Monday, 18 May 2009

Fleet Ibex Shoot Report 17th May 2009

Fleet IbexHaving watched the the weather forecasts from the previous week I was expecting to be shoot Fleet Ibex in wet conditions but waking up Sunday morning to bright sunshine I thought we were going to have a good day. After the 50 minute drive down to Fleet Ibex the weather had changed slightly and we were in fully wet weather gear. This was the start of one of those days and it was at registration that I realised I had forgotten my NFAS card and my son his shooting glove. Thanks to Carrol the glove problem was resolved and the missing cards could be worked around by joining NFAS again on the day. The weather looked as though it was in for the day but after a 45 minutes the sky brightened and we were ready to shoot. For those who don't know Fleet Ibex this was a classic 40 x 3D course spread across their rather substantial woods (you do a lot of walking at Fleet) mixing the large and small with the long and short shots.

This was always going to be an interesting shoot for me because I am recovering from a shoulder injury which meant I could not shoot my normal 65lb longbow and had borrowed a 40lb longbow, off a fellow Westcott Archer who was shooting Free Style on Sunday, although I was using my own arrows. So now the excuses are out of the way onto the shooting which started , as mentioned, 45 minutes late but at least the the Sun was out and their was no wind.

The first shot of the day was a medium distance deer, they like deer at Fleet, from within the confines of some rather low hanging trees out across open ground. This being tall this was not such a good shot and it was a case of either kneel or do the splits. To my pleasant surprise I hit the deer and we were off and running the morning continued to progress well shooting the frog, or I think it was a frog, over short distance. I was getting the hang of a light bow, over spined heavy arrows and short draw and inconsistent anchor point (I naturally draw 32" when field shooting but borrowed bow was not built for that). A quick trip past the Tea Hut took use to the back of the course through some classic tree obstructed shots at the indigenous venison. Continuing up through the back of the Fleet Ibex woods we started to shooting the targets surrounded but fallen trees, which regularly ended up being hit in preference to the actual targets, which proved no problem for the compound archer shooting with us. On one occasion the tree was in the way so he shot through the tree to wound the target.

Reaching the back of the course we started on the up and down shots and then there was the Javelina and the Bison. This was the first really long shot and showed what the consequence of mis-matched bow and arrows is. On these shots for my arrows (large, heavy with long fletchings) the bow did not quite have the Umph to reach the targets from the Red Peg or even the White on the target where it was further away. Not a problem I was there for the fun of shooting. Moving on now back past the Tea Hut (after the obligatory burger and bacon butty) it was onto a number for long targets often through some tricky trees and then back round the other side of the course. On reaching target 35 we were stood waiting for a while looking down the valley counting the arrows stuck 30 feet up the trees before shooting some of our final targets.

After shooting another excellent Fleet Ibex course (if you have not shot there I would recommend it) and only having one arrow abducted by Aliens. It was back to the Tea Hut for a final cuppa and presentations. Having been out-shot by my 10 year old son (not unusual) I knew I was not in the running for a medal but the rest of the Westcott archers would have a chance.

At the end of the presentation Westcott came away with 2 Golds, a Silver and bronze. Not bad for a day that looked as though it would be a washout. I may not have put in one of my best scores at least I had some practice for the 3D Nationals next week.

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