Shoot report – Hawk archers – June 2014

hawk archers

Hawk archers

Earlier this month we headed just over the border to Monmouthshire for the annual Hawk archers shoot.
Numbers were small with around 40-50 archers of mixed classes but that made for an easy flowing day and relaxed atmosphere. You can see a previous shoot report here.

Opening shot at Hawk small brown 3D

Opening shot at Hawk small brown 3D between trees.

Hawks course layers set an enjoyable but challenging course with some very deceptively placed shots. A number of times we would get to the target to realise it was either further or smaller than we thought. That’s not to say they were stretched but well placed.

Sharon preparing for shot - 3D lion

Sharon preparing for shot – 3D lion

The course was a mix of 3d targets and a few hessian painted to a very high standard.
Inter mixed were a couple of predator prey shots which Hawk scores slightly differently to other clubs. If you hit the predator with your first arrow you can go for the prey with your second arrow but only score max for a second arrow. Therefore if you get 24 points on the predator the max you can score on prey is 14 points.  I think I prefer this scoring as you get a potential bonus but not a huge amount.
Hawk archers grounds is situated in a beautiful wooded hillside allowing them to put on shots both up and downhill.

Mary on long 3D deer shot

Mary on long 3D deer shot

Shooting group for the day would be Sharon,  myself Richie from DW Longbow (we shot with him at Wolverine) and Mary from svyf.

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The organisers worked hard to clear paths and cut in steps up and down the hillside which was much appreciated as the ground soil is quite heavy clay in parts making it quite slippery. As it was  we enjoyed good weather with no rain and it being bright without it being too warm. Having said this I know Mary struggled at times to have enough light to see through her sights as the tree cover was pretty dense in parts.
Only one shot annoyed me  or i think could have been improved which was one between a V in a tree which you shot from about five to six yards. The gap was too tight for my arrows as they are still straightening at that distance. The result was two broken arrows.

Mary shooting one of the uphill shots at Hawk 2014

Mary shooting one of the uphill shots at Hawk 2014

It was great to see Mary get round the course.  She had taken a really bad fall a few weeks ago at Charnwood shoot tearing the muscles in the left leg. The fact she could walk let alone get up and down the hillside.
As for me I didn’t shoot well at all only coming in with 520ish long way off placing and a lot lower than I wanted.

I’m going to have to work on my consistency of draw as I’m taking a lot of damage to my right ring finger tip.

Mary and Sharon at Hawk

Mary and Sharon at Hawk

Congrats to Mary and Sharon who both got first places. Especially well done to young Alfie also from SVYF our  a junior who shot really well coming first too.
As always thanks for reading.

Shoot report – Hawk Archers June 2013

hawk archers

Hawk archers

It had been a while since I had shot at an archery club ground that was comprised of such a lovely wood or such testing terrain.

The Hawk Archers wood is situated in the welsh hills and is a lovely mixed broad leaf woodland. That is when you find it, as finding the grounds is the first challenge because it is tucked away down narrow country lanes and then over a mile down a farm track. Once there the views are wonderful.

This was the third day in a row I’d shot and though the shoulder is recovering I think I was asking a bit much especially with the number of second or third arrows I was having to take.

Due to the nature of the geography I think navigating the course would be very difficult in bad (read wet) weather  or even for parking as I can imagine the field being a bit of a quagmire. Having said that we were lucky as it had been dry for several days before and on the day. In fact the previous week had seen warm sunny days but the welsh hills that morning were a little chilly initially.
This was a small shoot compared with many other NFAS outings with only 50 competitors of mixed classes from homemade bows to the latest compounds.
Like many other courses this was to be a 36 mix 3d and paper with a couple of predator prey and nominate shots.

First Target - wolf in distance

First Target – 3D wolf in  the distance

We started on peg 31 – a long uphill wolf and yes it was as long as it looked.  The group was Sharon, myself and Dylan who we had shot with previously (about 5 years ago), though he was now shooting bare bow.

First Target - some how I managed to hit it with first arrow

First Target – some how I managed to hit it with first arrow

To say the course was challenging would be an understatement! We had been warned that the course would be difficult and targets might be stretched, but had gone with an open mind (and lots of arrows)
Sharon shooting at Hawk Archers

Sharon shooting at Hawk Archers

The course layers made very good use of the terrain with very few flat shots and lots of use of dead ground. When you combine the distance of the shots, with the geography or elevation of shots and size of the targets I personally think it was too hard. I felt a number of shots were stretched 5-10 yards further than needed.

3D mountian lion on log - yes I blanked this one too

3D mountain lion on a log

Reducing the distance by a little to the targets I think would have made a significant difference. and you would still have had a challenging shot. In all I blanked 3 targets and had way too many 2 or 3 arrows scoring just over 500.

Would I go back?  I loved the woods and the club is very friendly.The only thing that puts me off is the difficulty of the course.

Don’t get me wrong I enjoy a challenging shoot and like the occasional long shot, but good archers win from the red peg, average archers hit sometimes from the red normally from white and the blue is the last chance for an adult to hit. So when the difference in the distance between pegs is only a few feet on a 35-40 yards shot its not very forgiving. Also white pegs are junior pegs as are blue so making them long is not fair on youngsters who have lighter poundage bows.

Sorry this has turned into a bit of a moan and dig at Hawk club, in fairness Hawk aren’t the only club that does this. I’ve seen this issue of stretching targets at a few clubs.

Maybe next time if I go, I’ll have a better idea of what to expect and what the course is likely to be like. The sad thing is that I know some people will have been put off returning because of their experiences which is a real shame as it was a lovely wood and it was a very relaxing shoot partly due to the low numbers and fantastic scenery. I know quite a few people were first time visitors to the wood as it was being talked about in the car park and over the pre shoot bacon butties. I do wonder how many might not return?

As always thanks for reading.