Shoot Report – Wolverine Archers – April 2016

Wolverine Archers - April 2016

Wolverine Archers – April 2016

Last Sunday morning we were packed and ready to head up the motorway to Wolverine Archers shoot, then I remembered. I hadn’t checked the cars tyre pressures and oil levels on Saturday. Oops. Never mind it was only a short delay and as it was we were still some of first archers to arrive. It was also dry and not  promising any rain! I think it is the first time we have shot at Wolverines ground and it’s not rained at some point during the day.
Having said that there was a little mud, well actually quite a lot, which made it interesting getting round parts of the hillside course and in some cases on to and off the parking area. There are times I am very glad we have am old Honda CRV.
The slipping and sliding did cause a number of people to lose their footing and unfortunately one archer was taken away in an ambulance have fallen badly on her side. Good news is she is okay, she does have bruising and fractured rib, but it could have been much worse. I will spare her any embarrassment by omitting her name  but we are all wishing you a speedy recovery. On this point I feel it should be said the ambulance personnel and the club members looked to deal with the situation really well.

Anyway onto the shoot report. I quickly identified  two objectives for the day. Firstly, not to fall and twist my ever troublesome left knee and secondary was to try and hit Kong with my first arrow, a goal I have had since I first shot at Wolverines ground so many years ago. More about Kong later.
Wolverine is always a popular shoot and Sunday was no different, with most pegs being full so over 150 archers in a variety of classes making the journey to just outside Stoke on Trent. If you are interested here is a link to an earlier shoot report from last year.

Sharon shooting a bedded 3d

Sharon shooting a bedded 3d deer

The 40 target course was a mix of 3d and paper faces and I think it is fair to say it was a challenging course especially some of the paper faces which had been set at their upper limits as far as distances were concerned.
We would be shooting with Sarah Bacon (ladies bowhunter) and Martyn Cotterell (gents unlimited) both of whom are excellent shots and from Woodend archery club.

Martyn and Sarah preparing to shoot paper face bear

Martyn and Sarah preparing to shoot paper face bear

My first 10 targets were a disaster with 3 blanks! My head was just not engaging and I was really struggling. I was either hitting with first arrow or missing with all three. It wasn’t until we were coming up to the lunchtime break my brain started to work.

downhill 3d deer

Downhill 3d deer

Due to the terrain Wolverine operate a lunch break from 12:30 to 1:15, though on this occasion it was extended due to the archer falling on her way back to the peg. I think partly due to the slippery conditions it was a slower shoot than normal as people traversed the hillside with care.

Sometimes a wooden arrow can match a sighted compound

Sometimes a wooden arrow can match a sighted compound

So on to the infamous Kong. Kong is Wolverines club signature shot and is a homemade 3D target standing over nine feet in height. Being that tall you would think it would be easy to hit, but it isn’t. The giant of a target is often set out in the open field, making it very hard to judge the distance and even harder for those who miss to find their arrows. Fortunately there are always a couple of marshals stationed nearby to help search for the wayward arrow or two. I think they enjoy watching the archers challenge themselves.
We’d got to the peg late afternoon and watched the two groups in front of us shoot Kong, with the marshals helping them search for arrows. Then it was our turn. Martyn went first and got a fantastic shot, straight in the red heart with  his first arrow, Sarah shot next and got it with her first arrow, this time on the shoulder.

You know it is a long shot when there is a significant delay from a compound arrow being released to you hearing it hit the target. Then it was the wooden arrow turn, being a gentleman I let my good lady go first. This resulted in me seeing Sharons’ first arrow sail through the air and hit it in the leg. So I was the last to go and everyone in group had hit Kong with their first arrow, add we now had two groups in  audience  waiting to shoot Kong after us, no pressure.

Kong - standing at the red peg, its a long way

Kong – standing at the red peg, its a long way

Well nothing ventured. nothing gained as they saw, so I went for it and  let lose watching the arrow fly. After what seemed like ages in flight I saw my arrow appear in Kongs chest. For the first time since going to Wolverine I’d hit it and not only that but it was a good solid hit. Walking up to collect the arrows Martyn stated he’d set his sights at 75 yards. That is actually closer than other  times it has been out at Wolverines grounds.

Kong - standing at over 9 feet tall

Kong – standing at over 9 feet tall

Sharon shot well winning ladies afb with a score that would have got her second in the gents class. Congrats to Martyn and Sarah who both won their respective classes too. Despite my terribly poor start I ended the day with 630 enough to get me a first in gents afb.
I must give top marks to the guys at Wolverine who made sure everyone got off the parking field at the end of the day. Not an easy task considering the condition parts of the field were in. I  know how hard they worked as we were the last non Wolverines members to leave. Nice work guys.
I think it might be a while before our boots manage to shed the mud though, but I did manage to get round without falling, though my knee is twinging a little after all the walking or should I say sliding.
Thanks for reading.

Shoot Report – Wolverine – March 2015

No shooting over Easter Weekend,which was a shame as the weather has been wonderful, bright warm and dry. This enabled us to finally set the range up in the field. A complete contrast to the previous week. With the clocks changing last weekend to British summer time, it was an early start for us on Sunday as we headed north to the Wolverine club grounds not far from Stoke on Trent.
Anyone who attended the shoot will agree it was wet, very wet. I think it stopped raining for about an hour over the whole day. Added to this was the strong gusts which blew in and the Somme like mud in parts.
Despite the weather and mud Wolverine did their best to put on a good course.
The weather had a negative effect on the archery with scores for most classes being significantly down.
As for the course I thought it was overall good maybe not the best they have set as I  feel there were a couple of shots that could have had arrow nets or bosses up to catch stray arrows. This would have sped the search for arrows up for many. I  also think there were a couple of shots where the overshoots had not been fully considered. I don’t think they were unsafe but it is very distracting to see fellow archers collecting or searching for arrows in your peripheral vision when on the peg about to shoot.
The course was the standard mixed 3d and paper faces with a couple I think slightly stretched for the size of face. Our group was made up of the two of us, John shooting crossbow and Richard shooting freestyle. Overall it wasn’t too bad a course or day despite the British weather.
One entertainment feature of all the rain was watching a variety of cars trying to drive back up the entry slope. Of the several that attempted it only a couple were successful. Just to explain, Wolverine car park is in a field which you enter from a slope which tends to get quite muddy with all the traffic. Archers exit the car park from a different route, the only problem is due to the size of the car park, cars have to be parked in front of the exit, resulting in no-one leaving until the blocking cars leave. A few people decided not to stay until the end and tried to leave via the entrance slope.  The rest of us waited until after the end of prize giving and left via the exit route.
Neither of us shot particularly well and think it was lack of  practice and conditions.
Sorry there aren’t any photos of the course, but with the wet weather I had my phone buried under lots of layers to keep it dry. I did get a copy of a  photos from a friend and fellow SVYF member showing the muddy paths.
Muddy Path

Muddy Path

The video is a bit of fun and shows a friend of ours trying to get up the bank.
Thanks for reading.