole by an uprooted tree.

Paget Shoot - 3D boar in hollow

Paget Shoot – 3D boar in hollow

There were a few paper faces targets that were stretched for the distance which was a shame. Often course layers will put a paper face out and increase the recommend distance to make it a harder shot when it truth it can be done with careful positioning or use of ground. Sorry winge over.

In fairness there were also some very nicely set paper faces. This crocodile was a great example, can you spot the interesting feature? (No, Trev hasn’t shot himself in the head, its just the angle of the photo and how he is holding the arrow)

Paper Crocodile shot

Paper Crocodile shot (No Trev hasn’t shot himself in the head)

This target was  made more interesting as the target boss was slightly slanted forward.

target 14 - last of day

Target 14 – last of day – 3D bobcat

As readers of this blog will know I was a little anxious about this shoot. It would be the first Sharon had competed at following the recovery from injury. Saturday she had managed to shoot round the wood in full (40 targets) for the first time with her own bow for nearly 4 months.

Sharon (holding my bow)

Sharon (holding my bow)

I needn’t have worried as she did really well and enjoyed the day. Though she will admit she was not up to her usual scoring level, she managed to shoot the entire course and it wasn’t until the latter part of the day that she began to feel tired and scores dropped off. Even then she scored 546 points  (an average of just over 15 points a target) which was enough to secure first place in ladies Barebow. Well done.

Robin also did really well and seemed to enjoy himself and already booked on another shoot in  a couple of weeks.

I came in with 596 points, no blanks and secured second place in gents Hunting Tackle, 8 points off first. Not bad considering I’ve only shot the bow a couple of times in the last few months.

Overall I’d say it was a great day, really good to catch up with so many familiar faces who we hadn’t seen for so long. Here is hoping for a good 2013 season.

Thanks for reading.