Apologies to all readers and followers to this site for the delay in writing this shoot report up. Life has been doing it’s best to keep me busy but here it is at last.
The calendar may have showed as an April Sunday, but I think all who attended will agree it felt more like early February with the biting wind making temperature stay in the single figures all day. The irony of this being a week later we would enjoy the warmest early May bank holiday on record with a temperature swing of plus 20 degrees centigrade. The UK is presently enjoying one of the longest periods of hot weather since 1976!
I don’t think the weather would help as it would prove to be a very slow day for our group, seeing us waiting on all but a couple targets as we made our way round the course. I guess this was just bad luck as I know other groups shot round with little or no hold ups all day, but I think we were one of the last groups in. Maybe putting 5 people on the peg (4 compounds and a bare bow) in one group in front was not the best plan. Then again I don’t know if the hold up was further on, but I personally find that waiting to shoot breaks the flow of the day.
One thing to remember if you ever shoot at Windrush is to keep an eye out for deer, who can often be seen running across the fields and woodland.
I would struggle all day with the cold and my form which was way off the norm. Looking back as I write this I believe some of my issues were partly due to being soaked on the Saturday. I had been running a coaching session in the morning for a couple of archers, on both the range and taking them round the wood. Despite being wrapped up I had got soaked and cold and Sunday whilst dry was cold.
Anyway enough excuses onto the shoot report. Windrush woodland is a pretty open wood with few bushes or cover to speak of. This would not be a problem on a sunny warm summers day, but on a decidedly chilly spring day it would prove a bit cold, with many archers and marshals taking the opportunity to warm themselves by the open fire at tea breaks.
The course would consist of 40 targets, all 3Ds, with a couple quite cleverly set, like the hyena by the fallen tree.
I feel I should mention that the course layers had gone to the trouble of setting wasp pegs for all 40 targets.
For those not familiar with wasp pegs, they are shooting pegs, set for crossbow and sighted compound archers. The idea being to offer them a replacement first peg, which would be more technical or challenging for their styles. So these archers would shoot their first arrow from the wasp, moving to the red and white pegs if they missed with their first or second.
I’m not sure that the inclusions had the result the course layers wanted. Often these pegs were set a few yards further back from the red, adding a little distance to the shot. In my experience and conversations I’ve had with other archers shooting in these styles indicates adding that extra distance does not make that much of a difference to many sighted archers. To be fair to the course layers there were a few shots where I felt the wasp pegs worked well, such as our first, a long standing bear. Here the wasp peg was not only further back by over cover making the distance harder to judge.
I think it is a shame as I don’t think it quite worked as well as the course layers had hoped as they had put the effort in and should be applauded for trying. I hope it doesn’t put them off from doing it again and takes these comments not as criticism but as observations. I know that wasp pegs are something I struggle to set at times and have spoken at length with archers and course layers about.
Though this may sound a negative shoot report I do hope to return to shoot Windrush again, as at the end of the day they can’t control the weather. There previous shoot I had really enjoyed and you can read the review here.
Overall it wouldn’t prove to be a great day for me. I have to say I was glad to climb into the car for the journey home, with the car heater on to warm us up.
We decided to treat ourselves with a Papa Johns pizza. Big mistake, as they messed up the order and resulting in us having to pay twice !! Not impressed with that or their customer service who as an apology sent us a token for £10 off the next pizza, but only if you spend £25!!
Thanks for reading.