Sharon shooting the Eagle in the Nest

Shoot Report – Druids 2 day Solstice shoot – June 2018

Sharon shooting on our first target on Saturday

Sharon shooting on our first target on Saturday

I am going to start this shoot report with an apology directed to the course layers and members of Druids. In writing this shoot report I realise that I never published last years report of Druids 2 day shoot. Oops, sorry. It was a great two day shoot and deserved a shoot report, so I am sorry for not completing the report for last years.

I think Druids two day shoot is probably one of my favourite shoots in the NFAS calendar. I’m not sure if it is a combination of timing, being just after the 3D championships, so bit more relaxed. Maybe it is the atmosphere which is more laid back and fun. If you have the opportunity it is a shoot I would recommend, especially if you can camp over. Druids go to a lot of effort to support the event, from organising a marquee, catering for campers from Friday night through to live music on the Saturday.
Just be careful you don’t enjoy the entertainment and drinks that affects your shooting. On that subject I can recommend the Black Rat cider, just don’t have more than a couple.
We’d taken the Friday and Monday off so we could drive down and pitch the tent early, and not have to stress about breaking camping and travelling back on the Sunday.
This year it would prove to be a windy weekend and no where near as hot as last year which saw temperatures of 33 degrees, though I am glad I took the extra tent pegs and guide ropes to secure the tent down. We were doubly grateful that the rain was mostly confined to the night. The strong winds and gusts weren’t only felt on the camp site but also on the course too. It certainly made the long shots in the field pretty challenging such as the bison and the standing elk in the lower field.

The course would comprise of 40 3Ds, with Sharon and I shooting with Jim and Gail on Sunday and Rod, Sharon and Keith on Saturday.
As I said earlier Druids organise a marque where they provide hot food on Friday and Saturday night, along with breakfast over the weekend. The same marque houses the live music on Saturday and the drinks tent.

Sharon shooting 3D Bear between trees

Sharon shooting 3D Bear between trees

I feel the Druids shoot enjoys a good atmosphere over the weekend, being relaxed and causal, which I think you benefit from more if camping.

Shooting on Saturday would prove to be a a slow day, waiting on pegs. I think this partially due to the high numbers on the day. The waiting around did provide time for us to chat with Rod and Sharon about Sagittarius bows (http://www.teamsagittarius.com/)

Rod Shooting 3D bison in field

Rod Shooting 3D bison in field

The course would prove to be challenging and enjoyable, being spread over the two woods, offering a few shots in the field. Sunday would flow better for us with less waiting round.

Day One and Keith shooting the eagles nest

Day One and Keith shooting the eagles nest

There were a couple of nicely set targets, which the course layers had set and dressed the scene. One being the nesting eagle 3D, which looked really good, as did the 3D owl in the tree. Simple little things that just make a shot memorable for attendees.

Sunday at Druids

Sunday at Druids – Jim shooting a 3D bear.

It is never easy running a two day event, especially when it includes camping, whilst keeping it fresh and sufficiently different on the second day, but I think Druids managed it , changing some but not all the targets. Well done Kevin and the team at Druids on setting a good course for both days. There are a couple of spots where you felt a bit close to the previous target, but they were safe.

Day two and Gail shooting 3D in the field

Day two and Gail shooting 3D in the field

The event is always well attended with this year being no different, seeing 181 archers on Saturday and over 170 on Sunday. I do wonder if the lower numbers on Sunday might have been due to a late Saturday night.
I had shot okay on Saturday but not so well on Sunday afternoon, I think I was just tired.
Sharon shot really well winning ladies flat bow. I have to say special congratulations to Elanor who won ladies Longbow, just remember to check your trophy as you might find some raffle tickets inside it.

We stayed over on the Sunday night and popped to the pub up the road for a meal and then back for a couple of ciders with friends on the camp site, before packing up on Monday morning to head home. Already looking forward to next years.
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 – Long Eaton Field Archers – 5th May 2013

It was bank holiday Monday (a public holiday in Britain) when I started writing this and for a change it was bright, sunny and warm. It normally rains in Britain on a bank holiday, just one of those things.
The only down side to the day was I ached lots. My shoulder had tightened up loads but I managed to shoot round the course on Sunday, so was worth it.
Big thanks
Before I go any further I would like to thank my shooting group, Andy from Artemis, Len from Hanson and of course Sharon. They were very supportive especially in the second half of the day, when my shoulder began to ache and lock up. Thanks guys.
Shooting group - Andy, Len and Sharon

Shooting group – Andy, Len and Sharon

So on to the shoot report. LEFA is one of our favourite shoots and we do our best to get there whenever possible. (last shoot report can be seen here if you are interested)  Though this time I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it, as the trapped nerve in the shoulder had meant no shooting for several weeks.

On Saturday I had managed to get round 20 targets at our wood and that had been a challenge, so a full 40 course might be too much. Was I nervous, oh yes!!
Added to this is that this shoot is only a few weeks before the national 3D champs many archers will use it in good preparation for the 2 day championships and I really want to be fit for that, so no pressure!!

This course had been very carefully laid, with 2 distinct sections. One section being very technical with the course layers using the limited ground cover and tree avenues really well. It was a really good pre championship course, well done guys.

Lunch break verses shoot through… old debate
My only criticism of the day is the lunch break. LEFA stop the shoot at 12:30 and restart it at 1:30 to allow archers to come off the course and grab some food. Other clubs run a shoot through, which means the course is designed so as you pass the food stops once or twice, where you stop for 15-20 minutes to grab something to eat. The advantage to this method over stopping for lunch is it means you have a steady stream across catering and through the course, rather than a mad rush of 180 people wanting food at once.
The reasoning behind the stop is they say they can’t design the course to allow people to shot through, which is a real shame as you result in stopping for an hour and lose the flow.

Also after lunch the shoot slowed a lot. In the morning we had done 17-18 targets before lunch (about an hour and a half) After lunch we had only done 9 targets in the same amount of time as we were always catching the group in front , who had been catching the group in front of them and so on and so on. In fairness LEFA do provide a good lunch menu with some great desserts for those with a sweet tooth.
Anyway back to the course. It was a full 40 target course mad up of all 3D targets of varying size and shapes, with 4-5 people  a peg there were about 180 archers making for a very full car park.
Start was delayed slightly due to some late arrivals, but we got out on course at about 10:30. Our first target was a small 3d rabbit at about 15 yards. Great I thought a small target to start on doesn’t build confidence,especially with my first arrow skimming its back, second arrow hit though.

As I said the course had a good mix of small to large 3ds with a couple of the new 2D/3D targets. These skins as they are sometimes called have a 3d relief and can work well where a full 3d can’t be used due to space or safety concerns.
Long Eaton ground is a mix of established  broad-leaf woodland and more open younger areas. Mostly flat it does have a number of what can best be described as scrapes or shell holes.

LEFA grounds

LEFA grounds

The site had I think had been an old open coal pit with a small coal seem a few feet underground which has long since been mined but had left these depressions. These holes were used a number of times by the course layers,  resulting in us having to shoot into, across or sometimes out of them along the ground.  Very hard to judge distance when you are at ground level.
Lack of photosYou might notice there aren’t as many photos in this shoot report, this is due to changes in the rules in the NFAS. Archers are no longer allowed to take photographs before they shoot, so sorry there aren’t many target shots in this shoot report. I also didn’t want to delay my group and groups behind.

Sharon at LEFA

Sharon at LEFA

The reason for the change is that some people were using the camera as a targeting aid, to judge distances etc. I’m not a fan of the rule change but have to obey it.

So how did I get on?
Well despite Sharon feeling she didn’t shoot well she came away with gold, though I think she has plans to increase her practice time.
As for me well I managed to get round the entire course with only one blank, though too many 3rd arrows which I think aggravated the shoulder. I dropped 70 points in the last quarter of the course.I did come home with  second place, missing out on first place by 6 points. Not bad I suppose, considering I wasn’t sure I would make it all the way round at times.
In all our club came away with 9 medals in different classes, so was a good day for all. Full shoot results can be found here.

As ever thanks for reading.