Literature Review – Field Archer News UK

October November 2016

October November 2016

There are numerous books and magazines on all aspects of archery from the target side of the sport, to hunting magazines, the latter being very popular overseas where hunting with a bow is legal. Though there are few magazines covering elements of the field archery side of the hobby there are even less that cover the UK in depth. That is until now with the recent launch of the free on-line magazine Field Archer News UK (FANUK).
With the growth of on-line material there has been a development of e-magazines and publications providing either a fully on-line version or a downloadable option.
FANUK is exploiting these e-publications and provides a good read for those field archers in the UK wanting to know what’s going on. Before I get started giving a review I feel it is important that I state I could be considered as being a little biased as the latest edition has run with an article I submitted. Have a read and let me know what you think.
The magazine is produced every couple of months and is free to view online or download as a pdf. FANUK is new entry to the media world and has just published its third instalment, so it is still early days at present for them, but I think it is fair to say it is looking good so far.

August September 2016 edition

August September 2016 edition

So what about the content and look?
The magazine is in full colour with lots of event photos and glossy adverts from archery suppliers across the country. It tries to provide a breadth of different topics to appeal to all possible readers from novice to experienced.
Content covers the traditional shoot reports of events in the Field archery calendar, with submissions from course layers and clubs. In the latest there is a write up by the organisers of the NFAS Welsh Championships held earlier this year. ( You can read the review I wrote of the event here on this blog if you like)
Other articles cover personal experiences in archery, along with articles on the history of the sport.
Guest writers have produced some interesting articles including one by Pip Bickerstaffe on the different woods used in longbow construction.

Sample article

Sample article

This touches on another important point, such magazines require the support from not just readers and advertisers but contributors writing articles.
Launching a magazine of this nature is a very brave thing to do and I wish them all the success in the world.
I think having a magazine that focuses on the UK field archery scene is a very much of a niche market but something that could work if it receives sufficient support.
I’ve provided the link to the magazine’s website here and suggest you sign up and have a look at some of the past editions.
If the magazine can keep generating a good mix of articles I think it should keep many field archers well informed, but of course that makes sense as it is called Field Archery News.
I think the only downside to the publications is that it is an e-publication. Yes, you can call me old fashioned but I quite like having a paper copy and thumbing through them physically rather than hitting the page down button. Here’s hoping they can continue.
Thanks for reading.

Shoot report – Druids – June 2016

Druids Solstice shoot

Druids Solstice shoot

Firstly apologies to readers and followers, I’ve been very slow at writing up this shoot report which I put down to writers fatigue. Not with this blog but due to non archery related work levels. So better late than never here is my shoot report for Druids archers event.
A few weeks ago we headed south to a new club to us, Druids. It would be our first ever trip to Druids ground and in many ways we wished we’d been before.
The shoot would be Druids two day summer solstice special with the course being modified for the second day with 3d targets being moved or shooting peg positions being altered to afford different shooting angles.
With 40 3d targets that would take some planning and work. Added to this was the Saturday evening meal which you could book in advance along with the hosts setting up a beer tent, I think the organisers had their work cut out for them over the weekend. Add in around 180 archers of all styles and disciplines and a few trade stalls it was a sizable undertaking.
Though there was the option of camping on site we had chosen not too, which in hindsight was a good plan as I’d been suffering with a virus the week before that floored me for a few days.
Our thanks to Wendy and Mark who gave us details of local pub with rooms.

Sharon shooting

Sharon shooting

We’d arranged with them to stay there and go out for a meal rather than camping which was a shame in some ways as you missed out on the evening banter etc but did provide a dry accommodation, hot meal and socialable evening. Maybe I’m getting old and just enjoying my creature comforts. So Saturday night we enjoyed a good meal and conversations about all things archery and life. Thanks guys for the company.
Anyway back to the shoot.

Second target on Saturday a 3d Lion in the field

Second target on Saturday a 3d Lion in the field

The ground is split over two woods with a few shots in the field that connects them. The two woods being a mix of broad leaf established trees and younger coppice. Though mostly flat terain there are a few locations where the club course layers  made use of the limited inclines affording a few down hill shots. There were also so very nicely framed shots between trees.

Sharon shooting 3D between trees

Sharon shooting 3D between trees

The one thing we were warned of was the public footpath that runs straight through the upper wood. This wasn’t really a problem but we did have to stop shooting Sunday to allow a group of ramblers make there way through. Yes there were lots of requests from them not to shoot them, along with comments about types of bows etc.

Saturday would see a shooting group made up of Brian and Paul,  a father and son both shooting longbow joining Sharon and I on peg 19.
The day ran smoothly with few hold ups until near the end of the day. still we were still finished by 4:30.

3D bear on day one - clever trick

3D bear on day one – clever trick

There were some cleverly laid shots like the bear above that you shot over a slight inclined bank and through long grass. Neither Sharon or I shot particularly well with Sharon making a faithful comment of “you’ve not lost or broken any arrows”

Long down hill 3D fox on first day

Long down hill 3D fox on first day

In the next 7 targets I manages to break or lose 4 arrows, 3 arrows broke in targets as the arrow penetrated the 3d but hit the securing metal stake snapping the pile off. My hope was Sunday would not be so hard on my arrows.

Black 3D raven on branches in front of black boss

Black 3D raven on branches in front of black boss

Sunday we had a different shooting group, though still on target 19, Sunday would see us with Colin in free style and Jennie shooting bare bow.

Very long Bison 3D

Very long Bison 3D

The day flowed well if a little slower than Saturday, possibly because some of the reworked shots were more tricky and technical. The longest delay being at the Bison shot which is not surprising considering the distance.

3D tiger in the field on Sunday

3D tiger in the field on Sunday

Overall we enjoyed the weekend with there being quite a relaxed atmosphere.

3D bobcat

3D bobcat

There were a few shots where I think they were a little bit close to others that made you aware of other archers on the next or previous peg, but this was only in one area and to be completely fair to Druids it was a good course with sensible distances that were challenging but not stretched.

Small 3D fox between trees

Small 3D fox between trees

Fortunately the rain didn’t arrive until late Sunday afternoon and was quite light until we were all sheltering in the marquee. So considerate of it when you remember all the bad weather and heavy downpours we’ve been experiencing.
Despite Sharon not shooting to her usual standard she won ladies afb and I managed to scrape 2nd in gents. A full listing of the results can be found here on the Druids website.
As always thanks for reading.