Pride Park - don't let the sun shine fool you, it was freezing cold

Shoot Report – Pride Park Archers – November 2016

Pride Park - don't let the sun shine fool you, it was freezing cold

Pride Park – don’t let the sun shine fool you, it was freezing cold

On a very cold Sunday November morning we would head to not far from Ripley in Derbyshire, to the new grounds of Pride Park Archers. The club has only just taken on this woodland a few weeks earlier and are in the process of settling in. So  this would be their inaugural shoot on these grounds. 
Don’t let the bright sunny morning photo fool you it was freezing cold with a very keen wind blowing off the fields. We did have some rain showers in the morning, which thankfully were quite short lived.
Our shooting group would consist of 3 members from Harlequin Archers club, Martin, Shane both shooting Compound limited and Gayle shooting barebow.
Shane and Martin retrieving arrows from across the creek

Shane and Martin retrieving arrows from across the creek

As for the course this would be a twice round 20, with the usual mix of paper and 3D targets. Some of you might think it is a long way to travel for a twice round twenty but this was both their first shoot at their new grounds as well as  a 20th anniversary shoot so we wanted to show our support for the club. We have a bit of a soft spot for Pride Park as they were the first club we ever went to a competition at all those years ago. We’ve always found the club very friendly and supportive not only at club events but also the NFAS as a whole.
Sadly not everyone showed them the same level of support with there being 14 no shows. I feel this  is a really big hit for the club, never the less there were another 74 of us mad fools who did brave the chill wind and turn up. The no shows caused a slight  delay to the start as Admin did their best to balance the groups. The catering team were doing their part to keep us feed and thanks to Paula for the cooking especially the burgers at lunch time.  
Their new grounds occupy mixed woodland, mainly coniferous situated on a Derbyshire hillside. This made for an unusual visual effect when the pine needles fell, making it look like flurries of snow were falling or maybe it was because it was so cold we were thinking snowfall.
Being off the beaten track means there is a fare walk to the woods across a couple of small fields but in return they do have a nice bit of woodland to develop. 
The wooded hillside offered some very nice shots, such as the long downhill 3D bear and I think as the club settles into the wood there will be even more potentially challenging shots.
The downside of the wood is there is little ground cover of any depth in places, so if you miss the 3D target your arrow will become a casualty, which a couple of mine did.
Gayle shooting 3D badger target

Gayle shooting 3D badger target

Overall I thought the targets were well placed, though I think the paper face Jay target didn’t need the boss angled as it’s a challenging shot already and angling it means arrows are likely to tear up the foam quickly. The zombie shot was different and a bit of fun too.
Paper face jay between the trees

Paper face jay between the trees

It would be fair to say I really struggled getting round the course. Compared to other grounds I have shot at its not that hard, but my asthma has been playing up for the last few weeks following a virus. This meant I struggled with the slopes resulting in my always carried but rarely used  inhaler being used lots.
I’d like to thank not only the group I was with but others who asked after me, along with Chris Harley who took time to walk back up the slope with me at the end of the shoot. Thanks Chrissie
Sharon shot really well, being back on form, winning not only the ladies class but out shooting all the men in the class (obviously including me).
Sharon shooting 3D crocodile

Sharon shooting 3D crocodile

Considering the limited time the club members had and the amount of work that was involved in just clearing the pathways, I think they’ve done really well. Yes there is room for a few improvements and enhancements but it is early days for them in the wood. One thing that I think  should be mentioned is the way the marshals reacted to problems quickly investigating and solving them, such as getting a replacement boss when one was found to be shot out.

Good luck Pride Park Archers with your new woodland.

Thanks for reading.

Responses and feedback on binoculars in archery

Big thanks to all the readers and followers of this site for their comments, thoughts and opinions on the topic of binoculars in archery. The original post can be read here.
It has been very interesting to hear what the views of the advantages and disadvantages are of their use along with peoples’ experience of using them.
As far as their use in the NFAS, well following what might be seen by some as quite a heated debate at the NFAS AGM, the proposal was dropped by the proposer.
My understanding of the reason for this decision was that following the debate  the NFAS committee decided it was not a style change for sighted archers but something that affected all members of the society and therefore would need to be an open vote for all in the society. The proposer of the motion did not agree with this and for this reason withdrew the proposal.
I think that is correct but if anyone wishes to correct me feel free.
Personally I can see both merits and flaws with the use of binoculars as I said in my previous post and would have liked to see them brought in on a trial basis to see how they might affect shoots but people didn’t appear to like that suggestion when I made it.
Just as a point of order on this. Whilst I  might not necessarily agree with the NFAS committee’s decision I’m not having a dig at them. They are all unpaid volunteers and work exceedingly hard in supporting the society. Doing their best in an environment that is not always friendly or supportive.
Another person who works exceedingly hard and in my view goes above and beyond to help the society as a whole as well as individuals is Dave Haynes of Pride Park Archers in Derby.
Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

I like many others were delighted to see him awarded the NFAS Presidents trophy in recognition of all the time and effort he devotes to the society. Congratulations mate you deserve it.
Anyway thanks for all the comments.
Thanks for reading. Happy Christmas to you all.