Been a while since I’ve written one of these reports, but then again been a while since I’ve been out shooting. Moving house kind of gets in the way a bit of going to shoots 😦 Well there are now a few less boxes and most things are getting sorted, slowly!! Just need to set up the range in the garden 😉 anyway back to the shoot report.
So this misty Sunday morning we packed the car and headed south to a new ground for us March Hare. The Autumn chill was in the air, with car showing only 3 degrees centigrade, but with no cloud cover it would soon burn off and we would enjoy a sunny early Autumn day. It had been a last minute decision to book on the shoot as we thought we were going to be entertaining house guests that weekend, but things didn’t work out.
March Hares ground is about 35-40 minutes drive from the house and is part of a disused airfield which makes it very flat. The ground cover is made up of a young broadleaf woodland and mixed scrub. The one down side of the ground is that if you miss a target your arrow tends to travel along the ground a fair way disappearing in the long grass.
The club has great facilities with not only a members hut but full indoor toilets (a luxury compared with many shoots) along with plenty of parking space. I think the ground is shared with a shooting club too which could explain the quality and quantity of facilities.
One thing that is strange is the way they run registration. You present your NFAS card and pay, but you aren’t given a score card at that point. When they are doing the shoot brief at teh start of the days shooting, they call the peg and your name, which is when you go up and collect your score card with the other members of your group. Also no double scoring. The downside of this was it made for a late start and in turn a long day. Must say this confused me, (yes I am easily confused these days).
The shoot itself was twice round 20, with a mix of 3D and paper targets with about 60 archers present in a mix of classes including all except crossbow.
March Hare have what appears to be a huge ground and I think they could easily put on a 36 target course and they have the bosses as they are set up for EFAA shoots, but maybe the low numbers explained why it was twice round 20.
We we shooting with Keith and Marion, also from SVYF who were great company. Keith was trying out some new arrows (5 1/4 shields with a helical twisted fetching) appears to straighten faster but lose distance).
Normally a twice round 20 is pretty quick but this was very slow as we caught the group up in front on most targets.
As a shoot I think they could have made it more interesting. Thought some of the targets were stretched for the faces on them. We started on peg 4 which was a long 3D deer, felt like it was over 40-45 yards through trees and Marion lost one arrow on this target, just disappeared into the long grass, not a good start for her. When we shot this second time round I managed to put one of my arrows through a tree 😦 but in fairness I know others enjoyed it.
I think the problem I had with this shoot was that everything was flat and many of the shots felt stretched. They might not have been, but a few were, about a quarter of them by my guess. Not helped by the fact we couldn’t always make out scoring areas. I’ve never been a fan of flat ground or long shoots,preferring shots of 15-25 yards and through trees, framed etc. with use of dead ground. Guess this is because I’m used to shorter shots and shooting at a club on a hillside.
(Sorry just realised something. When I say the target is stretched I don’t mean the target face or image is stretched or distorted. I mean the distance to the target from the peg is longer than normally expected. So a target face that would normally be shot at 15-20 yards might be at 25-30 yards.)
I know March Hare is a strong EFAA club and in EFAA you shoot longer distances, so maybe that is just the clubs style. Sorry if this sounds a bit of a moan.
So how did I get on. Well I had a couple of good shots but not many.I didn’t shoot well and came in with only 548. Far too many blanks(5) (the lack of practise is definitely showing so really need to sort the range in the garden). I did come away with a first place though (largely due to very few AFB archers) Sharon got 570 and won again, very proud of her as always.
Would I go back? Maybe simply because it is so close. Also have a better idea of what to expect.
We should be working as marshals next weekend for the club shoot so are hoping for dry weather.
Thanks for reading.