Sharon shooting 3D deer

Shoot Report – Harlequin Bowhunters – February 2018

Harlequin Bowhunters

Harlequin Bow hunters NFAS shoot

It had been almost a year since we’d shot Harlequins course, not for any reason other than something always came up, so we were curious to see how it had changed. So on what was a bright but cold Sunday morning we headed north up the motorway to Harlequins grounds. Those interested can read a previous shot report here.

Julie about to start the show

Julie about to start the show

Sadly the start of the shoot was slightly delayed as they suffered from quite a few no shows (over a dozen) which caused the mighty admin team of Julie and Sam some hassle on the day as they tried to re-arrange the remaining 120 or so archers.
There would only be four of us in the shooting group, with big voice and little voice as they were nicknamed or better knows as Colin and Corinne both from Centaura Bowmen joining Sharon and myself.
2D bobcat target in the cover of the tree

2D bobcat target in the cover of the tree

Harlequins ground is pretty flat with dense area of evergreens of Laurel or Rhododendrons, and deciduous woodland, which houses there 36 target course. This being a mix of paper,3D and 2D targets. I have to say I’m not a huge fan of the 2D targets as it can be a real struggle to draw arrows from.
Sharon shooting 3D deer

Sharon shooting 3D deer

The low winter sun and lack of leaf cover on the trees, resulted in us struggling with some shot as they proved very hard to see.
Sharon shooting into the sun between trees

Sharon shooting into the sun between trees

I’m not sure if it was the low level of the sun (I hadn’t picked up my reactolites glasses) or something else, but by lunchtime I had developed a headache, which gradually got worse as the day progressed. The shoot was a shoot through with a couple of opportunities to pass catering and grab some hot food or drink, definitely something that was needed on the day. It was good to see Harlequin seemed to have recovered from the vandalism they suffered last year.
2D Tiger target between the trees

2D Tiger target between the trees

I thought the course was ok, with a mix of short, medium and long shots. There were a few familiar shots along with several new shots that worked well. My only observation was it felt quite tight in a few spots where you were close to next or previous shot, especially if you were the second group waiting to shoot. Having said this I know that they are looking to reset the course in readiness for their next shoot.
As the sun went down so did the temperature, along with making a few shots more challenging to see with the sun in your arrows.
3D target set between the trees

3D target set between the trees in dappled sunlight

Of all the shots I think the one I liked the most was the 2D Kangaroo target in the hollow, it was framed really well and just looked good. Always think if a shoot looks good, archers will enjoy shooting it.
2D Kangaroo target set between the trees in a hollow

2D Kangaroo target set between the trees in a hollow

Though the day was a bit slow especially in the second half, seeing us waiting on most of the targets, we had a good laugh which helped to keep my mind off my headache. By the end of the shoot my head was pounding and painkillers weren’t doing much. For that reason we decided to leave early. This was the first time i’d left a shoot before the prize giving but knowing we had over an hour drive home, due to road works I wanted to get home.
In some ways I was glad we left when we did as by the time we had got home my headache had got worse despite the painkillers. I was worried it might be developing into a full blown migraine, which sadly it did by Monday. I ended up spending most of Monday in bed, with the curtains drawn. Thankfully I don’t get migraines often.
Thanks for reading.

Shoot Report of sorts – Harlequin – February 2017

Harlequin Archers Feb 2017

Harlequin Archers Feb 2017

I feel the bitterly cold temperatures marred this shoot with the cold wind in some parts of the wood along with several sleet or wet snow showers making it feel like a test of endurance at times. I think anyone who survived the day deserved an award. Due to the  unpleasant weather there is only the one photo as my phone was buried under several layers in my jacket to keep it dry.
You can read a previous shoot report here. Despite the cold weather there were nearly 150 archers attending.
This was our first shoot of 2017, well strictly speaking it was Sharon’s first as I didn’t shoot the course. Instead I walked around with Sharon and her shooting group of Kay, Andy B, Julie and Roger, who were shooting a mix of flatbow, longbow and Barebow. As for the course, there  were the familiar 2d targets which I’m sure were even harder to draw arrows from in the cold, or maybe that was just us struggling. There were a few shots nicely framed between trees that tested the archer’s nerve along with the now traditional long shot at the 2D Moose, that is simply huge. The majority of the targets were 2D or 3Ds though there were a few paper faces including one deer that Sharon took 3 shots on and found all 3 were scoring.
It was nice to see some friendly faces and to chat to people we hadn’t seen since before Christmas.
It was good to have the opportunity to chat with Andy Soars too about his new bow designs. For those who don’t know Andy is the bowyer who produces the Blackbrook bow range of bows. These are bows which Sharon and I are both lucky enough to own (I have two of his flatbows and Sharon one of his recurves and a flatbow). If you have a chance drop by his website and take a look at his selection of bows. http://www.blackbrook.eu/
I did find it hard at times though, especially when talking to some people who asked why I wasn’t shooting or who were partially aware of what had happened.
To be honest my heart is just not into shooting at present. I picked my bow up for first time in over 8 weeks on Saturday and I could feel the loss of muscle tone in my shoulders. The other thing was it didn’t feel like I wanted to shoot. Don’t get me wrong, I miss going down to the wood to shoot round but I realise I’m missing it more for being out there in nature than shooting.
Anyway back to the shoot report.
Harlequin did their best to keep everyone warm with supplies of hot drinks and a very nice chilli as one of the options for a hot meal. By all accounts their scotch eggs went down well too. Sharon shot well coming first in Ladies AFB with Kay coming first in Ladies Longbow. Though Julie didn’t place in longbow I think she shot really well, considering it was her first time out with the bow having only just picked it up. Oh, Andy B hope you are feeling better.
Despite the weather the day seemed to go well and people enjoyed themselves. Fingers crossed it will be warmer for their next shoot.
Thanks for reading.