Shoot Report – Spirit of Sherwood – December 2015

Spirit of Sherwood Wooden Arrow shoot

Spirit of Sherwood Wooden Arrow shoot

So last shoot of the year and our thanks to all at Spirit of Sherwood for making it a good one.  They hosted a wooden arrow only shoot which unsurprisingly was well attended with an excess of 100 archers. Spirit ground is a long drive for us and knowing they wanted an early start along with the weather not looking great  we decided to stop over in Worksop the night before. For those overseas readers, parts of the UK have been battered by high winds and heavy rain resulting in serious flooding in Cumbria and southern Scotland, with the rest of the country experiencing high winds.
As it was the choice of motel was good as it was a 10 minute drive to spirits grounds and an easy walk to a local bar for an evening meal on Saturday.
3D baboon in the morning sun light

3D baboon in the morning sun light

So Sunday morning saw us packing up and heading down the road to Spirit. As I’ve said the shoot would be wooden arrow only meaning reduced number of classes, with there being Longbow, Amerian Flatbow, Hunting tackle and Primitive, all shooting wooden arrows with feather fletchings and no sights. Here is a link to last years shoot report.

It would be a 36 target course with a majority of 3d targets and only a few paper faces.
3d beaver complete with sawdust

3d beaver complete with sawdust

Our group would include Jackie and Charlie from Castle Bowmen both shooting hunting tackle. This would be the first time Sharon would be shooting her new Blackbrook American flatbow at a shoot, though she had had a little practise down at the club woods.

Sharon Shooting off the tree stump at 3d

Sharon Shooting off the tree stump at 3d

The course included one moving target a festive 3d turkey along with a predator prey.
Throughout the course Spirit had distributed boxes of sweets as festive treats for archers to help themselves,  a very kind and generous touch.

Spirit of Sherwood gift to archers

Spirit of Sherwood gift to archers

The shoot flowed well with no hold ups or apparent problems with the whole thing being completed by 3 pm allowing for all to set off home while there was still light.

3D bedded dear

3D bedded dear

There were some nice new 3d targets I hadn’t seen before including a 3D boar and bear.

Nice 3D bear target I hadn't seen before

Nice 3D bear target I hadn’t seen before

3D Boar hidden behind the tree

3D Boar hidden behind the tree

Being a  pretty flat ground spirit made use of a couple of tree stumps for elevated shots along with a few nicely framed shots between trees including one of a climbing cat 3d I’d not seen before.

Shooting off the tree stump at 3d

Shooting off the tree stump at 3d

3D car climbing the tree

3D car climbing the tree

Overall it was a really relaxed enjoyable shoot with good company and great atmosphere. There we no stretched targets just well set course at sensible distances, well done guys. We were lucky with the weather too as it was mostly dry except for the briefest of showers.  It was nice to chat with friends and fellow stick throwers along with other Fellowship of the Bow Facebook group members.
Sharon shot well and she came away with first in ladies American flatbow sadly I only managed third missing out on first by 8 points.
Thanks for reading and have a safe and enjoyable festive season.

Shoot report – NFAS 3D Championships

Flete Estate - 3D champs 2015

Flete Estate – 3D champs 2015

As I started writing this I realised a few things

  1. Firstly it was going to be a long report so I’m breaking it down into two parts. Overview of the event, day one and day two.
  2. Secondly some of my comments maybe read as gripes or criticism based on just not shooting well. That’s not the intention they are my observations, thoughts and opinions.

So here goes,I hope you like this epic.
The late May bank holiday weekend saw us load up the car on Friday morning and head south to just outside Plymouth for the NFAS 3D championships. Unlike others we had a pretty easy drive down and popped into the venue before heading to the hotel. This year we decided against camping and booked into a Premier Inn about 20 minutes drive from the venue. This would prove to be a popular choice of accommodation for many competitors as the restaurant and bar was well stocked with fellow archers in the evening.
The 2015 champs would be the first time we would shoot a 3D championships not held at Osmaston estate, instead it would be at the Flete Park, Devon. I think the extra distance put a few people off travelling, which was a shame as the venue was stunning in parts and relatively easy to get to on the roads (traffic allowing).
This year would also see Sharon defending her championship title in ladies Hunting Tackle. Here is a link to last years shoot report (Link )

40 v 36

Due to these lower numbers of attendees (some 550 rather than 650 or so in previous years) the organisers reduced the courses from the normal 40 3d targets to only 36.
I can understand why they did this, as it made it easier for the course layers but personally I don’t think this was to prove a good idea. The extra few empty targets might have lessened the delays experienced by some archers on the courses.

Start the clock

The other thing which was new was that they instigated a time limit of 8 hours from the start of shooting. Any archers not completing the 36 target course within this time would have to be scored only on the targets they had shot.
This worked with groups being off in good time, but I wonder if this was partly due to

  1. Reduced numbers at the event meant there were less people.
  2. No particularly long walk outs to the courses and corresponding walk backs at end. On some courses at Osmaston the walk back took 30 minutes.
  3. The mostly good weather, which resulted in people not slipping and sliding as much as at past events at Osmaston.

I’m not sure if I like the idea of a time limit. Would it have worked if there had been any problems? Who knows, guess time will tell in the future if they do this again.

Behind the scenes

There is a an awful lot of work that goes on behind the scenes at events like this, not just the setting of the courses but also the sourcing of a venue, organising delivery of 3ds and administration of shooting groups. I’ve been lucky enough to offer some help a couple of times to break down a course. So I’d like to say thanks to all involved.
Top marks to the administration team who, not only coped with last minute drop outs but also managed to get the first day and final results out and on the website within hours of the last people coming off the courses. Well done.

I would also like to say how great it was to meet new people and those readers and followers of this blog who introduced themselves throughout the weekend. Thanks guys.

What are the championships?

For those not familiar with the process of the NFAS championship here is a quick run down.
The championships consist of 2 days of shooting 2 different courses.
X & Y courses were for archers shooting compound bows, crossbows and barebow ie the metal/carbon arrow courses.
A & B were for longbows American flatbow, primitive and hunting tackle ie the wooden arrow courses.
You are randomly allocated to a shooting group. With all archers in the same class shooting the same course on the same day.
So I would shoot B course Saturday with all other flatbow archers and A on Sunday. Sharon was shooting hunting tackle so shot A course first and then B.
Okay so that is all for now. I’ll try and get the other parts written up as soon as I can. In the meantime thanks for reading.

NFAS archers wanting to attend 3D Championships – please read

I’m passing on an important message from the President of the NFAS (National Field Archery Society), Trish Jones, to all NFAS archers wanting to attend the 3D championships in 2015.

The address shown in the latest issue of the NFAS magazine for posting entry forms in is incorrect

The correct address is

7 Heaton Gardens
S. Yorks
DN12 1SY

Thanks for reading