Sharon on the ermin shot

Shoot report – Centaura bowmen – September 2018

Centaura Bowmen shot

Centaura Bowmen shot

Centaura Bowmen’s ground is over an hour drive from home on a good day, so it would be an early start for us to make sure we got there in good time. It is a ground we know quite well, situated outside Derby. For those interested you can read a previous shoot report here.

As it was it would be a warm and pleasant early autumn day, with great company as we were joined by the recently married Mr and Mrs Hands, shooting traditional bowhunter and bowhunter respectively. Congratulations to you both again, it was a great wedding.

Shooting group of Roger, Julie and Sharon

Shooting group of Roger, Julie and Sharon

Since our last visit to their grounds Centaura course layers had worked hard on resetting sections of the course, not easy in the confined space they have to work in. There were a few familiar shots for those that had visited before, such as their very short shot on the weasel. Overall I feel the hard work paid off and the changes worked pretty well, though maybe a few more arrows or red and white tape to clearly mark the new routes would have helped, as in a couple of places people tended to revert to old known routes, which now were defunct.

Mrs Hands shooting paper face

Mrs Hands shooting paper face

The course itself consisted of a 36 target course comprising a mix of paper faces and 3d targets. Many of the paper faces are custom faces produced in house. These have generous lines but some were a bit small for the distances they were set and not that clear to make out, like the chicken, yes chicken target. This was a light brown bird on a brown grass background. Another that sparked debate as it wasn’t that clear was the black badger on a black background, on a black boss.

Mrs Hands shooting

Mrs Hands shooting

There were a couple of predator prey shots would allow you to boast your scores if you were lucky enough to get the predator with the first arrow.

Roger aka Mr Hands shooting a paper face wolf

Roger aka Mr Hands shooting a paper face wolf

As I have said in previous shoot reports Centaura operate a lunch break as otherwise due to the route round the wood you would only pass catering once in the day. On this occasion they set a lunch hour break from 12:30 to 1:30. Maybe this was a bit too long but, it allowed archers to get back to the muster point and grab some food without having to have to then rush back out for the restart. This made for a more relaxing lunch break allowing archers to chat over a coffee and sandwich.

One thing I think the organisers do need to do is marshal the lunch break stop carefully. At 12:25 they sound a horn to inform archers to finish shooting the target they are on. Archers were instructed at muster not to start walking off course until the second horn sounded at 12:30. This was to ensure archers could walk safely off the course. Unfortunately not all archers followed these instructions, meaning some started walking off at 12:25, worse still some took short cuts across the course using old paths. I know I stopped one group who were walking off early.

Sharon shooting 3D panther

Sharon shooting 3D panther

As is pretty normal for Centaura the shoot was well attended with over 100 archers. The reworked course flowed well with no obvious hold ups though it was a little slower in the afternoon, possibly because it was post lunch or because we entered the area of the course which had quite a few smaller faces.

We, along with many other groups had shot 20 targets of the 36 target course by lunch break.

Despite being so well attended or maybe a testimony to good organisation involved, it was an early end with us leaving by 4:30 pm after all the prizes and raffles had been awarded.

Sharon shot well winning ladies American Flat bow and I managed to place first in gents flat bow too.

Thanks for reading.

Banks of snowdrops at Centaura

Shoot report – Centaura Bowmen – March 2018

Centaure Bowmen

It seems ages since I’ve written a shoot report, hopefully I haven’t lost the knack of what to include and cover. So here goes with this shoot report for Centaura Bowmen March shoot, which I think could have been called the snowdrop shoot. For those interested here is a link to a previous shoot report.

Unlike some of the recent weekends we’ve had of late, it wasn’t that cold, though there were areas of the woodland covered in a think blanket of white, with hundreds of snowdrops in flower.

Banks of snowdrops at Centaura

Banks of snowdrops at Centaura

One of the nice things with going to Centaura shoots is the opportunity it presents to catch up with old friends and a few blog followers, even if only briefly and that day was no exception.

So joining Sharon and myself in the shooting group on the day was Sue and Andrew, both shooting Bare Bow. We quickly discovered it was only the second NFAS shoot Sue had done, but I have to say I think she did really well.
Sharon shooting our first target

Sharon shooting our first target

Hopefully we haven’t put her off continuing in the hobby, though as we had a good laugh shooting round and chatting about anything and everything, I think we will see here again.
Sharon shooting 3D turkey target

Sharon shooting 3D turkey target

The course was familiar to many of us who had shot Centaura competitions before, consisting of 36 targets being a mix of 3D and paper faces. To be fair to the course layers they have added a couple of new shots, which seemed to work pretty well.
If you ever shoot at Centaura you will discover that the club produces some custom paper faces, which though can be quite small generally have generous scoring lines and offer a nice change to the normal ones seen at other shoots.
Andrew shooting 3d

Andrew shooting 3d

Overall the day went pretty well, but with over 120 archers in quite a small wood it was at times a bit slow, whilst waiting for the group in front to shoot or clear the target.
Sharon framed between the trees

Sharon framed between the trees

Personally I feel there was only one 3D shot (the bedded goat in the quarry) and maybe one paper face (fox) that could have been thought of as a bit stretched for the size of target.
Long paper fox target at Centaura

Sue shooting the long paper fox target at Centaura

To be fair though it looks like the club have invested in some new 3Ds which work well and look good. Being a small wood I think they struggle to change shots or course without starting from scratch.

3D lizard

As normal for Centaura there was a lunch break of 45 minutes to allow archers time to grab some food before being back out on the peg. For those not familiar with this lunch break concept it is a break, normally between 12:30 and 1:15, during which time all shooting is stopped. They have added a drinks table outside that speeds up the process of serving 100 plus thirsty archers.
Andrew shooting 3D bedded deer target

Andrew shooting 3D bedded deer target

I wasn’t shooting too badly in the morning, but after the food stop I hit a problem. I had a muscle twinge in my shoulder, from then on I was struggling to hold at full draw, obviously this impacted on the last 10 targets with me blanking two and dropping to second arrows on others. I think I need to do some more practise and build the shoulder up a bit. Sharon shot well, getting first in ladies Flatbow and despite my shoulder problems I managed a first in gents.
The only real downside would be a very slow drive home partly down to shoulder twinges but mostly due to heavy traffic on the motorway.
Thanks for reading.

Sad News

Shortly after this shoot report was written up, I heard that the club had been targeted by thieves, with details here. Since then they have published a full list of items stolen.

List of items taken
3 x Left Hand Polar bows 16 18 and 36 poundages
3 x Right Hand Polar bows 16, 18 and 28 poundages

2 junior “Jelly” bows colours orange and light brown 10Lb

Arrows :
36 carbon Mybo Hailstorm
24 aluminium Easton
36 miscellaneous manufacturers aluminium, carbon and fibre glass
12 wood arrows

Here’s hoping the club survives and continues to grow. Good luck

Another archery club targeted by thieves

Some of you may have seen my tweet that Centaura Bowmen archery club outside Derby has been added to the list of clubs targeted by thieves. Here are the details that I know of and taken from the NFAS Facebook group.

Facebook notice of thefts

Facebook notice of thefts

Over the past few months I’ve heard of a number of clubs that have been hit, whether by thefts, trespass or vandalism.

So what can we do?

  • We can all keep an eye out for suspicious characters at our clubs or woods.
  • Cultivate links with other local clubs and groups, so you can share news and alerts.
  • We can be careful how we promote the clubs locations on public websites.
  • Securing the huts, sheds etc seems like common sense, but having been a victim of thieves I know that simply putting a lock on the door is not always enough. When we were last broken into they got past the lock and quality padlock by forcing panels out of the door.
  • Think about marking your equipment with club name, or branding the 3Ds with club name is something I know a few clubs have done. You could invest in smart water option too for the more expensive items.
  • If we see deals that appear too good to be true on sites like eBay or offered locally, be suspicious.
  • I know some clubs have invested in security systems, whether these be alarms or cameras. Inexpensive trail cameras, the sort used for wildlife monitoring can prove an effective way of monitoring who actually visits your woodland. If you do use these, you have to post signs stating CCTV is in use.
Try a search for  digital game / trail / hunting cameras and you’ll find them.
I have one such camera VWTech 720p / 8MP low light visions – this captures both still images or video depending on what I set. It’s an old model now but has worked pretty well for me over the years.
Here are a few examples of what it captures, both day and night.
Pretty clear image of badger at night with trail cam

Pretty clear image of badger at night with trail cam

Fox in daylight with trail cam

Fox in daylight with trail cam

Fox by night with trail cam

Fox by night with trail cam

Most if not all will display a time and date of the visitor too.
Thanks for reading